|The two current photos of the Lombard home are
courtesy of Infrogmation @ Wikimedia Commons.
1937 photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.
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|Today, the Bywater neighborhood is in the heart of New Orleans. But, when Joseph Lombard built
this house as a wedding gift for his son in 1826, the city hadn't yet arrived. The Lombard home,
situated on what is now Chartres Street, was a working farm, fronted by the Mississippi River.
|However, the city continued to grow, extending itself downriver from the Old Quarter. Property
was eventually subdivided and the land surrounding the homesteads dwindled. Ultimately, in
most cases, the land became more valuable than the houses, so the historic homes disappeared,
replaced by newer houses, businesses or parking lots. But a very special few survived.
|Today, the Lombard house is one of the last remaining West Indian style Creole manor houses of its
era within the city limits of New Orleans. It was saved and meticulously restored by Dr. S. Frederick
Starr (the restoration work taking years and completed only a month before the 2005 levee failures).
Most of the Bywater neighborhood was inundated with flood waters. The Lombard house, although it
suffered some damage, escaped the fate of so many due to its location on the "high" ground by the river.
|The National Register of Historic Places plaque reads: "Plantation Guillaume or Lombard Plantation,
Built in 1826 by Joseph Lombard, a native of Chalons-sur-Seine in Burgundy, France.
Restored 1995-2005." An incredible debt is owed to Dr. Starr for rescuing this rare
and irreplaceable piece of New Orleans history. -- Nancy
|The above 1930's photo shows the Lombard home in decline, and by the time
the two pictures below were taken in the 1940's, the condition was much worse.
The situation wasn't destined to improve for another sixty years.
|The restored Lombard house; photo taken in 2008.
Joseph Lombard's wife, Marie Ann Azelie Zeringue, was a descendant
of Michel Seringue, one of New Orleans' first settlers. Michel Seringue
was the contractor who built the first church of St. Louis and the
first Ursuline Convent, both in the 1720's.