|James Robb / John Burnside Mansion
Residence: 1854 - 1890
Sophie Newcomb College: 1890 - 1917
Baptist Theological Seminary: 1917 - 1954
|The Robb mansion was reportedly one of the finest private homes in
the city at the time of its construction and for many years beyond. Its
grounds took in an entire city block in the Garden District (on Washington
Avenue, between Camp and Chestnut Streets). No expense was spared
in its fixtures and furnishings. Mr. Robb was an art collector and the
house included a huge art gallery, with a sixteen foot ceiling.
|Mr. Robb left home at the age of 13, moved to New Orleans in his 20's,
and made a fortune by the time he was 30. While living in New Orleans, he
established banks and businesses in the U.S. and Europe, and built the first
gas-works in the city of Havana, Cuba. He was elected to several public
offices in the city and state. The 1857 financial crisis forced him to sell off
his assets, including the mansion and its art collection, however, he went
on to make yet another fortune, run 3 railroads and organize and head
the Louisiana National Bank.
|The mansion when it was being used by the Baptist Bible Institute
(later known as New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary).
|Above, when the building housed Sophie Newcomb College.
|The art that was once housed in the Robb mansion - and sold at the time of
financial setback - now graces some of the finest museums in the world.
|The Burnside family lived in the mansion on Washington Avenue from 1857
until 1890. At that time, it was sold to Sophie Newcomb College, which had
been established in 1887. In 1917, the college moved to a larger campus
on Broadway, next to Tulane University. The Baptist Bible Institute (now
known as New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary) purchased the Robb
house at that time and remained there until 1954, when more space was
needed and the seminary moved to a campus on Gentilly Boulevard.
|The socially prominent of New Orleans came and went through the grand
old mansion's doors for its first 36 years, college and seminary students
for the next 64. The house that Mr. Robb built stood for 100 years
before it fell to the wrecking ball in 1954.
|The link to this page is:
Photos of the interior of the Robb house, when it
housed Newcomb College, can be found here:
Newcomb College, 1900-1952
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