The Brevard-Wisdom-Rice House
|Anne RIce purchased this home in 1989. Her husband, Stan,
died in 2002 and, a few years later, she moved to California
to be near her son. Ms. Rice used the house as the setting
for her Mayfair Witches novels. The photo on the left was
taken in 1964, when Judge John Minor Wisdom lived in
the home. The same room is shown above in 2010.
|Above, left, 1933; center, 1964, right, same room, 2010.
|This Greek Revival style home in the Garden District was constructed for Albert Hamilton Brevard,
a New Orleans merchant, in 1857. At the time of its construction, the house boasted several
conveniences unusual for the time, including hot and cold running water. Mr. Brevard died two
years after moving in, leaving the house to his daughter.
In 1869, Brevard's son-in-law sold the home to the Rev. Emory Clapp, pastor of First Unitarian
Church (the first Unitarian church established in the city, by his father, Dr. Theodore Clapp).
It was Rev. Emory Clapp who added Italianate elements to the home, as well as, the mirrors in
the photos above. Poet Walt Whitman was often a guest of the Reverend's. Rev. Clapp
died in 1881, but his widow continued to live in the house until her death in 1934.
|In 1947, the house was purchased by John Minor Wisdom, who was
a lawyer and native New Orleanian who'd served in WWII. In 1957,
Pres. Dwight Eisenhower appointed Wisdom to the Fifth Circuit Court,
headquartered in New Orleans, which then covered the wide area of
Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
Not well known today, Judge Wisdom is considered by many
chroniclers of the Civil Rights movement to be an unsung hero of
the era. In the 1950's-'60's, he issued many of the decisions
responsible for desegregating the six Southern states which were
under the mandate of the 5th Circuit. He authored several landmark
decisions supporting school desegregation and voters' rights. Judge
Wisdom was known as the scholar of the 5th Circuit and remained on
the bench until his death in 1999. He was awarded the nation's
highest civilian honor in 1993, when he received the Presidential
Medal of Freedom. In 1994, the U.S. Court of Appeals building in
New Orleans was renamed in his honor.
|John Minor Wisdom U.S. Court
of Appeals building, New Orleans
|The black and white photos on this page are courtesy of the Library of Congress.
The color photos of the Brevard home are courtesy of Luxist. The photo of the
Wisdom Court of Appeals building is courtesy of Bobak & Wikimedia Commons.
~ ~ ~
You might like:
The John Minor Wisdom U.S. Court of Appeals Building
The Story of First Unitarian Universalist Church
The link to this page is: http://old-new-orleans.com/NO_Rosegate.html
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