Creole Cottage: A New Orleans House TypeBy
One of the oldest house styles in New Orleans, Creole cottages may have originated in the West Indies and been brought to the city by refugees of the Haitian Revolution. They were popular from about 1790 to 1850, when they were the most common houses in New Orleans. They can be found largely in the Vieux Carre and in the Creole neighborhoods.
Most Creole cottages fronted directly on the sidewalk and were raised just one or two steps above the ground. A typical floor plan would include four 12- to 14-square foot rooms with two small cabinets in the rear corners of the house. One of these would house a sleeping room with a spiral staircase leading to the attic; the other was used as storage. There are two less-common variations on this floor plan. The two-bay cottage was half the typical plan with only two rooms and one cabinet; the three-bay cottage had the same layout, but with a side entrance hall. Most three-bay cottages were built in the 1840s and 50s.
Creole cottages typically have gable or hip roofs. Gable roofs are more common, and appear in three versions differentiated by their treatment of a front facade roof extension. In the abat-vent, an almost flat roof extension projects over the sidewalk supported by iron bearers. The second version forms the roof extension with an upturning of the roof, and the last incorporates the extension into the roof line.
Read about the two-bay Creole cottage HERE.
Read about the Haitian roots in New Orleans HERE.
- three four-bay Creole cottages in the 1200 block of Marais St. in Treme (top center)
- a two-bay Creole cottage on Dauphine St. in Faubourg Marigny
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