House of the week: Victorian on St. Charles Avenue

It was within the pages of books that my love affair with New Orleans (and the South in general) took root. Inhaling the scent of ink and bound paper, I would loose myself in stories like Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, John Grisham’s The Pelican Brief and A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. But perhaps the most influential author of all would have to be Anne Rice. Her descriptions of New Orleans in Interview with a Vampire, Feast of All Saints and my favorite, The Witching Hour, painted a city that I didn’t believe could exist in the real world, especially not in the U.S.

And then I came to see it for myself.

Although it took moving here to discover all the city has to offer (as a tourist I was stuck on Bourbon Street), it wasn’t long before the depth and soul of New Orleans revealed herself to me in all of her splendor. Rice’s descriptions came to life under my feet and before my eyes, and I thank her for sharing it with me. Everything she so thoroughly painted was actually real and I’m still not convinced her vampires and witches are fictional.

Well, enough of all that emotional blather. My whole point in telling you all this was that it seems that one of Rice’s former abodes just happens to be for sale. Located on St. Charles Avenue on the corner of Amelia Street lies this awe-inspiring, 130-year-old Victorian mansion with six bedrooms, seven bathrooms and over 7500 square feet of living space. The house features a large porch and gallery, super-tall ceilings, hardwood floors, vintage stained glass windows, detailed mouldings and woodwork and stunning crystal chandeliers. The expansive, green and growing grounds are enclosed by a classic wrought-iron fence and includes several fountains surrounded by well-kept gardens. The house is smack on the parade route and right across the street from some of the strongest margarita’s in the city. Only $2,650,000 could buy you one of the most luxurious, entertainment-centered abodes in town and who knows what celebrities might swoop in for a visit. Any takers?

House of the week: Castle on St. Charles Avenue

When I was in high school, I used to joke with my friends that one day I would own a castle and they could all live there, performing different duties in exchange for room and board. Johnny was the chauffeur, Eva organized the parties, Charlene took care of the horses…you get the idea. Although the castle I had in mind back then was one of those classic, stone monuments in England replete with battlements, turrets and a moat, I think this pretty purple palace on St. Charles Avenue would do.

This abode fit for a princess was built in 1877 and is far bigger than I imagined from seeing its facade many, many times while cruising down the Avenue. The house features close to 6,000 square feet of living space, five bedrooms, seven bathrooms, a separate cabana, in-ground pool and a whirlpool hot tub. This fantasy property has all the features I want in my New Orleans dream house including hardwood floors, sliding pocket doors, high ceilings, stained glass windows, ceiling medallions and (as you can tell from the picture) a turret! It’s not surprising that this palace is listed at a whopping $2,995,000...