We've visited several of the Louisiana State Museum attractions between our most recent visit to New Orleans and another trip a few years ago; all of them are worth a visit. The 1850 House provides a fascinating glimpse into one of the residences in the Pontalba buildings that flank Jackson Square. Admission was just $3 for a self-guided tour. Visitors enter through the gift shop on the ground floor and can purchase tickets at the register. After we purchased our tickets, we were invited to watch a video at the rear of the gift shop prior to touring the home. Learning about Baroness de Pontalba's history was as interesting as touring the residence - she survived an assassination attempt by her own father-in-law in France before returning to New Orleans and funding construction of the famous buildings that bear her name. As for the residence, it boasts some truly lovely period furnishings but does not represent that home of any one particular family. Instead, the recreated interior gives a general idea of the lifestyles of those living in these apartments in the mid-1800s. The front of the home is furnished for the family's comfort, while the rooms at the rear depict the more modest servants' quarters.
While there are certainly more impressive homes that can be toured in and around New Orleans (like the River Road plantations), the 1850 House is still worth a visit. It's centrally located (right on Jackson Square, just half a block from St. Louis Cathedral and the Cabildo and Presbytère museums), admission is inexpensive, and it's easy to tour the entire home in well under an hour. Photography is permitted, as long as the flash is turned off.
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