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French Quarter Balcony Pictures

New Orleans French Quarter Balconies

Wrought iron balconies lining the narrow streets of New Orleans historic Vieux Carré are one of the French Quarter's most prominent and memorable features.

Visitors photograph them, artists paint them and hotels and bars promote the French Quarter balcony as an ideal perch to view the passing parade. In addition to the photos on this page I’ve also posted another 18 French Quarter balcony pictures from a recent shoot.

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Royal Sonesta Hotel balconiesBourbon Street balconies are particularly popular to both view the throngs of revelers on the street and as a stage on which to flash feminine charms in response to the chants and bribes of strings of colorful Mardi Gras beads from below.
A French Quarter balcony often serves as a French Quarter balconies with plantsmeans of expression for the buildings inhabitants.
Sometimes a balcony will resemble a tropical garden teaming with ivy, bromeliads, begonias and ferns.
Knight on balconyOthers use their elevated display cases to exhibit personal treasures — everything from art and antiques to suits of armor.
The French Quarter gained its Spanish architectural flavor when over 850 buildings, almost the entire French Quarter, burned down in 1788.
Jackson Square apartment balconiesThe Baroness Micaela Almonaster de Pontalba added cast iron balconies to the fashionable row houses she built around Jackson Square after the Battle of New Orleans in 1814 starting a trend that spread throughout the French Quarter with balconies added to many existing buildings.
French Quarter balcony detailThe adjective most often used to describe New Orleans French Quarter balconies is lacy.
White wrought iron balcony in the French QuarterLacy wrought iron strikes me personally as an oxymoron, but the unique characteristics of wrought iron, especially its strength, resistance to rust and malleability do make wrought iron the ideal material for balconies and other ornamental ironwork.
French Quarter balcony picturePrior to the industrial age, blacksmiths worked with wrought iron, made and refined in charcoal fires. Charcoal iron can withstand corrosion for hundreds of years as evidenced by many a two hundred year old French Quarter balcony.
Traditional decorative ironwork is not easy to maintain. Repousse—shaped or decorated with patterns in relief formed by hammering and pressing on the reverse side—is often difficult to paint.
French Quarter balcony lined streetOnce mild steel was introduced with its ability to be mass produced, wrought iron, and the craft skills associated with it, gradually disappeared. Most of the ironwork in the French Quarter is actually cast iron and dates to the 1850's when this type of adornment became wildly popular.
More French Quarter information and pictures can be found on my French Quarter, French Quarter history, Jackson Square, Bourbon Street and Steamboat Tour pages. I’ve also produced a photo essay—with another 18 large photos—on New Orleans French Quarter Balconies.
Slideshow—all photos on this page

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Website and all photos copyright © 2001–2016 Lee W. Nelson