Found along the shores of Bayou St. John is the historic 18th Century Creole Colonial Pitot House. Recognized as a national historic landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Pitot House sits at 1440 Moss Street, several blocks from its original location.
Built in 1799, the house was designed by Don Bartolome Bosque and used as a country retreat instead of a fully functional plantation. The house’s name came from one of its earlier owners, a man by the name of James Pitot, the first American Mayor of New Orleans. Pitot owned the house from 1810 to 1819.
The house was moved in the 1960s when threats of destruction forced the Louisiana Landmarks Society to step in. The group saved the home and moved it to where it now sits. After restoring the house to its original splendor, the group made the house its headquarters.
Pitot House is unique in that it is built ensuite, meaning there are no hallways and an outdoor hallway as the only means to reach the second floor. The house is also designed to survive floods which served the building well when 2005’s Hurricane Katrina blew through, flooding a large portion of the city.
Another interesting sight to see at Pitot House is its garden. Filled with plants reminiscent of the time period for which the house was built, the garden has an assortment of indigenous flowers, vegetables, cotton, herbs, sugar cane, tobacco, and indigo.
Something else you’ll find at Pitot House are American antiques, dating back to the early 1800s. While the antiques were not originally in the home, one portrait hanging in the house was owned by one Pitot House’s former owners.
Possibly the most interesting thing about Pitot house is the list of previous owners. People such as Edgar Degas’ grandmother, Mme. Rillieus, Felix Ducayet, and Mother Frances Cabrini (the first American saint), who missionary sisters gave the house to the Louisiana Landmarks Society after her death.
The beauty of Pitot House can still be seen today when you walk its grounds and through the restored rooms of the house.