Beauregard-Keyes House & Gardens, 1113 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA

The Story

The Story 

Directly opposite the venerable Ursuline Convent on Chartres Street, the Beauregard-Keyes House and Gardens stand as a testament to the American and Frech-Creole designs that inhabit the city of New Orleans. Constructed in 1826, this house has witnessed many stories told by its diverse residents. Today, the Keyes Foundation, established by influential resident Frances Parkinson Keyes, ensures the preservation of this historic gem. Over 200 years, this house and the families inside it contributed to French Quarter history and ever-changing neighborhood dynamics.

The French Quarter 

The French Quarter, also known as the “Crown Jewel of New Orleans”, is one of the city’s most historic neighborhoods, where the charm of the past intertwines seamlessly with modernity. The French Quarter offers a timeless portrait of the city as it was established in 1718 by French settlers.  It has witnessed centuries of history, from its colonial beginnings to its vibrant present. For 70 years, it was all that existed in New Orleans. Over time, suburbs began to surround it, but the area has retained its unique architectural charm, blending French, Spanish, and Creole influences. Famous for its lively atmosphere, the French Quarter is home to landmarks like Jackson Square, the St. Louis Cathedral, and the Hermann-Grima House, as well as a mix of historic restaurants, antique shops, and modern boutiques. Its enduring spirit makes it a timeless and integral part of New Orleans’ heritage.

The Beginnings 

The Beauregard-Keyes House and Gardens owes its architectural elegance to Francois Correjolles, a Baltimore native whose parents fled the 1791 Revolution in St. Domingue (now Haiti). Correjolles, one of the first native-born American architects to gain prominence in New Orleans, infused his designs with a blend of American and local Creole influences. The house was built by Joseph Essau LeCarpentier, who also relocated from Haiti to New Orleans. LeCarpentier, a successful auctioneer, constructed the house to showcase his newfound wealth. His home soon became notable, hosting the wedding of his daughter, Louise Therese Felicite Thelcide LeCarpentier, to Michel Alonzo Morphy, a distinguished attorney and Louisiana Supreme Court judge. The LeCarpentier family resided in the house from 1826 until 1833 before selling it to the Merle family. Thus setting the scene of the beginning chapters of the BK House and Gardens. 

Notable Residents

A succession of notable residents have owned and resided in the BK House since its purchase from the Merle family by Dominique Lanata in 1865. Lanata rented out the house rather than lived there himself. The house’s first and most famous tenant was Confederate General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, a New Orleans native known for leading Confederate forces at the Battle of Shiloh. In 1904, the house was sold to Corrado Giacona, an Italian wholesale liquor distributor with ties to the local Sicilian Mafia. Throughout the 1920s and 1940s, it was owned by the Mannino and Owens families. In the 1940s, renowned New England author Frances Parkinson Keyes purchased the home, where she penned many of her Louisiana and New Orleans-themed books.

Ghostly Tales

Reputedly one of New Orleans’ most haunted locations, The Beauregard-Keyes House has legends abounding. There have been reports of eerie recreations of the bloody Battle of Shiloh in the main hallway, complete with ghostly cannon fire and the smell of blood and decay. The ballroom is said to be frequented by the specter of a fiddler in a tuxedo, while the garden echoes with gunshots and yelling from a 1908 gunfight. Visitors also report sightings of a ghostly dog and cat chasing each other throughout the property. The most bizarre tale involves famed chess player Paul Morphy, who allegedly went insane and attempted to murder passersby despite no evidence that Morphy ever lived in the house as an adult or suffered such a fate.

Today, the Beauregard-Keyes House and Gardens are open for guided tours. During these tours, visitors can learn more about the vibrant history as they stroll through the hallways and manicured landscapes. The compound can also be rented out for weddings and special events. 





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