The Trufant House, 1239 Philip St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA

The Story

The Story

Nestled in the heart of the New Orleans Garden District, the Trufant House stands as an iconic example of the city’s rich architectural history and symbolic of the city’s themes of resilience. This idyllic, gingerbread house-styled home ironically sits on a corner of land that was once owned by Henry du Pont, former owner of DuPont Chemical Company. 

The Trufant Family

Built between 1891 and 1892, the house was commissioned by Samuel Adams “S.A.” Trufant at a cost of $7,575. S.A. Trufant, a resilient commodities broker, weathered the financial storms of the early 20th century, including market crashes and the Great Depression. In response to economic pressures, the family divided the house in the late 1920s, converting the second and third floors into apartments while continuing to live in the home. This adaptation was a common strategy during the Great Depression, allowing families to generate additional income.

Bill Trufant, S.A. Trufant’s great-grandson, grew up in the house. In 1985, Bill and his wife Bobbi moved their family into the first and second floors, while Bill’s parents, Von and Ann Trufant, occupied a second-floor apartment. Over the years, the family began consolidating these spaces, gradually returning the house to its original single-family layout. Over the years, five generations of Trufants have created stories within the home.

A Legacy of Queen Anne Architecture in New Orleans

The Trufant House stands as a proud testament to Queen Anne-style architecture, which differs from the Greek Revival and Italianate styles of its neighbors within the Garden District. The renowned architecture firm Sully and Toledano designed the home, incorporating the intricate detailing characteristic of the period. Notable features include coved ceilings and a decorative plaster arch that gracefully separates two formal parlors. The house features an eclectic mix of textures and materials, including ornate woodwork and expansive, wrap-around porches. The Trufant House’s Queen Anne design not only adds to its visual splendor but also highlights the historical and cultural richness of New Orleans’ architectural heritage.

Restoration of the Trufant House 

Unfortunately, the beloved home underwent a meticulous restoration following a devastating fire. The blaze, which broke out in 2015, caused significant damage to the structure, threatening its historical integrity. Restoration efforts began promptly, led by a dedicated team of historians, architects, craftsmen, and, of course, the descendants of S.A. Trufant, who resided in the home. Robert J. Cangelosi Jr., an architect and architectural historian who taught New Orleans Architecture at Tulane University, was among the individuals who admired and cared for the home.

They worked tirelessly to preserve the house’s original charm, carefully sourcing period-appropriate materials and employing traditional construction techniques. The project was supported by local heritage organizations and the community, whose fundraising efforts played a crucial role. 

The Trufant House Today 

Today, the Trufant House stands as a beautifully preserved historical landmark. Despite the passage of time and the challenges posed by natural disasters such as fire and multiple hurricanes, the house has managed to maintain its structural integrity and historical significance. This is largely due to the efforts of preservationists and the Trufant Family, who recognize the value of maintaining such historical treasures.

The house is currently a private residence, though it occasionally opens its doors to guided tours, allowing visitors to step back in time and experience the rich history of New Orleans. Visitors can hear the stories from the current residents and can even see a portrait of S.A. Trufant hanging in the formal living room.

Nearby the Trufant House, you can visit a multitude of beautiful homes within the Garden District, including the Longue Vue House, which is a classic Revival-style mansion with expansive Spanish-style gardens. You can also visit one of the locations of the trending District Donuts Sliders Brew! 





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