Hermann-Grima + Gallier Historic Houses

The mission of the Hermann-Grima and Gallier Historic House is to preserve, maintain, and complete the restoration of the Hermann-Grima and Gallier House and properties, to interpret their place in and contribution to the culture of New Orleans, and to educate visitors about the history of New Orleans and its population in the period 1830 to 1880.

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Category: Arts & Culture
Parish: Orleans
The Hermann-Grima + Gallier Historic Houses museum is a leading authority on historic preservation in the French Quarter. Both houses have been extensively restored, yet preserving them is an ongoing and painstaking process due to their ages, the local climate, and funding. Stepping inside two architecturally, culturally, and historically significant 19th century homes is an experience unlike any other. Our guides share fascinating and engaging stories of the multiple generations who lived within these walls--both free and enslaved--from immigrant aspirations and economic downturns to war, emancipation, the changing roles of women, and the emergence of a preservation ethic. The Hermann-Grima + Gallier Historic Houses are AAM nationally accredited as a museum and uphold best practices and policies through education, curation, community involvement, and more.

Our houses educate hundreds of students from preschool to university level each year through immersive field trips, camps, classroom presentations, scout activities, and other opportunities that ignite a passion for history and life-long learning. Our public offerings also include signature programs such as guided tours, open-hearth cooking demonstrations, participation in local cultural events, and the recently expanded Gallier Gatherings Lecture Series. This wildly popular series features lectures by local and nationally-known historians on diverse subjects related not only to our historic properties but also to New Orleans and Louisiana during the 1800s and beyond. The impact of education and outreach through the museums is far-reaching, but it needs support as it continues to grow.

About the Houses:
The Hermann-Grima House was built in 1831 to a Jewish German immigrant named Samuel Hermann, a German Coast settler who married a Catholic Creole widow and made his fortune as a commodities broker. After the market crash, Judge Felix Grima purchased the property from the Hermanns in 1844, and his family and descendants lived in the home until 1921. Today, the Hermann-Grima House is one of the most significant examples of architecture in the French Quarter due to its unique Federal style and beautiful restoration. This urban historic house includes adjacent slave quarters, a pristine courtyard, outbuildings, cistern, an original stable, and the only original open-hearth kitchen still in operation the French Quarter. The house is furnished in period art, decor, and furniture, many of which actually belonged to either the Hermann family or the Grima family.

James Gallier, Jr., the prominent New Orleans architect and son of the famous architect by the same name, is most well-known for the design and construction of the French Opera House, which once stood in the French Quarter. He built the Gallier House on Royal Street in 1859 where he and his family and then descendants lived until 1917. This interesting home showcases a notable Paris Green wrought iron gate and an elegant interior decor that serves as stark contrast to the Hermann-Grima House. The home is filled with ornate details, crowded with art and period furnishings as was popular during the Victorian era and reflective of the Galliers' prominence and travels. This property also includes adjacent slave quarters, unusual courtyard, privy, cistern, and modern advancements such as a coal-burning stove and indoor hot and cold running water for cooking and bathing. The Gallier House is a stunning addition to the French Quarter landscape and was massively restored to reflect its original state.
"If you visit one historic house in NOLA..." TripAdvisor Review, April 2018

"Our guide was fantastic and very knowledgeable. Just an amazing glimpse of history" TripAdvisor Review, March 2018

"Loved how well preserved the home is and how they kept some of the original items that belonged to the families that lived there. Really interesting step back in time and appreciated that our tour guide gave us a little history about each room. Also really cool she told us about some of the rooms used in filming American horror story." TripAdvisor Review, March 2018

"This was one of the best historic tours of New Orleans culture that I have been on in four years of living in the city. Well preserved and exceptionally beautiful, the Hermann-Grima house provides an incredible view of nineteenth century French Quarter living. Our guide was knowledgeable and friendly, always happy to answer our questions and excited to talk about the history of not only the house, but of its contemporary culture, too." -TripAdvisor Review, February 2017

"This was the coolest field trip ever!" -Third Grade Field Trip Visitor, St. Paul's Episcopal School