The Beauregard-Keyes house is named after its two most illustrious residents, General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, who took part in the American Civil War, and Frances Parkinson Keyes, a prolific American novelist. The house was built in 1826 for a man named Joseph LeCarpentier, and P.G.T. Beauregard rented it for a couple of years during the 1860s. When Frances Parkinson Keyes started using it as a summer residence during the 1940s, she soon recognized the historical importance of the place and decided to restore it to its former Victorian glory. She established her own studio and living appartments at the back of the house so as not to disturb the integrity of the property, so really visitors to the Beauregard-Keyes house have access to two museums in one: the Beauregard part of the house, which features a number items that belonged to the General and his family, gives visitors a pretty good idea of what a New Orleans Victorian home looked like, while Keyes's appartments feature early editions of the author's novels (she wrote over 50 books, many of which - such as "Dinner at Antoine's" - were written while she lived in New Orleans) as well as her intriguing collection of antique dolls, fans and veilleuses.
You need to join a guided tour to visit the house, and these are offered on the hour Monday to Saturday, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm (Admission: $10). Sometimes I find guided tours annoying but not in this case: our guide was very knowledgeable and easy-going, which made the tour very interesting and quite entertaining. At the end of the tour we were invited to walk through the house's lovely gardens, which have also been restored according to the original plans designed in 1865.
Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard was in command of the Confederate army at the First Battle of Manassas, in April 1861. This was the first major battle of the Civil War. Despite the Union's numerical advantage, he inflicted a very bloody defeat on the Yankees. From that point on, it was clear that this would be a long, terrible war.
General Beauregard lived here right after the Civil War, from 1866 to 1868. Later on, the writer Frances Parkinson Keyes moved in here. She stayed for 25 years.
I didn't have the opportunity to go inside. But the house is well-known for Mrs. Keyes' antique collection.
When Le Carpentier, the original owner, built the house — now known as the Beauregard-Keyes House — it also included a side garden on the corner of Chartres and Ursulines Streets. This was unusual even then, for most homes in the French Quarter had gardens tucked away out of sight. Open on two sides, Le Carpentier's garden was described by some at the time as "a jungle." The wife of the second owner, planned and planted a formal parterre garden and enclosed it with brick walls. She had grill windows added so passersby could look in at the a garden. After several years of the property changing hands and sinking into disrepair, the garden was bulldozed to make way for a macaroni factory. In the 1950s, a well-known novelist named Frances Parkinson Keyes assisted in the restoration of the house and garden. The factory building was demolished and the bricks were used to rebuild the garden walls, complete with Madame Merle's grill windows. The design of the new garden was also based on Madame Merle's original plans.
The garden contains various blooms such as magnolias, sculpted boxwoods, pomegranate, roses, Asian Jasmines, Azaleas, Irises, Crape Myrtles, and Day-Lilies. The garden's center features a cast-iron fountain.
Guided tours on the hour from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., Monday - Saturday. Closed Sunday and Major Holidays.
$4 seniors, students, and AAA members
$2 children ages 6-13
Free for children under 6
Reportedly haunted, this elegant 19th-century mansion was the former home of General P.G.T. Beauregard. Novelist Francis Parkinson Keyes moved in in the 1940's and began restoring it. She wrote 40 novels here, including "Dinner at Antoine's." Admission is $5, and hours are from 10-3, Monday through Saturday.
The Beauregard-Keyes House is a fascinating old raised cottage built in 1826. The house changed hands many times until 1925 when it was threatened with demolition. The fact that Confederate General Pierre G. T. Beauregard lived here after the Civil War aroused the interest of a group of patriotic ladies. They were able to save the house from destruction.
In 1944, the well-known author Frances Parkinson Keyes rented the house and eventually took it over from the ladies' group. A number of her fifty-one books were written here.
Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard and novelist Frances Parkinson Keyes both called this charming cottage home. Guided tours are available. Call the number below for details.