Gallier Hall, facing Lafayette Square, New Orleans
|Location||545 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA|
|Architect||James Gallier, Sr.|
|Architectural style||Greek Revival|
|NRHP Reference #||74002250 |
|Added to NRHP||May 30, 1974|
|Designated NHL||May 30, 1974|
Gallier Hall is located on St. Charles Avenue at Lafayette Square in the Central Business District. The building was originally designed to be the city hall of New Orleans by the noted architect, James Gallier, Sr.. Construction began in 1845, and the building was dedicated on 10 May 1853. Gallier Hall is a three-story marble structure fronted by two rows of fluted Ionic columns in the Neoclassical style. It is one of the most important structures built during the antebellum period of the city.
After its dedication in 1853, Gallier Hall remained the city hall for just over a century. Many important events during the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the era of Louisiana governor Huey Long took place at Gallier Hall.
After the City Hall was moved to the modern complex at Duncan Plaza in the 1950s, old Gallier Hall nonetheless continued its traditional place of honor during Mardi Gras. Viewing galleries in front of the hall are reserved for Mardi Gras royalty, and parades on the St. Charles route pause in front of them. Marching bands typically perform shows here during the parades. On Mardi Gras Day the mayor of New Orleans toasts the kings of the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club and Rex Parade here.
Gallier Hall is currently a convention center, reception hall, and home of The Ty Tracy Theatre, named for the late Artistic Director who ran the New Orleans Recreational Department Theatre. Today, The Ty Tracy Theatre is home to Julie Condy's Crescent City Lights Youth Theatre.
It also serves special civic functions, including inaugurations of mayors, and particularly distinguished New Orleanians are sometimes laid in state here after their deaths as a sign of deep citywide respect.
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