James Gallier

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For architect's son, also a prominent architect, see James Gallier, Jr.
James Gallier
Born James Gallagher
July 24, 1798
Ravensdale, Ireland
Died October 3, 1866 (1866-10-04) (aged 68)
At sea, east of Tybee Island, Georgia
Occupation Architect
Buildings Gallier Hall, the Leeds-Davis Building, the Second Christ Church Cathedral

James Gallier (July 24, 1798 – October 3, 1866) was a prominent 19th-century New Orleans architect.


Early life[edit]

He was born James Gallagher in Ravensdale, County Louth, Ireland in 1798.[1] He changed his last name to a French surname when he moved to New Orleans (1834).[2]


He worked in England during his early career, designing the Godmanchester Chinese Bridge which crosses a mill stream of the River Great Ouse in 1827, and then working on the redevelopment of the Grosvenor Estate in Mayfair. He became bankrupt, and emigrated to America[3] in 1832.

He was one of a group of architects who created the idea of Architectural Practice, with the architect working for the clients, and managing those who actually build the structures that have been designed.[4]

His significant works that are National Historic Landmarks include:

His other significant works include:

Personal life and death[edit]

In 1823, while in England, he met and married Elizabeth Tyler. Their only surviving child was James Gallier, Jr., who also became an architect. Elizabeth died in July 1844, in her mid-forties.

On June 23, 1850, in Charleston, South Carolina, he married Catherine Maria Robinson of Mobile, Alabama, who was born November 18, 1822, in Hardwick, Massachusetts, to Colonel Joseph Robinson and Ann Maria Ruggles Walton. She was 24 years his junior.

On October 3, 1866, Mr. and Mrs. Gallier were passengers on board the Evening Star, a paddle-wheel steamer en route from New York City to New Orleans, when it sank in a hurricane about 175 miles east of Savannah, Georgia. There were only a half-dozen survivors out of approximately 250 people.[5]


  1. ^ Banks, William Nathaniel (1997-04-01). "The Galliers, New Orleans architects.". The Magazine Antiques, republished in HighBeam Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2008-01-30. 
  2. ^ http://www.nola.com/175years/index.ssf/2012/01/the_galliers_the_times-picayun.html "The Galliers," Times-Picayune, 29 January 2012.
  3. ^ The Architecture of the Estate: The Reign of the Cundys, Survey of London: volume 39: The Grosvenor Estate in Mayfair, Part 1 (General History) (1977), pp. 127-140.
  4. ^ From Craft to Profession: The Practice of Architecture in Nineteenth-Century America, (1999), Mary N. Woods, University of California Press, ISBN 978-0-520-21494-1
  5. ^ New Orleans in 1867, (2008), Ned Hemard, New Orleans Bar Association, accessed 2009-10-31

Pierson Jr., William H. The Colonial and Neo-Classical Styles, vol.1, American Buildings and Their Architects (New York: Anchor Books,1976),456.

External links[edit]