New Orleans’ Beautiful Ironwork

DSC_0782ecw TitleWelcome! I hope you had a great weekend. We certainly did. Although the weather at Our MT Nest was cold and very windy, we were in south Florida for my high school reunion, and we experienced glorious weather there. We will be returning home later today, so I am hoping the weather will be nicer.

I’ve mentioned before that Mr. MT Nest and I leave the mountains each year for the months of January and February. My blogposts during those two months this year were all about the things we saw and did in St. Augustine, Florida during January and Austin, Texas and the Texas Hill Country during February. After leaving Texas, we visited New Orleans for a couple of days on our way back home. Until now, I haven’t really shared much about our visit to “The Big Easy.” What a fascinating city! It was our first visit to “Nawlins,” but we definitely want to return in the future. In this post I will share some things I saw and learned about the intricate ironwork that is so prevalent in New Orleans architecture.


One of the things we did during our visit was to take a historical, architectural walking tour of the French Quarter. The architecture of New Orleans is a beautiful blend of various European influences with a southern American twist. In the French Quarter, there are so many beautiful buildings that wear the passage of time elegantly.

DSC_0902ecwI was enamored of the lovely ironwork that is so prevalent in New Orleans. On our walking tour we learned about the history of New Orleans and its architecture, and the ironwork is a prominent feature in the architecture.


Home formerly owned by the actor, Nicolas Cage.

I learned that there are two types of ironwork, wrought iron and cast iron, but that one type is more common in N.O.  Cast iron is an alloy of iron and carbon that has been melted and poured into a mold to create the intricate patterns. Cast iron has a greater amount of carbon than wrought iron. This makes it harder and more brittle. The photo below is an example of cast iron, the type of ironwork that is more common in New Orleans.


Wrought iron has a lower carbon content and is more malleable. It has been heated (not melted) and worked with tools to create the shape. The cemetery gates seen below are an example of wrought iron. The filigree in the columns is cast iron.

DSC_0592ec2wBoth types of ironwork are lovely, and their pervasiveness is part of what creates  the distinctive “New Orleans look.”

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Porches, verandas, balconies, etc. are also very common and a part of that New Orleans look.


This apartment was formerly the home of Tennessee Williams. He wrote the play, A Streetcar Named Desire, while living here.

Did you know that what is shown in the picture above is NOT a balcony? It’s actually a gallery. Before taking this tour, I didn’t know that there was a  difference between a gallery and a balcony. When the structure has columns or posts supporting it, it is a gallery. A gallery also is deeper than a balcony. Here are pictures showing the differences.

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You never know what you might learn on vacation. Our two days in New Orleans were just enough to let us know that we want to return. I fell in love with the unique and beautiful architecture and especially with the amazing ironwork.

Thanks for stopping by Our MT Nest. I hope you’ll become a regular visitor!

Have you ever visited New Orleans? What was your favorite thing about the city?

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Linking up with:

Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch

The Scoop at Stonegable

Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life

Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style

Create It Thursday at Lambert’s Lately

The DIY Collective

Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop

Inspiration Gallery at The Chronicles of Home

Foodie Friday and Everything Else at Rattlebridge Farm

Dishing It, Digging It

This entry was posted in Decor, Favorite Things, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to New Orleans’ Beautiful Ironwork

  1. New Orleans is one of my favorite cities. I studied architecture in design school and found it a fascinating subject. The craftsmanship from the days of old need a rebirth in todays society. I have a friend that designs custom ironworks. Her business is called House of Iron. I love following her business page just to see all the magnificent works of art. The cathedral is another beautiful place to visit as well. Next time you return to New Orleans, check out some of the antique shops that are off the beaten path. There are so many treasure troves to be found there.

    Thank you for sharing with Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop.

    Reinvented Collection


    • carolyn says:

      I will definitely check out the House of Iron webpage. We only spent two days there on our way home from our month in Austin. But we definitely want to return so I hope to be able to do much more sightseeing there.


  2. I only got to visit new orleans briefly about 20 years ago, but I am so anxious to go back. Loving your tour through the district. Beautiful craftsmanship, those galleries and balconies!


  3. Sandi Magle says:

    What a great–close look at the local architecture. It is all even prettier than it has been portrayed in movies and TV. I so enjoyed the close look, Thanks, Sandi


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