The Longue Vue House is a city mansion near New Orleans. I imagine most people probably prefer to visit plantations in that area, but on the way back from visiting the Destrehan Plantation I was looking for something quick in the area and the Longvue estate came up as a recommendation on my Google map.
The estate used to belong to the wealthy Jewish Stern family, the wife being the daughter of the famous Sears family. It’s a gorgeous house and it’s surrounded by lovely gardens. There’s a very good organized tour taking you around the house and explaining the history of the house, the family and the wealthy New Orleans community.
The official website has the background :
The home and gardens were born of the dreams of Edgar and Edith Stern, pillars of the New Orleans community. It was the combination of the Sterns working with landscape architect Ellen Biddle Shipman (1866-1950) and architects William (1897-1984) and Geoffrey (1909-1985) Platt that resulted this wonderful oasis of beauty and elegance set in charming New Orleans. The Longue Vue House is one of the last great houses to be custom-built in America during the Country Place Era, taking the Platt brothers three years (1939-1942) to build. Shipman designed gardens for the estate beginning in 1935 until her death. [...]
On a tour of the house, one enters through the unique circular vestibule which has curved sliding wrought-iron doors. Among many varied and fashionably decorated rooms, one can see the Flower Arranging Room; the Blue Room – accurately decorated with blue carpeting, walls and furniture; the Art Gallery; the Drawing Room – which is the most formal room of the house and the setting for the entertainment of such notables as Eleanor Roosevelt, John and Robert Kennedy, Pablo Casals, Jack Benny and others; the Wrapping Room – used only to open mail and wrap presents; and more. Longue Vue House and Gardens is a model of the fashionable, but conservative, taste of wealthy Americans during the 1930′s and 40′s and a way of life that has all but disappeared. [...]
As William Platt noted in a 1979 interview, the whole estate was designed as unit – the house and gardens must be viewed together. Together Ellen Biddle Shipman and the Platt brothers created a complete setting of house and gardens. Described as the “dean of American women landscape architects by House and Garden magazine in 1934, Longue Vue is Shipman’s master work. The eight estate buildings designed by the Platts are also their master work in residential design.
Since photos are not allowed in the house, here’s a tour of the Longvue gardens …
The gardens also have some impressive collection of beautiful flowers and plants…
A charming little place. Definitely not a must, but if you’re in the area and looking for something to do for an hour and relax, this is a good option for you to consider.