Amuse Bouche History of Jackson Square

Tableau was once the home of Manuel Gayoso de Lemos (1747-1799), the last Spanish Governor of Louisiana. He was in office from 1797 to 1799. The idea of state-run garbage collection is largely credited to him. In 1798 he instituted the policy to prevent the spread of diseases and bad smells in the city. In 1799 he died of yellow fever and is interred in the St. Louis Cathedral.

Gayoso’s homestead was conveniently located next to the seat of the Spanish colonial government in New Orleans, The Cabildo.  The Cabildo was the site of the Louisiana Purchase transfer ceremonies late in 1803 and continued to be used by the New Orleans city council until the mid-1850s.

Next, to The Cabildo, you’ll find the oldest cathedral in the United States, the St. Louis Cathedral. It was originally built in 1727 and dedicated to King Louis IX of France, “The Crusading King” who was later canonized by the Church. The original St. Louis Cathedral burned during The Great Fire of 1788 and was later rebuilt. Today it stands as one of New Orleans most notable landmarks.

Adjacent to the Cathedral, you’ll find The Presbytère, formerly called Casa Curial or “Ecclesiastical House.”  It was built on the site of the residence, or presbytère, of the Capuchin monks. The building was used for commercial purposes until 1834 when it became a courthouse. In 1911, it became part of the Louisiana State Museum, and continues to operate as such.

The Pontalba Buildings form two sides of Jackson Square. They are matching red-brick, one-block-long, four-story buildings built in the late 1840s by the Baroness Micaela Almonester Pontalba. The ground floors house shops and restaurants; and the upper floors are apartments which, reputedly, are the oldest continuously-rented such apartments in the United States. The two Parisian-style row house buildings cost over $300,000 to erect and include the first recorded instance in the city of the use of iron railings, now a prominent feature of the city’s residential architecture. If you look closely, you’ll see “AP” carved in the iron (Pontalba’s initials) on the balconies.

In the center of all these historic buildings is Jackson Square. The Square was designed after the famous 17th century Place des Vosges in Paris, France, by architect Louis H. Pilié. It originally was called Place d’Armes. In 1815, Following the Battle of New Orleans, the Square was renamed “Jackson Square” in 1815, in General Andrew Jackson’s honor.

Tableau has served Louisiana Creole cuisine since 2013. We proudly keep the culinary heritage of the State alive through serving updated takes on traditional dishes. There is a common misconception that Creole and Cajun are one in the same. A vastly simplified way to describe the two cuisines is to deem Creole cuisine as “city food” and Cajun as “country food.” Also, Creole cuisine uses tomatoes, and proper Cajun food does not. Like the people, Creole food is a blend of the various cultures of New Orleans including Italian, Spanish, African, German, Caribbean, Native American, and Portuguese, to name a few. Creole cuisine is thought of as a little higher brow or aristocratic compared to Cajun.

Lastly, right next door you’ll find New Orleans’ most historic playhouse, Le Petit Théâtre Du Vieux Carré. Le Petit Theatre has played an important role in our nation’s theatrical history since 1916. They’ve called their current stage at 616 St. Peter Street home since 1922.