Around Town, Education, Family Travel, Parenting, Stages

From the Bookshelf – Explore History with Your Library Card

November 1, 2021

Immerse yourself in French Quarter history with the newest addition to the New Orleans Public Library’s Culture Pass program.

You can now visit Hermann-Grima + Gallier Historic Houses for free with your library card. These 19th-century National Historic Landmark properties offer guided tours, exhibitions, and seasonal programming on topics from women’s history to holiday traditions.

Hermann-Grima House

Built in 1831, the Hermann-Grima House is not only one of the French Quarter’s best-preserved examples of Federal-style architecture, it also offers the only original, intact stable in the Vieux Carré. Tour the Hermann and Grima families’ rooms, complete with period furniture, family portraits, and Felix Grima’s original book collection. Discover the stories of the enslaved persons and free people of color who lived on this site. Learn how food shaped life and culture in 19th-century New Orleans with a cooking demonstration in one of Louisiana’s only historic open-hearth kitchens still in operation. 

The Exchange Shop

Hermann-Grima House history is not limited to the 19th-century, however. During the early-to-mid 20th-century, this site was home to The Woman’s Exchange, New Orleans’ first association chartered by women for women. The upstairs rooms served as a boarding house, while downstairs hosted a shop where women could sell their handmade wares. The Exchange Shop remains located in Hermann-Grima House and still supports local women artisans today.

Gallier House

In 1860, famed New Orleans architect, James Gallier, Jr., completed building his family’s luxurious French Quarter townhouse. Marked by its eye-catching Paris Green gate, Gallier House exhibits impressive engineering innovations for its era, including indoor plumbing. Based on the original household inventory, Gallier House’s period décor includes trompe l’oeil wall treatments and a Rococo Revival double parlor, while authentic toys and games fill the children’s bedroom upstairs. Tour 19th-century urban elegance and learn more about the enslaved persons, and later domestic servants, who lived and worked at Gallier House.

Reserve Your Pass Today

Hermann-Grima Historic House and Gallier Historic House provide free general-admission entry for up to two adults and four children. Hermann-Grima + Gallier Historic Houses (HGGHH) require reservations for timed ticketing slots. Once you have reserved an HGGHH Culture Pass through the New Orleans Public Library, you must call (504) 525-5661 to reserve your date and time slot. Your Culture Pass is only valid for the confirmed date of visit. Entry will not be granted without the Culture Pass confirmation email or print out.

Culture Pass Program

Dive into New Orleans’ rich culture and history for free with your Library card. The New Orleans Public Library partners with cultural institutions around the city, including Audubon Nature Institute, The National World War II Museum, New Canal Lighthouse Museum, New Orleans Museum of Art, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and now Hermann-Grima + Gallier Historic Houses. Passes are available at to library cardholders, ages 18 and older, who live in Orleans Parish. For assistance reserving or cancelling a pass, call (504) 529-7323.

Rachel Marsh is a writer and marketing associate at the New Orleans Public Library.

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