I. The Roumain House at 201 St. Charles Street
|The red tile roof also is noteworthy, but more remarkable is the use of custom-curved glass for the round corner (not a round porch here) of the room that begins just behind the column at right. These columns are more or less Tuscan Doric with adorning motifs added (as also wherever space allows on the balustrade above and on the face of the upper story.|
|The front doors are better than stained glass; they are heavily leaded glass in fine hardwood frames. In this photo you can see, also, the marble tiling of the whole porch floor.|
|The stairs lead up to undamaged, high quality stained glass (for details, see the Album), and also you see both of the Ionic capitals that do duty to dignify the posts. One is shown below.|
|Today you can see that these capitals, if not gessoed wood, must be plaster. The mixture of expensive materials and less expensive work is one of the interesting things about this house. I have failed to find a thesis or an article on this house (and perhaps its comparison with Mayor Irvine's house that, less than a decade old (built in 1904-5), which was destroyed by the 1912 Bayou Sara flood). The house that Mayor Irvine built to replace it was not so splendid and did not have a semi-cylindrical porch element.|
But round-foundation wrap-around porches (which I think must be truncated turrets, as Mayor Irvine's certainly was turreted) are not the whole story of style.
|Just outside Beauregard Town, but facing north on Government St., and just east of WAFB-TV, 982 Government Street, given over to divorce lawyers, has a little dormer for air in the attic and very elaborated Craftwman-like brackets, quite comparable with those on the Roumain House up at 201 St. Charles. I strongly suspect that it has been rescued from the attempt at a mall downtown and brought here, where it lords it over its neighbors. To me, it has "c. 1912" (or so) written all over it and, very substantial but not adorned with marbles, it could easily be by the same (unknown) architect as the Roumain House.|
The satellite view of the Romain house in Google Earth (zoom to max) is very surprising. It shows a building quite unlike the squarish houses with a bay of windows at each side with, or without, wrap-around porches.
The Romain House is quite unlike any other that I know, and, now that I know that the YWCA already had it in 1954, there is no reason why it should not be quite alike in 2013 and 1954. The question, therefore, is whether it ever was occupied by a family, domestically. or what it looked like inside then. Friends of my friend, jbk, whose parents appear above, know ladies who went to teas there, at the YWCA, over the years. I think of the Women's City Club in Berkeley...