Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Down in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, just by the Mississippi River Levee, stand two twin houses that stand out as exotic and fantastical creatures among the small bungalows and modern solar townhomes.
They are the Steamboat Houses, built on Egania Street by steamboat captain Paul Doullut between 1905 and 1913 (the first for himself, the second for his son, Paul), they stand proud, their cockpit towers looking over the levee to the ship channel beyond. The houses' design was inspired by river-going steamboats, as well as Japanese pagodas exhibited at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis.
They survived past Hurricanes with little damage because, according to the description in one article, the surfaces in the lower floor is completely covered with ceramic tile.
The walk on the levee near the houses is a pleasant one now that the blazing heat of August has been tempered by the outer tendrils of tropical storms in the Caribbean. The grass green and the slopes of the levee are dotted with yellow rain lilies. Enjoy the day!