Friday, July 8, 2011

mayfair witches

Dear Readers,

Have you read The Witching Hour by Anne Rice? If you havent you should, its such a great book!! I couldnt put it down, But it's scary. I believe in ghosts, and I always have for as long as I can remember. If I am staying in a house I think has ghosts I sleep with my I pod on with the volume very low and I will sleep all night like that. If I wake up, I WILL NOT open my eyes because I am insane. So when I read this book there was no way I would leave it on my bedside table at night, nope, I shoved it under my bed so I wouldnt wake up and see it. 

Recently my Sister forwarded me pictures of Anne Rice's Mansion. Anne Rice is famous for her Vampires and Witches, and her stately New Orleans Garden District Mansion is famous as well... It was the setting for the Mayfair Witch Series. The Mansion was built in the 1850's and Rice owned and lived in it from 1989 to 2004.  While looking for pictures of the home I came across this article by Melissa Haug on the history of the house including some amazing images. I loved reading it and thought I would share.

by Melissa Haug
A famous historic house, a New Orleans mansion, 
previously the home of author Anne Rice, was for sale.

One of the world's most dazzling residential neighborhoods – containing a time capsule of historic southern mansions – is located in the Louisiana city of New Orleans.  The Garden District, a large square area bounded by Jackson Avenue, Louisiana Avenue, Magazine St. and St. Charles Ave, is the live oak tree-lined "American" sector of this southern city.  For the most part, Americans who settled in the Garden District during the nineteenth century shunned local Creole influence.  They were more interested in something more permanent that clearly showed their wealth and taste.  The architecture of these historic houses is a fusion of classic styles with influence of Spanish, French, Italianate and English, as well as Greek Revival. These stately homes represent some of the best work of some of the leading architects and builders of the 1800s. 
Today a stately Garden District mansion is on the market for nearly for $4.5 million.  This historic house, located at 1239 First Street, was previously owned by author Anne Rice and is the setting for her novel, The Witching Hour.   In the story, the historic house was the ancestral home for the Mayfair family and their generations of male and female witches.
New Orleans
New Orleans

The mansion, originally known as the Brevard House, is a particularly fine example of the large, narrow and long, two story residences built in the Garden District in the prosperous decade that preceded the Civil War.  The 1850s Greek Revival style residence boasts nearly 9,000 square feet on three floors with five bedrooms and six full baths.  The home features period touches such as murals in the dining room, ornate millwork and beveled mirrors.  It also has a large, heated salt-water pool, fish pond, guest house, staff house and "lush grounds with maintained gardens."  There are five bedrooms, six full baths and two half-baths.
New Orleans
In 1852, Albert Brevard purchased the property; in 1857 he commissioned architect James Calrow and builder Charles Pride to construct the stately two story brick building.  Brevard died within two years and the mansion was inherited by his daughter, Elizabeth Brevard Woods.  The First Street fa├žade has a tetrastyle, two-level entry porch with four square end columns, four round columns, and ornamental iron grillwork. 
New Orleans
The two centrally located round columns of the first level are of the Ionic order, and those of the upper level are of the Corinthian order.  A small, two-level, wrought-iron porch on the Chestnut Street side leads into the “hexagonal” library wing.  This porch and a larger, two-level porch on the southeast garden side of the main block are both fairly typical of the wrought-iron porches added to new Orleans domestic structures in the mid-nineteenth century.
The prominent doors and doorways of the first floor main entry hall all have Greek Revival narrow moldings and low pediments with decorative scrollwork.  Moreover, each of the major rooms of the first floor has a wide, elaborate molded cornice and a large decorative plaster medallion in the middle of the ceiling.
New Orleans

New Orleans
One of the most notable decorative features of the Brevard House is the flattened elliptical archway that separates the double parlors. The moldings, rosettes, and supporting scroll-brackets are all fine examples of the decorative trimmings of the Greek Revival at the mid-nineteenth century.
Detail of the first floor parlor fireplace topped with a custom-fit beveled mirror.  Note the decorative plaster medallion in the middle of the ceiling.
New Orleans

New Orleans
The first floor dining room is decorated with wall murals.

The Below Images are of the current House:

from The Witching Hour by Anne Rice:
"The doctor had never been inside an antebellum mansion until that spring in New Orleans. And the old house really did have white fluted columns on the front...Greek Revival style they call it -- a long violet-gray town house on a dark shady corner in the Garden District, it's front gate guarded it seemed by two enormous oaks. The iron lace railings were made in a rose pattern and much festooned with vines; purple wisteria, the yellow Virginia creeper and bougainvillea of a dark, incandescent pink....

New Orleans
(Image from
Always he paused at the largest tree that had lifted the iron fence with its bulbous roots. He could not have gotten his arms around the trunk of it. It reached all the way from the pavement to the house itself, twisted limbs clawing at the shuttered windows beyond the banisters, leaves enmeshed with the flowering vines."

Great shots of the pool where Michael was found ...  

These two pictures look like the side porch where comatose Deirdre spent her days... or possibly the windows Antha fell to her death?

I love the images of the inside of the house where Mary Beth, Julien and Carlotta all lived. 
I can see Stella dancing the Charleston in the Ballroom below before she she, too, came to a tragic end like her relatives.
The murals in the house date back the the nineteenth century.

I wonder who lives there now, and I wonder if they to sleep with their Ipod on?!?

Color images found on The Well Appointed House Blog.

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