The LaLaurie Mansion is another New Orleans iconic landmark.
Built in 1832 by Madame LaLaurie, the house quickly gained a reputation as one of the grandest homes in the French Quarter. It was three stories with wrought iron balconies and a rectangular floor plan. The mansion also included an attic and slave quarters.
Madam LaLaurie was a New Orleans Creole socialite who married three times in Louisiana and was twice widowed. Although she held an esteemed position in New Orleans society, she gained a reputation as a cruel master behind closed doors. One of LaLaurie’s neighbors reported seeing a young slave girl fall to her death from the mansion’s roof while fleeing from the Madam’s whip. Rumors ciruclated that the home’s cook was kept chained to the kitchen stove.
In 1834, a fire broke out at the LaLaurie Mansion. When area residents rushed to the scene to help, they resorted to breaking down the doors to the slave quarters after Madam LaLaurie refused to provide the key. Inside, they found seven horribly mutilated slaves who had been imprisoned in the house for some time. When news spread of how Madame LaLaurie had treated her slaves, an angry mob descended on the mansion and destroyed everything they could get their hands on.
Madam LaLaurie managed to escape to Paris with her family where she lived the rest of her life. .
The mansion traditionally held to be LaLaurie's is a landmark in the French Quarter because of its dark history as well as its architectural significance. However, her house was burned by the mob, and the "LaLaurie Mansion" was in fact rebuilt after her departure. It remained in a ruined state for at least four years. It was then rebuilt by Pierre Trastour after 1838 and assumed the appearance that it has today.
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