Whenever I stroll through the French Quarter, I notice visitors snapping photos of the gorgeous ironwork accenting the buildings. This architectural feature has become as iconic as beignets and St. Louis Cathedral, so people may be surprised to know that ironwork is not original to many French Quarter homes.
The iron is a 19th-century Victorian addition to homes that previously boasted wooden columns. The intricacies of the ironwork were originally inspired by Spanish architecture that, in turn, was inspired by Spanish lace. Later, French influence appeared with fleur de lis and coquilles. Ironwork’s mixed history is pure New Orleans.