The architect of New Orleans’ first city hall was born in Ireland as James Gallagher but changed his name to sound more “French” in 1834 when he arrived in NOLA. He, along with many other immigrants, sought to assimilate into the French culture.
He was married twice and had one son, also named James. While his son did not create Gallier Hall, he did become a well-known architect as well.
James Gallier, Sr. was commissioned to create the municipal hall in the “American Sector” of NOLA in 1845, when the city was firmly divided between the French and Americans.
More information on James Gallier and the history of what became Gallier Hall can be found in “Gallier Hall: A Pictorial History.”