The Beauregard-Keyes House Opens as a House Museum

Restored in the mid-twentieth century after decades of neglect, the Beauregard-Keyes House opened as a historic house museum in 1970 in honor of two of its notable inhabitants.

The Beauregard-Keyes House, located in the historic Vieux Carré at 1113 Chartres Street, is a raised center-hall residence designed by architect Francois Correjolles in 1826 for Joseph LeCarpentier, a wealthy auctioneer.¹  The house is named in part for Confederate General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, who rented the house for two years following the Civil War.² It fell into disrepair by the early twentieth century, and in the 1920s New Orleans architect General Allison Owen purchased the property with plans to restore it as a memorial to General Beauregard.³ Beauregard House, Inc. was formed for this purpose, but little work was done and the house continued to languish.⁴ The home’s rooms and other spaces were divided and rented out for residential and commercial use, and just enough work was done to stave off collapse.⁵ In 1934, it was the first structure that New Orleans preservation architect Richard Koch and his team documented for the Historic American Buildings Survey.⁶

Author Frances Parkinson Keyes, for whom the house is also named, first stayed at the address in 1944 while she was writing a Louisiana-based novel; she took ownership soon thereafter.⁷ Keyes is credited, along with preservation architect Samuel Wilson Jr., with the building’s restoration.⁸ In 1948, Keyes created the non-profit Keyes Foundation to ensure the house’s continued preservation and management, and in September 1970, following Keyes’ death, the foundation opened the house to the public as a museum.⁹ It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.¹⁰ Today, the Keyes Foundation continues to manage the house as a museum and events venue.

 

1. Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation, “LeCarpentier-Beauregard-Keyes House,” National Register of Historic Places, November 20, 1975.

2. The Beauregard-Keyes House and Gardens Museum, “Learn”; and Glenn Jeansonne and David Luhrsson, “P. G. T. Beauregard,” in KnowLA Encyclopedia of Louisiana, edited by David Johnson (Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, 2010-). Article published January 30, 2013.

3. The Beauregard-Keyes House and Gardens Museum, “Learn.”

4. Ibid.

5. Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation, “LeCarpentier-Beauregard-Keyes House.”

6. Historic American Buildings Survey, “36-NEWOR,1-, Beauregard House, 1113 Chartres Street, New Orleans, Orleans Parish, LA,” loc.gov

7. Barbara C. Ewell, “Frances Parkinson Keyes,” in KnowLA Encyclopedia of Louisiana, edited by David Johnson (Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, 2010-). Article published February 24, 2011; and Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation, “LeCarpentier-Beauregard-Keyes House.”

8. The Beauregard-Keyes House and Gardens Museum, “Learn.”

9. The Beauregard-Keyes House and Gardens Museum, “Learn”; and Ella Camburnbeck, House Director, Beauregard-Keyes House, in conversation with the author, April 16, 2015.

10. Louisiana State Historic Preservation Office, “LeCarpentier-Beauregard-Keyes House.”

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For Further Research:

"Beauregard House Named Historic Site." The Times-Picayune, 11-28-1975.

"Paying homage to lifestyles of a century past." The Times-Picayune, 6-21-1987.

 

 

 

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