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.
1113 Chartres Street
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.
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.”
5. Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation, “LeCarpentier-Beauregard-Keyes House.”
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.”