Our History

  • 1731-1800: “A Home to Call Their Own”

    Jean Baptiste Lille Sarpy
    The modern day Maison de Ville (which in French means townhouse), is a three-story structure of which the first story was built by French immigrant Jean Baptiste Lille Sarpy in 1793, in what was at the time the center of the city.
  • 1800-1826: “The Architects’ Heyday”

    Joseph Guillot and Claude Gurlie
    The French Quarter was just developing its’ signature look during the early 19th century, largely in part due to the efforts of a few key architect-builders.
  • 1826-1829: “Napoleon’s Colonel”

    Jean Baptiste Benjamin Vignié
    New Orleans’ French heritage and tradition made the crescent city an ideal refuge for the soldiers who fled to the new world after Napoleon’s exile from France in the early 1800’s. It is said that those soldiers left a lasting impression through the preservation of Napoleonic Code and the naming of streets. Colonel Jean Baptiste […]
  • 1836-1871: “A Sazerac Story” plus “The Dusky Socialite”

    Antoine Amede Peychaud and Blondeau
    Among the early residents of the home was the apothecary Antoine Amede Peychaud, who was to play a prominent role in New Orleans’ cultural history. Long before today’s Hand Grenade or the last generation’s Hurricane, there was New Orleans’ first signature cocktail … the Sazerac. Peychaud developed this libation with a concoction of bitters and […]
  • 1940-1969: “Once a Home, Now a Hotel”

    Alexander Wylie and Mary A McDougall
    Today’s Maison de Ville began its modern-day history courtesy of Madeline Erlich, a Pennsylvania woman who visited New Orleans in 1944 (near the end of World War II). During her visit she made the acquaintance of Mrs. A. W. (Mary) McDougall, who operated a successful travel agency. While visiting in the McDougall home at 727 […]
  • 1950’s & 60’s: “The ‘Great’ Tennessee Williams”

    Tennessee Williams
    Prior to purchasing his own home at 1014 Dumaine Street, Tennessee Williams, widely regarded as America’s greatest playwright, often stayed at Maison de Ville, in Room 9. It was in this room that he completed what many consider his masterpiece, “A Streetcar Named Desire.” (During breaks in writing, he often sat in the courtyard, enjoying […]