One of the most wonderful things about New Orleans is the character of our architecture–and the variety, too! A lot of houses in New Orleans, including this newly renovated one in Lakewood (pictured to the right) have a beautiful cypress facade called gingerbread brackets. This detail is usually made with red cypress, one of our native trees here in the swamps of Southeastern Louisiana. The red cypress, which the Choctaw Indians called eternal wood, grow in most of our swamps and are also called bold cypress. The trees yield a very durable wood because they contain red tannic acid, a natural wood preservative and fire retardant. Despite its durability, red cypress is extremely soft and easy to sculpt, and makes it the perfect vehicle for decorative details. In fact, it is so easy to work with that local duck hunters love to use it when carving their decoys!