Driving through New Orleans, you may notice street names (though at times difficult to pronounce!) are often named after important historical figures. Driving down Gallier St. in the historic Bywater neighborhood this weekend inspired a tribute to the man who contributed so much to the architecture of New Orleans and the practice at large.
James Gallier, born James Gallagher from Ireland, changed his surname to the French Gallier after moving to New Orleans in 1834. He was one of the first architects to develop the professional practice of architecture as we know it today. Gallier stood apart from his peers at the time due to his particularly proficient adaptation of classical forms, and more importantly, his construction management skills. Many of his works are now registered National Historic Landmarks. Most notable among them are Gallier Hall, which housed New Orleans City Hall for a century, and the Pontalba Buildings, a landmark in Jackson Square.