New Orleans: Olivier House



In the French Quarter of New Orleans, there stands a grand old house. It defies the natural course of ruin by growing outward rather than collapsing in on itself, swallowing up adjacent properties and carving them into a labyrinth of passages and hidden stairways. 

In most places, time eats away at human structures like acid. But in this super-natural city, the process is interrupted and reversed. Decay somersaults through streets and through the corridors of the house, amplifying and expanding colors and forms. 

Its stately parlors, ballroom, and slave quarters have been reshaped to modern purpose, but the flavors of these former lives persist; seeping through the walls and denoting a sort of limbic reality. The phantoms here are not swathed in fog and mist, or specters who flit in shadow and tumble the wailing winds. New Oreans ghosts live in sunlight, their shapes burned indelibly onto a city whose fiber is that of memory and nostalgia. New Orleans does not bury its dead; they are woven into the damask tapestries, cooked into beignets, and blasted from trumpets. 

  ©1927L. Delaney