Along Bayou Chenal, in a corner of a parish near Baton Rouge, Jack and Pat Holden tend to an unrivaled tribute to the Acadian and Creole ways of life.
by CJ LOTZ, August/September 2019
Jack and Pat Holden's incredible story is beautifully told in this month's issue of Garden and Gun Magazine. Since the article was written, the Holden's decided to sell the estate with the hope of keeping intact their historic collection, period buildings and land for future generations. We call it the Tout Ensemble. Read more here.
We are also grateful to Ande' Moreau and Louisiana Public Broadcasting, and to Ruth Laney and our friends at Country Roads Magazine for their thought provoking news stories. Please allow 4 seconds for video to load to correct story.
In Pointe Coupee Parish, Pat and Jack Holden’s lovingly created tribute to life in colonial Louisiana is up for sale.
BY RUTH LANEY
“WE’RE INTERESTED NOT IN THE GRAND, TARA HOUSES
BUT IN THE MORE VERNACULAR ARCHITECTURE,
THE CREOLE FRENCH EXPRESSION OF
THE PEOPLE WHO LIVED THERE,” SAID PAT.
ADDED JACK, “THE ANTEBELLUM PERIOD HAS BEEN DONE.”
Preserve our Louisiana History
We appreciate your spreading the word to potential buyers to keep this intact, ideally as a museum or research center.
BECOME AN AMBASSADOR OF MAISON CHENAL:
Please like our Friends of Maison Chenal Facebook Page.
See more on my website: Maison Chenal Page, and Blog!
Friday, August 30
Celebrate the Launch of
Poppy Tooker's Newest Cookbook!
DRAG QUEEN BRUNCH!
BUY THE BOOK!
Saturday, September 7
COUNTRY ROADS SUPPER CLUB:
THE PONTALBA EXPERIENCE
Remember that time when Edwin Edwards dined at Versailles...
This is THE CABILDO! JOIN ME!
HERE'S ONE FOR THE HISTORY BOOKS!
Be sure to make your reservation now as
Country Roads Supper Club events sell out quickly.
See this blog post for more information!
Saturday, September 14
HOUSE & GARDEN TOUR
Louisiana Museum Foundation
Tour fabulous private homes and gardens in Pointe Coupée Parish including the Foremost Colonial French Collection of Architecture, Art and Furnishings in the world - the Holden Collection. Narration along the route by Eugene D. Cizek, FAIA. Emeritus Professor, Tulane University.
Within the Holden Collection, you’ll view a key Butterfly Man armoire to be featured in the upcoming exhibition,“Chasing the Butterfly Man.” Cybele Gontar, curator and decorative arts expert PhD candidate, American Art, City University of New York, The Graduate Center, will preview the exhibition, and the endless fascination for this mysterious cabinetmaker.
For tour details click the link below.
Limited Availablity - Book Now!
Postponed: Open House Invitation: the Extraordinary Creole Tout Ensemble of Maison Chenal & LaCour House
Read the Story
On Newsstands Now!
Look for Louisiana Timepiece 10 page spread
...online version coming soon
Two national publications feature my homes
Julia Reed, and Garden & Gun....details below
Julia Reed celebrates New Orleans & south Louisiana culture in her new book. Front cover shot in my courtyard.
Julia Reed's New Orleans: Food, Fun, and Field Trips
for Letting the Good Times Roll
All photos are courtesy of Paul Costello Photography
It's an instant classic and should be part of any southern cookbook collection. I'm so excited for my dear friend Julia Reed's accomplishment. What fun it was to be part of her effort. So when Julia called asking to shoot a chapter in her upcoming book at my house in the French Quarter, my quick answer: Well of course!
I have to believe that we inspire each other. Years ago, Julia Reed walked into my antique store in the French Quarter. She fell in love with some esoteric prints of bugs. They were ridiculous. After all, who buys pictures of bugs? I did and she did! Then, I realized that she lived nearby and I closed the shop and went over there for a drink, and the laughs and good times have been ceaseless since.
Julia's classic Seafood Gumbo is below along with a Rum Pecan Pie. That's my kitchen stove and though it's something of a relic, countless memorable meals have been created in that galley-sized kitchen. Most days begin with a strong cup of chicory coffee made in the French drip pot sitting there on the stove. Of course, they're sweetened with natural cane sugar from my family's mill in Patoutville and it makes me think of my French heritage.
Julia Reed is a world-class tastemaker and has an extraordinary talent for bringing people together. The other New Orleans celebrations she includes are magical: phenomenal settings with wonderful dishes featuring her recipes along with favorites from prominent chefs and home-cooks...and, it's a great cultural read. Paul Costello's photos are the perfect accompaniment to her narrative.
I particularly appreciate Julia's love for my home in South Louisiana. And as she started thinking about her forays over the years with me in Cajun country (we've shared many great adventures!), she decided to include a chapter at my country house in Patoutville set amongst the sugar cane background.
She penned this sweet note to Patoutville:
There's no bad time to visit Patoutville, but it is especially beautiful in summer and early fall, when the sugarcane is wait-high in the fields. In late fall and winter, the trucks full of cut cane form miles-long lines at the mill and there's twenty-four hours-a-day drama as great clouds of smoke fill the sky.
Ancient Oaks at BAyside Plantation
My cousin's nearby Bayside Plantation, was another destination in this chapter. As a realtor specializing in historic properties, I'm representing the sale of Bayside (click the above Bayside link for more images and listing details.
The culmination of the South Louisiana photo shoot was this fabulous meal celebrated with dear friends. I love that Julia was inspired by Teche country artist George Rodrigue's Aioli Supper Club and chose to recreate that celebration in her book. It's based on old Creole Gourmet Society traditions....another homage to the rich culture of South Louisiana.
Among the most cherished compliments I've known,
shared here from Julia:
... she's first referring to George Rodrigue and her vision to recreate the Aioli Dinner from his painting:
I think the artist would have approved of our
gathering under the live oaks. He so respected the traditions of his ancestors, and Peter, with his
antiques-filled houses and love of the land,
honors the past and his own Louisiana history
with more joie de vivre and élan than anyone I know."
Thank you Julia Reed!
As always with you, life is a magnificent celebration.
I recommend: reed Smythe & co.
Beyond her book, you'll also want Julia's favorite items to enhance your life celebrations.
She and friend Keith Smythe founded Smythe & Company: artisanal goods for uncommon spaces.
See: Reed Smythe & Company
Wait: That's my house!
Imagine my surprise when I was leafing through the April/May issue of Garden and Gun and saw the image above - the painting of my Bourbon Street house!
The photo is part of a story about New Orleans artist and rum distiller James Michalopoulos by New Orleans (and Maine summer) resident writer Wayne Curtis.: The Colorful, Far-Out Vision of James Michalopoulos: The most recognizable painter in New Orleans is on a mission: to make sure the City doesn’t forget the artists who keep it funky.
Though it's a great read, I disagree with the caption's 9th ward mention. While there are other examples of Creole cottages with the same color scheme, I don't believe you'll find another bearing the same architectural fenestrations, the same morning glory vine along with the left placement of the lamp post, and the low red wall...elements which are all peculiar to my streetscape. I've not seen this painting before and am delighted to know it exists!
The Pontalba Family is Returning to Louisiana for the Founders Ball
& Launch of the Baroness Pontalba Exhibit at the Cabildo!
I am thrilled to offer you early ticket access to the Louisiana Museum’s Founders Ball & Exhibition Opening at the Cabildo. This is one for the history books!
Taking a wrong turn in the French countryside six years ago was incredibly fortuitous! I met the Pontalbas!. This wonderful occurrence along with help from friends led to this year's Founders Ball and Baroness de Pontalba exhibition....Here's how it happened and what you can anticipate.
Pontalba Family Founders Ball Invitations
From the beginning, we set our sights on the LMF’s top fundraising event, The Founders’ Ball, and invited the Pontalba family to be our honored guests.
We also realized that Mont l’Évêque is a treasure trove of historical items related to the Pontalbas' time in Louisiana - primarily in the 19th century. So, the idea for the exhibition was born.
New Orleans’ iconic urban core: Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, the Cabildo, the Presbytère,
and the twin Pontalba Buildings - Upper Pontalba Apartments shown.
In addition to items from the de Pontalba family château, the exhibition will draw from the Louisiana State Museum, and loans from private collections. We are honored to have guest Curator, Randolph Delehanty, PhD, who will tell the city-defining story of Don Andrés Almonester and his formidable daughter, Micaela, the Baroness de Pontalba.
The Founders Ball and Exhibit are dedicated to Christina Vella
Of course, none of this would have happened if I hadn't read Intimate Enemies. We should all be eternally grateful to the late Christina Vella, author of this book that was critically acclaimed by the New York Times.
If you haven't already read Intimate Enemies, I encourage you to do so. It will deepen your appreciation of the exhibit and what Jackson Square means to all of us.
The costume Ball will be reminiscent of the elegant parties Baroness Pontalba held in New Orleans and in her mansion in Paris, which today, still known as the Hôtel de Pontalba, serves as the official residence of the United States Ambassador to France.
Late-18th-century to mid-19th-century attire, recalling the days of Don Almonester and our Baroness, are encouraged for the ball. Contemporary black tie and ball gowns will also be acceptable.
Together, we will welcome Charles-Edouard and Isabelle, Baron and Baroness de Pontalba, their son Pierre, and other family members from France!
Here’s a link to buy your Founders Ball tickets. They are $300 each for Louisiana Museum Foundation Members and $350 for non-members. I suggest you do this today for tickets are limited and this remarkable event will sell out!
The only mission of the Louisiana Museum Foundation is to support the Louisiana State Museum through community donations and programmatic support. I hope that you will join me as a proud member of the LMF to support them for this event and beyond.
Almonester Pontalba balcony ironwork detail from the Pontalba Apartments
"sugar & spice: the architecture & art of bayou teche, owen southwell, and tabasco's avery island" - a fall 2017 foray hosted by the ICAA-la
IBERIA PARISH, LA. From Thursday, November 2 to Sunday, November 5, 2017, the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art - Louisiana Chapter will host its first foray to the exotic Teche Country. "Sugar and Spice: The Architecture & Art of Bayou Teche, Owen Southwell, and Tabasco's Avery Island" is a premiere event celebrating the classical architecture, history, heritage and art of Iberia Parish, Owen Southwell, Bayou Teche, Avery Island and more.
As a native of Iberia Parish, where my roots run deep, I am excited to share this classical world of architecture and art of my beloved Bayou Teche country. Our foray participants will soon succumb to the exotic eden of café au lait-colored bayous, sugar cane fields and live oaks draped in festoons of Spanish moss. This foray is
an exposé to our national audience; one that will showcase the classical featurettes of our heritage in a scale never been seen in this area.
Highlights of this once-in-a-lifetime Iberia Parish event are:
SCROLL DOWN for a 38-page information packet that covers details such as schedule, registration, region/architecture history, lecture/lecturer topics, accommodation, et cetera. Click on the button below and purchase your ticket(s). ICAA-member and non-member prices available. Thursday, November 2 to Sunday, November 5, 2017.
BECOME A SPONSOR
We would be so honored to have your sponsorship for this foray and future ICAA-LA events. Thousands of people of across the country are invited to attend our event.
To become a sponsor at your chosen level, proceed by filling out and submitting the official ICAA Sponsorship Form, below. Details included in the form.
Check your air conditioning unit every summer for efficiency to beat the heat. There are State and Federal financial incentives such as renewable energy tax credits, special loans, and net metering if your system needs updating. Here are some helpful programs:
- Tax Credit for Solar and Wind
- Home Energy Loan Program “HELP”
- Louisiana Net Metering
Hiring a historic window specialist to glaze windows and secure their surround will help to sustain their longevity and efficiency.
- Don’t remove original windows, just repair existing ones!
Your house will expand or swell in the summer, just like everything else in the South. Harsh weather conditions will take effect, so make sure you plan according to make repairs to the masonry, brick, wood, or any other façade material after the peak of summer.
- Do any repair work toward the fall months after the severity of expansion has subsided.
- Spend summer months researching historic building specialists in anticipation of repairs. This is a great time to shop reviews and get quotes.