"Make voyages! Attempt them... there's nothing else."
“In New Orleans I found the kind of freedom I’d always needed. And the shock of it against the Puritanism of my nature has given me a subject, a theme, which I’ve probably never ceased exploiting.”
The Hotel St. Pierre, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a collection of 18th century Creole Cottages, many dating from the 1780’s. The hotel includes the Gabriel Peyroux House which was erected in 1780 for Gabriel Peyroux de la Roche, a native of France. The house originally stood on the family plantation on nearby Bayou Road but was moved to the Hotel site by the family. Gabriel lived here with his wife, Maria Susana Caue. Maria’s father once owned the entire empty square that is now the Hotel. The house and much of the square remained in the Peyroux family until 1850.
The Hotel is located several blocks from the Legendary Birthplace of Jazz, Congo Square in Louis Armstrong Park. Congo Square, frequently called “the delivery room in the Birthplace of Jazz”, was the Sunday gathering place of African Slaves, Red Indians and Creoles. The Slave dances and musical celebrations held there reflect the deepest roots of African culture expressed in the New World.
From the earliest days of slavery, African-Americans congregated at Congo Square every Sunday to dance and sing to an African drumbeat - the only place in the South where this was permitted. Eventually Marie Laveau would transform these gatherings into her unique form of Voodoo. During its heyday, the great priestess Marie Laveau came often to Congo Square and lucky were those who witnessed the great Queen dance with her snake!
Quite appropriately, The New Orleans Jazz Museum, the first Jazz Museum in the world, opened at the Hotel in 1961. It was a success from the start! Louis Armstrong stayed at the Hotel and a plaque in the main cottage marks this occasion. The hotel has, throughout its history, regularly hosted musicians, bands as well as artists and writers.
In fact, Tennessee Williams, lived across the street from the Hotel, at 1014 Dumaine Street. He would stop in at the front desk quite often. Late in his life, Tennessee was frequently spotted the Hotels many courtyards visiting with friends who frequently stayed at the hotel.
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