The Presbytère: A Louisiana State Museum

The year 2005 was such a detrimental year for the state of Louisiana. At that time I was in college back in Georgia. I can recall watching the news and hearing about the pending Hurricanes heading towards New Orleans. I remember feeling anxious for the people there but hopeful that the storm would just pass them by. Fast forward to August 29, 2005, a day that forever changed the residents of Louisiana.

There are two things that this museum hopes to show you: that this state is resilient and celebratory throughout everything. I have been able to witness that in my few months of living here. Downstairs of the museum is dedicated to the Hurricanes that struck: Katrina and Rita for example. Upstairs is dedicated to Mardi Gras: It’s Carnival Time in Louisiana.

When you walk around the first floor you get a sense of the mass destruction the storms caused in such a short amount of time. News Reports, eyewitness accounts, and artifacts left behind from the storm surround you as you walk through the exhibit. Below are a few photographs from the First Floor Living with Hurricanes: Katrina & Beyond.

Fat Domino’s Piano

One of the most touching parts in the exhibit for me was Tommie Mabry’s Wall. It was his daily diary beginning just one day prior to the storm to weeks following that he kept on his apartment wall. The details, pain, heartache, and fright he must’ve felt are all immortalized on the wall.

Find below a few photographs I took of the Mardi Gras exhibit:

I definitely recommend a visit to this museum while visiting New Orleans. The building itself has a rich history worth noting. It was built in 1791 to match the Cabildo alongside the St. Louis Cathedral. It is located in the French Quarter at 751 Chartres Street. Visit their site to learn more about the museum and schedule your tour.