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1815 French Colonial – Gramercy, LA

Added to OHD on 8/13/15   -   Last OHD Update: 11/3/19   -   34 Comments
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423 E Jefferson Hwy # 44, Gramercy, LA 70052

  • $175,000
  • 2 Bed
  • 2 Bath
  • 1355 Sq Ft
Historic French Louisiana Cottage of early 1800. Vintage on River RD facing levee, former home of Dr. Ernest N. Ezidore. One of the most intact examples of original Bousillage construction of clay and moss existing today. Newer roof, central HVAC. Features large front and rear porches and is well preserved with original wood floors and ceilings but needs cosmetic work. Attached rear building was later kitchen from mid 1800s. Opportunity to own a landmark.
Contact Information
Lynne Mire, Realty Executives,
504-468-7979


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34 Comments on 1815 French Colonial – Gramercy, LA

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  1. says: 80 comments

    Would love to know more about this house. Especially with regard to underneath the house. Why is it raised like that and is that a center brick area underneath a fireplace?

    1
  2. bygolly says: 1 comments

    Southern Louisiana houses are often raised to protect the house from flooding.

    2
  3. Mary Beth says: 43 comments

    Fascinating that clay and moss construction would endure such a humid climate. Is there a secret to its maintenance? The yellow stove has me utterly enamored!

    4
  4. ScottyTheFarmer says: 19 comments

    OMG. *Drops iPad* Our 1843 house is awesome but this is right in my wheelhouse. Love love love.

    4
  5. MW says: 856 comments

    Wow, what a very odd set of photographs. Bizarrely appealing, yet somewhat scary at the same time. The house seems to have been abandon at some point fairly long ago. But now is staged to sort of look as if someone lives there with a collection of furniture out of the local thrift shop. The weird exterior walls, broken bed, blowing lace curtains, really old fluor. light in the kitchen, peeling paint everywhere, socket lights with no bulbs, weird under house exposed fireplace, just to name a few strange things. Honestly, there is no way I could sleep in that house as is. I think I’d be close to being terrified all night, daytime too frankly.

    1
    • Michaeljoe62 says: 100 comments

      I wish our local thrift shop had furniture like that! LOL

      6
    • susan mecca urbanczyk says: 1159 comments

      I was thinking it looks like a movie set. So creepily perfect.

      1
    • Sascha says: 49 comments

      I can imagine the Ghost Hunters exploring this house– it looks like it was staged to look creepy!
      The Chambers stove, however, is decidedly not scary!

      1
    • Jan Marchand says: 1 comments

      I believe this is the Mear House in Lutcher and it is right on the Riverroad.My grandmother knew the last descendant of this family, Miss Cora Mear. I was fortunate enough to visit this house throughout the 1970’s with my grandmother, and twas utterly charmed by the family history and all the things Miss Cora had. I agree with yu, the house looks like crap now. When I visited it was filled with lovely antiques and family mementos. So sad.

      4
  6. JimHJimH says: 4937 comments
    OHD Supporter

    On the National Register as the Millet House; I don’t see the nomination online. There’s a brief write-up on this house in an architecture book which explains that it was restored in 2008 and has photos with the same furniture. The exterior weatherboard was left off to showcase the old construction and the other finishes were left as-is intentionally. I would prefer it with weathered siding and some folks might like some paint, but to each his own.
    The construction type was used in French colonies with dried moss replacing the usual grass. The brick piers aren’t original – the house was moved years ago. AKA the Poche-Ezidore House. Dr. Ezidore (1883-1960) was an African-American physician.
    Book ref. p. 96-97, 90: http://tinyurl.com/q9tzup8
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/rphotos2008/albums/72157631586279287

    3
    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11862 comments
      Admin

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      Thanks Jim for finding the info and pics. I’m torn, I like seeing the exterior but think this home would look awesome with weathered siding. I’d probably do very little to the interior, well as less as I could get away with and make it liveable. The only thing that would scare me is the river across the street and possibly the neighborhood.

      1
      • JimHJimH says: 4937 comments
        OHD Supporter

        I couldn’t blame anybody if they painted the whole place and it would be sweet, though I think it would lose a lot of character. I like the old appliances and the antiques. The kitchen is a little grimy for me – before I brought any food in there, I’d be all over that with cleanser and a stiff brush at least!
        This is the place where they light the bonfires on the levees on Christmas Eve, a cool tradition. It would be great to put out a big party spread on the porch and watch the flames.

        2
        • Michaeljoe62 says: 100 comments

          I agree — would change as little as possible and only the outside to ensure its preservation as needed. Ok, and some fresh curtains. (And, boy does that TV stick out in the parlor!)
          Wow, a real sense of Southern Charm and history in a size you could actually maintain! Been reading up on bousillage plasterwork in a great book, “Lost Plantations of the South” (Marc Matrana). It’s a lifestyle choice to go this authentic, but isn’t that so many of us are attracted to?

          2
        • RosewaterRosewater says: 5755 comments
          OHD Supporter

          1875 Italianate cottage
          Noblesville, IN

          The state of preserve is rad for sure. Nice. Huge plus if the authentic, Irish, “big house” furniture conveys. People love those Chambers ranges, and yellow is particularly collectible, but good luck getting the Christmas turkey in that tiny lil oven. I don’t get the appeal. I just love love love these raised planter’s cottages. Sweet!

    • MW says: 856 comments

      Have to give them some credit for the move and the “new” piers. To keep the old feel, they even put the piers back in off-plumb and leaning every which a way. Very convincing for sure.

      I usually agree on the leaving well enough alone and not restoring if not really needed. But I have to admit, this house seems like it needs a bit of restoring. Unless they are looking to portray the old 1940’s impoverished south look. If that is the case, then I think they nailed it. Just need a couple junked 20’s cars in the yard to complete the picture. The roof looks too nice though, would need to age that a bit too.

      2
  7. Daughter of GeorgeDaughter of George says: 1003 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1905 Neoclassic & 1937 Deco

    I adore that vintage yellow stove. Plus the old sink unit.

    1
  8. Lori says: 10 comments

    Love the potential of the place, unique for sure! It is not what I would expect for being restored in 2008…

  9. Laurie W. says: 1770 comments

    A potential beauty. So much so that I’d like to see it restored to the way the builder made it; his judgment looks like it would have been reliable. Interesting material, I’ve never seen it before. The old stove is too cool for words & I get dibs on the Phyfe-ish chairs in the living room. It’s too bad the house sits on a relative postage stamp — it deserves acres with bouganvillea, crepe myrtles, redbud, magnolia. It would be a labor of love to put this house back to rights.

  10. Frank D. Myers says: 64 comments

    Beautiful place. The “raised cottage” style also allowed for better circulation of air in hot and humid places. Household tasks often were carried out in the open area under the house. Sure hope that’s the missing post of the “four-poster” under the bed.

  11. jessielois says: 8 comments

    This house looks like a small version of the Laura Plantation, a creole plantation outside New Orleans I visited earlier this year. The architectural characteristics are the same — the porch that extends the full width of the house, the raised elevation, floor to ceiling doors that lead from the porch to each room, the low railing along the porch, central steps that lead the central front door. Even the picket fence around the house gives the same exterior flavor. According to the tour guide, this style was unique to the French Creole population. The tall doors which were symmetrically placed along the front and back were designed for maximum circulation. The furniture looks appropriate to the period The Laura Plantation exterior is finished with board and painted yellow with colorful trim. I love this house. Very charming.

    • Julie Rossington says: 28 comments

      I agree, Jessielois. It does have a lot in common with the Laura. I feel a color change here would really make it pop-and lots of cleaning inside!

      • jessiewebster says: 8 comments

        Yes, color would be nice, and evidently, authentic, I think the Laura Plantation has been restored diligently and would be a good example to use. I would love to own this house and restore it.

  12. Melissa says: 247 comments

    Would the fireplace in the “basement” be a summer kitchen?

  13. Michaeljoe62 says: 100 comments

    Any thoughts on what the little room to the left on the back porch was for? I’m aware spices, sugar and pantry staples (considered very valuable in the Antebellum period) were kept under lock and key — with the bars on the side window, maybe this was such a storehouse that was convenient to the kitchen and allowed ventilation but also protection?

    • Suzanne Barrows says: 1 comments

      The little room on the back veranda is a half bath.
      Don’t think it was original.
      My husband and I looked at this house to purchase a few years ago. The fence was intact and the intent of the seller was to use authentic appointments in the yard – correct foliage of the time and correct fencing.
      Loved the place so much but it had been gutted electrically and hvac – thief’s stripping anything outside and under the house they could make a buck on. The primitive effect is perfect in my book – but no hvac or electric made it not move in ready. We still love the place

  14. Sean says: 161 comments

    Wow! I opened this not expecting to be impressed, but there’s so much character to this. I personally like old things to look old, and though this is extreme, I really enjoy both the weathered exterior and gorgeous decay on the interior. The interior finishes and furnishings almost look too deliberate. “Staged” is a good term that was used upthread – staged in a theatrical way. I could live here in a second! (Though I’d have to have a stern discussion with Louisana about it’s humidity before I’d move…)

    And I’m wondering, would the fireplace at ground level be part of a “summer kitchen”? I don’t know enough about Southern architecture to know for sure. It seems like it would be a smart way to get more use out of the existing chimney and not require a separate building like many summer kitchens.

    1
  15. Frank D. Myers says: 64 comments

    The original kitchen probably was in an entirely detached building to (a)lessen the danger of fire to the main house, (b) keep the heat of cooking away from the main house in summer and (c) dissipate cooking smells before food reached the main house. The lower level fireplace might have been used to warm staff during colder months (parts of the lower level may have been partially enclosed in other times) or perhaps for small cooking jobs or to heat water and the like.

  16. JulieC says: 273 comments

    I like this house because of the unique style, all of those French doors opening onto the verandah and the simplicity of it’s decor/interior. But I really need some trees around the place.

  17. tinyrdr says: 12 comments

    Anyone know what the original roof material would have been?

  18. jessielois says: 8 comments

    This house is classic!! To a T it fits the description of French Colonial: “Most buildings constructed during the French colonial period utilized a heavy timber frame of logs installed vertically on a sill, poteaux-sur-sol, or into the earth, poteaux-en-terre. An infill of lime mortar or clay mixed with small stones (pierrotage) or a mixture of mud, moss, and animal hair (bousillage) was used to pack between the logs. Many times the infill would later be replaced with brick.

    General characteristics of a French Colonial dwelling included a raised basement which would support the floor of the home’s primary living quarters. Exterior stairs were another common element; the stairs would often climb up to a distinctive, full-length veranda or “gallery,” on a home’s façade. The roof over the veranda was normally part of the overall roof. French Colonial roofs were either a steep hipped roof, with a dormer or dormers, or a side-gabled roof. The veranda or gallery was often accessed via French doors. French Colonial homes in the American South commonly had stuccoed exterior walls.” Wikipedia

    1
    • David DigbyDavid Digby says: 7 comments
      1884 Bungalow
      Pineville, LA

      I agree. This one is a classic. Being from Louisiana, this is what I like to see when I look at old houses. That’s why I love them, because it’s like stepping back in time. I don’t find this creepy or ‘scary’ at all (well maybe a little and only at night). Honestly though, this is a diamond in the rough. I wouldn’t change a thing!

  19. John Shiflet says: 5556 comments

    This style of raised Creole cottage with its Poteaux aux Bousillage being correct for the period, as Jessielois notes. This style of cottage was said to have been brought to Lousiana from the West Indies where it had an even older history. Like others have suggested changing much on this now rare house form would diminish its appeal, especially for purists. Not many examples like this remain so preserving it is important to teach others about the architectural heritage and culture of the region.

    1

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