The Cabildo Museum
Jackson Square – New Orleans, LA
History – The Cabildo Museum is the sister building of the Presbytere, which bracket the world famous St. Louis Cathedral. These three historic icons are the heart of the French Quarter in Jackson Square in New Orleans, Louisiana. After the original building was destroyed by the Great Fire of 1788, it was rebuilt in 1794 and the structure remains today. The city council which resided in the building at the time was referred to as the “Illustrious Cabildo,” and the building adopted their name. The Cabildo is most famous for being the site of the signing of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. The structure was also home to the Louisiana Supreme Court from 1868-1910. It was the site of several major United States court cases including Plessy v. Ferguson, which established the law of “separate but equal.” In 1911, the building was purchased by the state and remains today as a museum dedicated to the history of Louisiana.
The Lathan Company performed a complete exterior renovation of the Cabildo’s sister building, Presbytere, in 2004-2005. Shortly after finishing the project, Hurricane Katrina struck the city of New Orleans. Cabildo, the elder of the two buildings, did not fare as well as Presbytere when the storm hit. While Presbytere’s newly completed slate roof received no damage, Cabildo sustained substantial damage to its roof. Because of the outstanding performance with the Presbytere, the Lathan Company was selected to restore the damaged slates, copper flashings and gutter systems around each of the decorative dormers on the Cabildo. Lathan’s restorations assures that the Cabildo will be ready to withstand the next hurricane.
With the completion of the Cabildo roof repairs in 2007, Lathan now has completed restoration of three of the five historic structures (Upper Pontalba, Cabildo Museum, & Presbytere Museum) which surround Jackson Square in the heart of the French Quarter.