Originally called the “Casa Curial” (Ecclesiastical House), the Presbytere was built in 1793 to house the Capuchin monks who ran the St. Louis Cathedral. Designed to complement the Cabildo which buttresses the cathedral on the other side, the Presbytere has been used for commercial purposes and as a courthouse. The State purchased the building in 1911 and converted it into a museum. Currently, it houses the “Living with Hurricanes: Katrina & Beyond” exhibit that captures the devastation endured by Hurricane Katrina and the elaborate “Mardi Gras: It’s Carnival Time in Louisiana.” Visit http://www.crt.state.la.us/museum/properties/presbytere/ for more information.
Observations: A stunning art installation of hanging soda bottles reflecting colored light welcomes you into the building. Straight ahead you see the Fats Domino’s piano, recovered following Hurricane Katrina. The “Living with Hurricanes” exhibit is eye-opening for anyone who has never lived in a hurricane-prone area. I especially liked the faded blue jeans with one man’s personal information. He used a Sharpie marker to write his Social Security Number, address, and wife’s contact information just in case he died during the hurricane’s aftermath.
The second floor is festive with an extensive historical analysis of Margi Gras. The collection includes float designs, costume designs, costumes, pageantry, and everything related to the early days of Mardi Gras. Anyone visiting New Orleans should visit. It is well worth the price of admission—which is cheap!
Photographs did not capture any irregularities. My Ghost Radar wasn’t that active either. I would love to go back for a full-on night investigation, though.