The rich Baroness Pontalba finished the Pontalba Apartments in 1850. The lower Pontalba in furnished with the original items from the middle 19th century. They have created again the mid-class antebellum years. The Baroness started building the apartments in 1849 and finished in 1850. The apartments are made out of red brick. They are designed in grand European style. On the bottom level there are shops. The Baroness ordered cast iron to be made in New York and shipped down the Mississippi. Her maiden name and her last name began with an "A" and a "P" which are winded in the railing which can still be found on the buildings. The Pontalba apartments are considered to be the oldest apartment buildings in the U.S. The beautiful row houses were intended to serve as both very nice residences and fine retail establishments.
The Baroness was from France. Her full name was Almonester de Pontalba. The Baroness inherited the area from her father. Her father-in-law wanted to inherit it from her, but she would not let him. She tried to divorce her husband to get away from her father-in-law, but she couldn't. Her father-in-law shot and killed her and then shot himself. In 1921, the Pontalba family sold the Lower Pontalba building and it was left to the state museum in 1927.
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