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Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

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History comes alive at BK House & Gardens

Shivani Bondada

On the corner of Ursulines Avenue and Chartres Street stands the Historic BK House & Gardens, transporting viewers back to historic New Orleans. The home, originally built in 1826, boasts a rich history and a beautiful setting. The quarter is filled with spaces that can send you back in time, but students rarely take advantage of these opportunities.

 

The BK House and Gardens serves as a reminder of history, highlighting the stories of its tenants. The house has served as an Italian family’s wine business, author Frances Parkinson Keyes’ home, confederate leader Beauregard’s residence and even the site of an infamous mob murder. It is open daily for tours. 

The house also has temporary collections that acknowledge New Orleans’ troubled past and provide meaningful spaces for discussion. Currently on display is an exhibit entitled “Haiti Louisiana: Tides of Freedom,” which aims “to evoke, raise awareness of, and highlight the many atrocities suffered by people enslaved by the system of colonialism and how this dehumanizing conquest has impacted civilizations today.” The exhibit tells the underrepresented stories of enslaved people in both Haiti and Louisiana. 

 

Visiting a historic home might not seem like a typical Tulane University student scene, but historic homes provide an opportunity to connect with the city we get to call home. For instance, the BK House is hosting a concert series this spring called Rhythm and Roses. The concerts happen on Thursday night in the gardens. This series presents a perfect opportunity for students who want to feel connected to the city but may not feel inclined to take a tour. The gardens will boast live music, a bar and a chance to connect with the local New Orleans community.  

 

The lineup includes local artists who encapsulate the spirit of New Orleans. These artists, including Amanda Shaw and Marcia Ball, typically play to larger crowds, but Rhythm and Roses provides an opportunity to experience these artists in a more intimate setting. Annie Irvin, the house director, describes the series as a “very small-scale festival for the Lower Quarter.” Enjoy the spring weather and spend some time outside of the Tulane bubble.

 

New Orleans is steeped in rich history and culture, and historic homes serve as tangible reminders of the city’s past. By visiting these homes, students can gain a deeper understanding of the people, events and lifestyles that shaped the city. Visiting historic homes fosters a sense of connection to the local community. The BK House is only one of a number of historic homes in New Orleans.

Some other historic homes to look into include the Hermann-Grima House or the Pitot House. Students can also discover lesser-known stories that highlight the everyday lives of people from different social and economic backgrounds. This connection to local history helps students develop a greater appreciation for their own community and the people who came before them.

Disclaimer: Casey Wade is an unpaid intern at the Beauregard-Keyes House and Gardens.

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