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The exterior of the Old Ursuline Convent in New Orleans. The facade is ivory with a brown roof. There is a red brick path leading to the front door. There are hedges on both sides of the path.

The 17 most iconic buildings in New Orleans, mapped

Have you seen them all?

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In a city filled with important buildings and homes—notable because of their famous former inhabitants, sordid histories, or their architectural beauty—it's hard to come up with a list of the city's most iconic structures. But we certainly tried. Here, Curbed humbly presents a list of New Orleans' 17 most iconic buildings. We picked buildings with rich history, with architecture typical of New Orleans or so atypical that people are still scratching their heads (hi, Piazza d'Italia), and ones frequently depicted in Jackson Square tourist art or in sappy engagement photos — buildings that just scream "New Orleans." Are we missing any of your favorites? Please yell at us in the comments.

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1. Mercedes-Benz Superdome

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1500 Sugar Bowl Dr
New Orleans, LA 70112
(504) 587-3663
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New Orleans architect duo Curtis & Davis designed the the UFO-like building that opened in 1975 and is considered the largest fixed domed structure in the world.

The exterior of the Mercedes Benz superdome in New Orleans. The building resembles a space craft and is domed. there are colorful lights illuminating the facade.

2. St. Louis Cathedral

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Cathedral-Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France, 615 Pere Antoine Alley
New Orleans, LA 70116

Among the oldest cathedrals in the United States, the church was built in 1789 (the original structure at the site was destroyed in the Great New Orleans Fire of 1788). It’s also staggeringly beautiful inside, thanks to stained glass windows and frescoes painted in 1872 by Erasmus Humbrecht.

The exterior of the St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans. The facade is tan with dark brown towers. There are palm trees and grass lining a red brick path leading to the cathedral.

3. The Cabildo

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701 Chartres St
New Orleans, LA 70130

As the seat of colonial government, the Cabildo was the site of the Louisiana Purchase transfer ceremonies in late 1803. Artist William Woodward led a successful campaign to have the historic building preserved and restored when it had fallen to decay in 1895.

The exterior of the Cabildo in New Orleans. The facade is tan with columns and arched windows. The upper level is dark brown with white decorative details.

4. The Presbytere

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751 Chartres St
New Orleans, LA 70116

Designed in 1791 to match the Cabildo, the building was used by the Louisiana Supreme Court.

The exterior of the Presbytere in New Orleans. The facade is tan with a dark brown roof that has a tower.

5. New Orleans Museum Of Art

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New Orleans Museum of Art, 1 Collins Diboll Cir
New Orleans, LA 70124

The stately facade of New Orleans' oldest fine arts museum anchors City Park. The neo-classical, Beaux Arts-style building opened in 1911 as the Isaac Delgado Museum of Art.

The exterior of the New Orleans Museum of Art. The facade is tan with columns near the entrance.

6. Piazza D'Italia

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300 Poydras St
New Orleans, LA 70130

Designed by architect Charles Moore and Perez Architects, the structure was completed in 1978 and meant to celebrate the contributions of the city's Italian immigrants. Although widely acclaimed in artist and architect circles, the plaza never really caught on with average New Orleanians. Prior to its renovation, which was completed in 2018, some referred to it as the first "postmodern ruin,” but the whimsical structure now has a second life as an events venue. This past Carnival season, it hosted the Virtual Krewe of Vaporwave’s ball.

The exterior of Piazza D’Italia in New Orleans. The facade is red and yellow with many columns.

7. Doullut Steamboat Houses

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503 Egania St
New Orleans, LA 70117

In 1905 Paul Doullut, a steamboat captain, designed a home in the Holy Cross neighborhood resembling the steamboats he guided up and down the river. In 1913, he built an identical home for his son. The homes have a Japanese pagoda style likely influenced by the Japanese pavilion at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, mixed with ornate Gothic features.

8. Algiers Courthouse

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Morgan St
New Orleans, LA 70114

Constructed in 1896 to replace the Duverje Plantation home, the Romanesque-style building is the third-oldest courthouse in continuous use in Louisiana.

The exterior of the Algiers Courthouse in New Orleans. The facade is tan with multiple windows and two towers.

9. Lakefront Airport

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6001 Stars and Stripes Blvd
New Orleans, LA 70126

T. Sellers Meric and Benedict Cimini designed the art deco wonderland that was once the main commercial airport of New Orleans. It was damaged by Hurricane Katrina's floods and restored in 2013. The airport now serves private, corporate, and military flights and is an events space hosting many "Great Gatsby"-themed parties.

10. Old Ursuline Convent

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1100 Chartres St
New Orleans, LA 70116

The oldest building in the Mississippi River Valley (it was completed in 1752), Old Ursuline Convent is also the oldest surviving example of the French colonial period in the United States. The convent houses the Archdiocesan archives, a museum and an herb garden.

The exterior of the Old Ursuline Convent in New Orleans. The facade is white with a brown roof and red brick path leading to the front door.

11. Pitot House

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1440 Moss St
New Orleans, LA 70119

The 18th-century Creole colonial country home, which serves as headquarters from the Louisiana Landmark Society, is named for New Orleans mayor James Pitot. The house features a "parlor garden" dating back to the late 18th century.

12. Gallier Hall

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545 Saint Charles Ave
New Orleans, LA 70130

Originally designed to be the city hall of New Orleans by architect James Gallier Sr., it opened in 1853. The three-story marble Neoclassical style building is one of the most important structures built during the antebellum period of the city.

The exterior of Gallier Hall in New Orleans. The facade is ivory with columns in front of the entrance area.

13. Pontalba Buildings

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500 St Ann St
New Orleans, LA 70116

The buildings at 500 St. Ann Street and 500 St. Peter Street framing Jackson Square were built in the late 1840s by the Baroness Micaela Almonester Pontalba. Truman Capote described the Parisian-style row house buildings as "...the oldest, in some ways most somberly elegant, apartment houses in America."

The exterior of the Pontalba buildings in New Orleans. The facade is red and there is a balcony on the upper level with flowers and plants hanging on the balcony edge.

14. Beauregard-Keyes House

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1113 Chartres St
New Orleans, LA 70116

Built in 1826 and designed by François Correjolles, this home combines elements of a Creole cottage with Greek Revival features, including a Palladian facade.

15. The Degas House

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2306 Esplanade Ave
New Orleans, LA 70119

Architect Benjamin Rodriguez built the home early 1850s, and it is the only home of the French Impressionist painter that's open to the public.

16. Longue Vue House & Gardens

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7 Bamboo Rd
New Orleans, LA 70124

The Classical Revival style home was built in 1939 and features eight acres of gardens. It was designed by architects Platt & Platt and Ellen Biddle Shipman.

The exterior of the Longue Vue House and Gardens in New Orleans. The facade is tan with columns. There is a fountain in a courtyard in front of the house.

17. New Canal Lighthouse

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Lakeshore Dr & West End Blvd
New Orleans, LA 70124

Built in 1838, the lighthouse was heavily damaged during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita but was restored in 2013. It's on the National Register of Historic Places.

The exterior of the New Canal Lighthouse in New Orleans. The lighthouse is white with red decorative details. The lighthouse sits on a pier next to a body of water.

1. Mercedes-Benz Superdome

1500 Sugar Bowl Dr, New Orleans, LA 70112
The exterior of the Mercedes Benz superdome in New Orleans. The building resembles a space craft and is domed. there are colorful lights illuminating the facade.

New Orleans architect duo Curtis & Davis designed the the UFO-like building that opened in 1975 and is considered the largest fixed domed structure in the world.

1500 Sugar Bowl Dr
New Orleans, LA 70112

2. St. Louis Cathedral

Cathedral-Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France, 615 Pere Antoine Alley, New Orleans, LA 70116
The exterior of the St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans. The facade is tan with dark brown towers. There are palm trees and grass lining a red brick path leading to the cathedral.

Among the oldest cathedrals in the United States, the church was built in 1789 (the original structure at the site was destroyed in the Great New Orleans Fire of 1788). It’s also staggeringly beautiful inside, thanks to stained glass windows and frescoes painted in 1872 by Erasmus Humbrecht.

Cathedral-Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France, 615 Pere Antoine Alley
New Orleans, LA 70116

3. The Cabildo

701 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130
The exterior of the Cabildo in New Orleans. The facade is tan with columns and arched windows. The upper level is dark brown with white decorative details.

As the seat of colonial government, the Cabildo was the site of the Louisiana Purchase transfer ceremonies in late 1803. Artist William Woodward led a successful campaign to have the historic building preserved and restored when it had fallen to decay in 1895.

701 Chartres St
New Orleans, LA 70130

4. The Presbytere

751 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70116
The exterior of the Presbytere in New Orleans. The facade is tan with a dark brown roof that has a tower.

Designed in 1791 to match the Cabildo, the building was used by the Louisiana Supreme Court.

751 Chartres St
New Orleans, LA 70116

5. New Orleans Museum Of Art

New Orleans Museum of Art, 1 Collins Diboll Cir, New Orleans, LA 70124
The exterior of the New Orleans Museum of Art. The facade is tan with columns near the entrance.

The stately facade of New Orleans' oldest fine arts museum anchors City Park. The neo-classical, Beaux Arts-style building opened in 1911 as the Isaac Delgado Museum of Art.

New Orleans Museum of Art, 1 Collins Diboll Cir
New Orleans, LA 70124

6. Piazza D'Italia

300 Poydras St, New Orleans, LA 70130
The exterior of Piazza D’Italia in New Orleans. The facade is red and yellow with many columns.

Designed by architect Charles Moore and Perez Architects, the structure was completed in 1978 and meant to celebrate the contributions of the city's Italian immigrants. Although widely acclaimed in artist and architect circles, the plaza never really caught on with average New Orleanians. Prior to its renovation, which was completed in 2018, some referred to it as the first "postmodern ruin,” but the whimsical structure now has a second life as an events venue. This past Carnival season, it hosted the Virtual Krewe of Vaporwave’s ball.

300 Poydras St
New Orleans, LA 70130

7. Doullut Steamboat Houses

503 Egania St, New Orleans, LA 70117

In 1905 Paul Doullut, a steamboat captain, designed a home in the Holy Cross neighborhood resembling the steamboats he guided up and down the river. In 1913, he built an identical home for his son. The homes have a Japanese pagoda style likely influenced by the Japanese pavilion at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, mixed with ornate Gothic features.

503 Egania St
New Orleans, LA 70117

8. Algiers Courthouse

Morgan St, New Orleans, LA 70114
The exterior of the Algiers Courthouse in New Orleans. The facade is tan with multiple windows and two towers.

Constructed in 1896 to replace the Duverje Plantation home, the Romanesque-style building is the third-oldest courthouse in continuous use in Louisiana.

Morgan St
New Orleans, LA 70114

9. Lakefront Airport

6001 Stars and Stripes Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70126

T. Sellers Meric and Benedict Cimini designed the art deco wonderland that was once the main commercial airport of New Orleans. It was damaged by Hurricane Katrina's floods and restored in 2013. The airport now serves private, corporate, and military flights and is an events space hosting many "Great Gatsby"-themed parties.

6001 Stars and Stripes Blvd
New Orleans, LA 70126

10. Old Ursuline Convent

1100 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70116
The exterior of the Old Ursuline Convent in New Orleans. The facade is white with a brown roof and red brick path leading to the front door.

The oldest building in the Mississippi River Valley (it was completed in 1752), Old Ursuline Convent is also the oldest surviving example of the French colonial period in the United States. The convent houses the Archdiocesan archives, a museum and an herb garden.

1100 Chartres St
New Orleans, LA 70116

11. Pitot House

1440 Moss St, New Orleans, LA 70119

The 18th-century Creole colonial country home, which serves as headquarters from the Louisiana Landmark Society, is named for New Orleans mayor James Pitot. The house features a "parlor garden" dating back to the late 18th century.

1440 Moss St
New Orleans, LA 70119

12. Gallier Hall

545 Saint Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130
The exterior of Gallier Hall in New Orleans. The facade is ivory with columns in front of the entrance area.

Originally designed to be the city hall of New Orleans by architect James Gallier Sr., it opened in 1853. The three-story marble Neoclassical style building is one of the most important structures built during the antebellum period of the city.

545 Saint Charles Ave
New Orleans, LA 70130

13. Pontalba Buildings

500 St Ann St, New Orleans, LA 70116
The exterior of the Pontalba buildings in New Orleans. The facade is red and there is a balcony on the upper level with flowers and plants hanging on the balcony edge.

The buildings at 500 St. Ann Street and 500 St. Peter Street framing Jackson Square were built in the late 1840s by the Baroness Micaela Almonester Pontalba. Truman Capote described the Parisian-style row house buildings as "...the oldest, in some ways most somberly elegant, apartment houses in America."

500 St Ann St
New Orleans, LA 70116

14. Beauregard-Keyes House

1113 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70116

Built in 1826 and designed by François Correjolles, this home combines elements of a Creole cottage with Greek Revival features, including a Palladian facade.

1113 Chartres St
New Orleans, LA 70116

15. The Degas House

2306 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119

Architect Benjamin Rodriguez built the home early 1850s, and it is the only home of the French Impressionist painter that's open to the public.

2306 Esplanade Ave
New Orleans, LA 70119

16. Longue Vue House & Gardens

7 Bamboo Rd, New Orleans, LA 70124
The exterior of the Longue Vue House and Gardens in New Orleans. The facade is tan with columns. There is a fountain in a courtyard in front of the house.

The Classical Revival style home was built in 1939 and features eight acres of gardens. It was designed by architects Platt & Platt and Ellen Biddle Shipman.

7 Bamboo Rd
New Orleans, LA 70124

17. New Canal Lighthouse

Lakeshore Dr & West End Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70124
The exterior of the New Canal Lighthouse in New Orleans. The lighthouse is white with red decorative details. The lighthouse sits on a pier next to a body of water.

Built in 1838, the lighthouse was heavily damaged during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita but was restored in 2013. It's on the National Register of Historic Places.

Lakeshore Dr & West End Blvd
New Orleans, LA 70124