Jean Baptiste Lang House
Click here for a short video tour of the
The Lang House is a museum, gift shop, and multi-functional community space. Come visit!
605 Carroll Street
Hours of Operation
Thursday and Friday: 10 am - 4 pm
Saturday: 10 am - 1 pm
(closed during the months of January and August)
The Jean Baptiste Lang House is one of just a few “Anglo-Creole” structures left standing in Old Mandeville. It was completed in 1852 by Jean Baptiste Lang, a successful Belgian tobacco merchant. This home, like many along “Lake Street,” (presently Lakeshore Drive) was a reflection of the wealth generated from the antebellum economy of New Orleans. The elite built summer homes, or camps, in Mandeville to escape the busy streets of the city. Therefore as New Orleans thrived, Mandeville thrived. These camps were similar in plan and scale, with a range of three rooms across the front or south side, mirror image “cabinets” situated in the rear corners, and an open “loggia” across the rear-middle. The Lang House is full of architectural features, such as the faux bois oak finish, mortise and tenon construction, tongue and groove floors, scarf joints, diagonal braces, Creole mantle with Creole Diamond to name a few. The recent gutting of the interior has exposed a myriad of ancient colors and woodwork. This ‘primitive’ building had a wine cellar, a bath house and wharf, slave quarters, kitchen house, stables, cistern, bead board galore, slate roof, and a double chimney just for the sake of pretense. Quite a summer home for the times!
Old Mandeville survived the Civil War, Reconstruction, economic upturns and downturns, and because of the modern growth of Northshore suburbia and dismissal of the “Old Towne” as insignificant, this historic enclave survived post World War II modernization. This rustic little time capsule sat undisturbed for 150 years. One of the best kept secrets in the Deep South, Old Mandeville sat precariously, on a modest ridge on August 29, 2005, ready to slip away from us, into the storm surge of Hurricane Katrina.
Old Mandeville received significant damage from the storm. Post-Katrina reconstruction seemed to have little preservation controls in place. There were the houses that simply washed away and those that could not be saved, but there were also those on the brink. Many of these historic homes had hope but instead, slipped out of our hands forever. People were deeply saddened to watch homes succumb to the wrecking ball and decided to do something about it. Thanks to a study commissioned by our former mayor, Donald Villere, we now have the benefits of a historic district. We have a moratorium on demolitions of historic structures, the city hosts lectures on tax credits for historic rehabilitation, and we have the salvation of the Jean Baptiste Lang House.
The Jourdan Family donated the Lang House to the City of Mandeville after Hurricane Katrina. The storm caused significant damage, and the Mandeville community rallied behind its salvation. The city provided funds to move the Lang House from Lakeshore Drive six blocks inland to the beautiful Kierr Gardens, which was donated by the Kierr family. The salvation of this modest cottage was a pivotal point in the direction of our town. The Old Mandeville Historic Association accepted the task of breathing new life into this quintessential Creole beauty. The rest is history!
The Jean Baptiste Lang House now rests at 605 Carroll Street and serves as a museum and multi-functional community space. The Lang House officially opened its doors to the public in December of 2014, at which time the majority of restoration had been completed but further progress is ongoing.
Over the seven year history of OMHA we have completed significant research on Mandeville’s unique history. If you have an interest in architecture, your home’s chain of title, historic restoration or Louisiana history, please come visit the Lang House Museum and take the tour. Our gift shop offers local gifts and educational publications.
To schedule a private tour or host an event at the Lang House, please contact OMHA@oldmandevillehistoricassociation.org.
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