Very few buildings are still standing from the French colonial period, with the exception of a few old houses and several military forts, which were reconstructed about thirty years ago with the help of the original plans.
These houses all have typical features: their wooden frames are either built on frames of embedded wooden posts ("post in the ground") or placed on a brick flooring ("post on a sill"), and filled in with either mud and dried straw ("bousillage") or with brick ("brick between post"). A sort of natural insulation was created by a veranda—which often ran around the house at mezzanine level—and by raising the house to leave an empty space beneath, which helped evacuate hot air. The "veranda house" style is most often seen in the famous plantations built around New Orleans.

A heritage restored

Some examples of historical reconstruction have recently been built, including Fort of the Alabamas, Fort Maurepas in Biloxi, Fort Saint-Jean-Baptiste in Natchotoches, and Fort Condé in Mobile. In Illinois, Fort de Chartres—the only stone military structure from old Louisiana—is undergoing reconstruction. Outside of New Orleans, there are several dozen houses from before 1803, dispersed throughout the enormous territory that was the old colony of Louisiana, notably in Mobile, Pascagoula and Natchitoches in Lower Louisiana, and at Sainte Genevieve and Cahokia for Illinois. Several large-scale buildings are also still standing, such as the Ursuline convent in New Orleans (1745), Fort de Chartres (Illinois, 1760) and the Saint Martin de Tours church in Saint Martinville (1765).

Alex Demyan, Fort Saint Jean-Baptiste, Natchitoches, Louisiana Office of State Parks
Alex Demyan, Fort Saint Jean-Baptiste, Natchitoches, Louisiana Office of State Parks
Reconstitution partielle du fort Condé de La Mobile en brique<br>Photo G.-A. Langlois, 2000
Partial reconstitution, in brick, of Fort Condé, Mobile
Photo G.-A. Langlois, 2000
Maison Roque à Natchitoches (détail)
Photo G.-A. Langlois, 1995 Roque House, Natchitoches (detail)
Photo G.-A. Langlois, 1995