Mansard roofs/Second Empire style

These 2 are actually near to each other; 1 on Esplanade and 1 on first block from Esplanade. Same architect? Built in same era? So few of them in the French Quarter, it might actually be a story or link.

The style of mansard roofs is associated the Second French Empire (1852–1870) of Napoléon III, the nephew of Napoleon I. Elected President by popular vote in 1848, he initiated a coup d’état in 1851, becoming dictator before ascending the throne as Napoleon III on 2 December 1852, the forty-eighth anniversary of Napoleon I’s coronation. He ruled as Emperor of the French until 4 September 1870. Napoleon III envisioned a Grand Scheme for the Americas, which would consist of three general points. The first involved recognition of the Confederate States of America and a military alliance with them. The second involved reintroducing monarchical rule to Latin America, in the form of Maximillian I in Mexico, and increasing French trade throughout Latin America. The third point involved control over Mexico with the creation of a large buffer state from the Rio Grande to the Baja California peninsula. Among other things, the Emperor granted the right to strike to French workers in 1864, despite intense opposition from corporate lobbies
Two distinct traits of the mansard roof – steep sides and a double pitch – sometimes lead to it being confused with other roof types. Since the upper slope of a mansard roof is rarely visible from the ground, a conventional single-plane roof with steep sides are often misidentified as a mansard roof. The gambrel roof style, commonly seen in barns in North America, is a close cousin of the mansard. Both mansard and gambrel roofs fall under the general classification of “curb roofs” (a pitched roof that slopes away from the ridge in two successive planes).However, the mansard is a curb hip roof, with slopes on all sides of the building, and the gambrel is a curb gable roof, with slopes on only two sides. (The curb is a horizontal heavy timber directly under the intersection of the two roof surfaces.)

In France and Germany, no distinction is made between gambrels and mansards – they are both called “mansards”. In the French language, mansarde can be a term for the style of roof, or for the garret living space, or attic, directly within it.

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About DW

New Orleans resident, writer, activist. Public market consultant.

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