St. Louis between Chartres and Royal Streets
"This magnificent edifice, which is one of the greatest ornaments of the city, fronts on three streets--Chartres, St. Louis, and Royal. The building being intended by the projectors to answer several purposes; as being required to combine the conveniences of a City Exchange, a hotel, a bank, large ball rooms, and likewise private stores.
The building occupies a front of about 300 feet on St. Louis-street, by 120 feet each, on Royal and Chartres. The principal facade on St. Louis street, may be generally described as being composed of the Tuscan and Doric orders. The main entrance to the Exchange, is formed by six columns of the composite Doric order. Through this portico you enter into the vestibule of the Exchange, a handsome, though simple hall, 127 feet long by 40 in width. This room is used for general business, and is constantly open during waking hours. You pass through it into one of the most beautiful rotundas in America, which is devoted exclusively to business, and is open only from noon to three o'clock, P.M. This fine room is surrounded by arcades and galleries always open to the public, (Sundays excepted,) and its general effect cannot fail to impress the visitor. By a side entrance on St. Louis-street, access is had to the second story, the front of which on this street is occupied by a suite of ball rooms and their dependencies. The great ball room is magnificent in its size and decorations. The painted ceiling particularly is of beauty unsurpassed in America.
The building includes within its walls, an hotel for families, calculated to accommodate 200 persons, at the corner of Royal-street, the Exchange Ball Rooms, &tc., as also the Improvement Bank at the corner of Chartres-street, stores, public baths and other establishments.
The dreadful conflagration, by which the greater part of this noble edifice was destroyed, nearly two years ago, has but chastened and improved its beauty. It is now completely finished, and the last sounds of the architect's hammer have but recently died away. The rotunda is a more faultless creation than the first one. It surpassed every thing of the kind in the United States, if not in Europe. The dome is most beautifully laid off in compartments, within which the magic pencils of Canova and Pinoli have portrayed allegorical scenes and the busts of eminent Americans, in rich fresco--a style of painting comparatively new in the United States. From the lofty sky-light at the apex of the dome, the beams of the sun, through stained yellow glass, fall in mellow and dreamy softness upon the Mosaic pavement below. The floors of the gallery which engirds the rotunda, and the stairs leading to them, are iron.
The dwelling part of La Bourse, or the City Exchange, has been vastly improved. the entrance from Royal-street is lordly, and conducts to the landing of a noble flight of circular stairs, winding up gracefully to the top of the wing devoted to family purposes.
Col. Edward Milford, formerly of the New York American, is the lessee of this fashionable and luxurious establishment. The charges are two dollars per day in the ladies' ordinary; by the week fifteen dollars in the gentlemen's ordinary, and seventeen dollars and fifty cents in the family ordinary.
These are the general rate of charges in all the great hotels in the city of New Orleans."
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