This magnificent columned mansion is architecturally unique in that it was built in two periods: Antebellum and High Victorian. The second and third floors were built in 1850 by George Washington Squires. Then in 1884 William Renaud's family, who enjoyed lavish parties, had the entire house elevated to accommodate a grand floor for entertaining, complete with a splendid ballroom and sumptuous parlors. It is an outstanding example of the architecture and woodwork of the two periods with a center hall that showcases an enormous mirror that was added by the Simon Hernsheim Company when they owned the house in the 1890's. Since they were tobacco millionaires they embellished the mirror with an intricate border of tobacco leaves. Also the original gasolier hangs in the hall complete with its gas pole and turns on each arm that would be able to adjust the flow of gas. The Mystic ballroom features ornate chandeliers, mirrors and fireplaces and is still the site of many lavish weddings and parties
The House of Broel is open for tours by appointment. The tours are guided and include the history of the house, the dollhouse museum and the fashion museum.
The cost is $20 adults and $10 for children. Please call 504-494-2220 for your guided tour
Ms. Bonnie Broel wrote an inspirational book entitled "HOUSE OF BROEL, The Inside Story" in which she shares many of her amazing life discoveries through tales of her noble family, (which includes the story of her father's frog farm) and her life in fashion and her historic New Orleans Garden District home.
"When Alyssa & I went to visit Miss Bonnie Broel's famous dollhouses, I didn't realize the fascination that would follow into other areas. She signed a copy of her book for me and we left with that and some candles she had and a picture of us with her. A year later I began to read the book. Assuming it would be a biographical read, I saved it for a time when I could read a chapter or two at a time figuring I would move on to other things in between. As I began to read it, I couldn't put it down. It draws you in like a fantastically written fictional work yet it is her history! Beginning in Russia with her dad in the Russian Empire and traveling through Frog Farming, Fashion, Dollhouses, and the House of Broel itself. It is quite a New Orleans tale and it made me admire her all the more…
Reading her book I am wide eyed and drawn in like a child entering a story book and becoming the character.
Thank you Bonnie once again. For your words, your dollhouses, your book, your fashion and your heart. You are a muse to so many."
Deanna D. Duke
Copies of this book are available for $24.95 (plus $5.05 shipping and handling) per book. Checks can be made payable to The House of Broel Foundation and sent to 2220 St. Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130.
To order by phone or with a credit card