Located in heart of the French Quarter of New Orleans, Hermann-Grima House has stood still as an iconic building for the past century. Built in 1831, this Federal-style mansion now operates as a museum, offering a glimpse into the affluent lifestyle of 19th-century New Orleans. But beyond its historical significance, the Hermann-Grima House is also known for its spectral residents, adding a layer of intrigue to this architectural gem
Designed and built by William Brand, the Hermann-Grima House showcases the Federal or Georgian style, which was unusual for early 19th-century New Orleans. Its symmetrical facade, ornate doorway, and wide central hall are complemented by balconies and galleries characteristic of French Louisiana architecture.
The house originally belonged to the Hermann family, who purchased the lot on St. Louis Street in 1831. However, following the crash of the English cotton market in 1837, the Hermann family lost their fortune and sold the home in 1844 to Felix Grima, a prominent judge and scholar in New Orleans.
The Grimas family, a cultured and well-read household, moved into the house not long later. The family—consisting of Fleix, his wife Adelaide, and their 9 children—were well known within the community for their love for the fine arts and books.
The Grimas family spent the next few decades living in the house till the 1920s when they moved out of the community. In 1924, the Hermann-Grima House was sold to the Christian Woman’s Exchange. The Association ran the house as a boarding home and ensured the preservation of the house.
In 1971, the mansion was officially declared as a National Historic Landmark. Four years later in 1975, the place was restored and reopened as a museum.
Today, the Woman’s Exchange operates both the Hermann-Grima House and its sister house, the Gallier House, in the French Quarter. Every year, tens of thousands of tourists visits the museums for its history as well as the unexplained events that have occurred within its walls.
Despite its tranquil appearance, the Hermann-Grima House has garnered a reputation for ghostly occurrences. Visitors and staff have reported sightings of a couple dressed in 19th-century attire, later discovered to be spirits who have resided in the house for over 150 years.
The ghosts of the house are said to be friendly, with some leaving scents of roses and lavender – the favorite fragrances of Mrs. Hermann and Mrs. Grima. These spirits are known to light fireplaces to warm rooms on cold mornings, contributing to the house’s welcoming atmosphere.
However, there have also been reports of less friendly ghostly activities, particularly from the spirits of Union soldiers who occupied the house during the Civil War, with their presence most felt in the wine cellar and on the grand staircase
Visiting the Hermann-Grima House
Looking to visit the museum, here are what you need to know!
The museum is located at 820 St. Louis Street, New Orleans, LA 70112
The tickets for the museum are priced at $17.00 for one museum, $25.00 for both museums. Discounts are available for military, senior citizens, students, and children. Children under 8 are admitted for free.
All admissions includes a guided tour with a museum docent.
The museums are open 6 days a week from 10 am to 4 pm; it is closed on Tuesdays. It is encouraged to check their social media for last-minute closures.
The Hermann-Grima House is open on New Year’s Eve but closed on several holidays, including New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr Day, Mardi Gras period, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day
Tours are offered on specific time of the day: 10 am, 11 am, 1 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm (no 12 pm tours).
Parking and Transportation
No onsite parking is available at both Hermann-Grima House and the Gallier House. Street parking is limited and regulated in the French Quarter.
Note that guided tours are mandatory. This is to allow visitors to get a deep understanding of the museum. Also, cameras without tripods or flashes are permitted, but video or audio recordings are not.
For the latest information and to make reservations, visit the official website of the Hermann-Grima House or phone them at 504-274-0750.