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New Orleans Garadette-Laprete House- a little extra history!

Updated on July 16, 2013


In New Orleans we have a tradition called "Lagniappe-" it means throwing a little something unexpected in for free. That's what this page is- most people will be mostly interested in the more famous events at the house, but I thought this was interesting, too!

John McCrady WWII poster
John McCrady WWII poster

Garadette-lePrete was part of the war effort

By the time of the Great Depression, Mrs. J.C.Edwards had purchased the house, made some repairs and rented the bottom floors to the WPA, which ran an art school there as well as their "poster art unit," which created some of the famous WWII propaganda posters.

One of their artists in residence was John McCrady, who did a little of everything, including painting the piece below, called "I Can't Sleep."

He wrote to a friend:

"I am cutting the building in two, showing the life inside as well as out. It's an interesting old place with patios and balconies. I'm showing myself on the ground floor, sitting up in bed with my hands over my ears trying to shut out the noise coming from a big party on the second floor. One of those parties given by Med. students. On the top attic floor a woman walks a bawling brat while her husband snores. Outside, the moon, stars, chimneys, smoke, etc. Sounds like too much stuff for one picture, but I think I have it fixed so I can handle it all."

The house looks like it could well be The Sultan's Palace, doesn't it? The painting is now in Augusta's Morris Museum, which specializes in southern artists.

John McCrady's "I can't sleep"

Curved balcony of the house across the street, as shown in "The Parade."
Curved balcony of the house across the street, as shown in "The Parade."

"The Parade"

In case there was any doubt that the house he was painting was Garadette- Le Prete, his painting "The Parade" should confirm things.

Using the same cutaway view, the art studios are upstairs and the shorter top floor is clearly seen. Outside, a parade float passes by and the house across the street still has the same balcony today.

McCrady was raised in the country, and it seems safe to say he missed the quiet there, although when the WPA closed the operation there, he and his wife opened an art school on Bourbon Street which they ran until his death.

"The Parade" is on display in New Orleans' own Ogden Museum of Southern Art.

"The Parade"
"The Parade"

Did you miss the "Haunted" part of the "Haunted History?"

The original post with the story of the Sultan and his untimely demise can be found here:


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