JULIA STREET:

Broken glass tops a wall surrounding a house on Barracks Street.

Dear Julia and Poydras:
Five years ago, when I first visited New Orleans, I went on a tour and the tour guide told us that the reason for the broken glass and spikes on French Quarter home walls were to keep out suitors of the daughters who lived there. My friend just went on a tour and she was told that the reason was to keep the soldiers out during The War so they wouldn’t rob the homes. Which story is right?
Dee Sweeney
New Orleans


While both explanations may sound plausible, I’m afraid that such extreme decorative measures are not unique to the French Quarter and are simply attempts to discourage both criminals and the curious from scaling walls and gates. Broken glass and metal spikes serve the same purpose as barbed wire or razor wire but don’t inspire such interesting explanations.     

Dear Julia,
Is it true that Christ Church Cathedral was once located on Canal Street? If my question is too hard for you, ask Poydras for help. Any other information about this beautiful church will be appreciated.
Kelley Harrington
Metairie

Kelley, the only topic that I ever defer to Poydras is bar closing hours.
Your question isn’t particularly difficult but it’s tricky. No, it’s not true that Christ Church Cathedral was located on Canal Street. The three Christ Church buildings that preceded the present Christ Church Cathedral were located on Canal Street but none of them was a cathedral. The church didn’t become the diocesan cathedral until after the congregation moved to St. Charles Avenue. 

Christ Church’s first church was consecrated in April 1816. Henry Boneval Latrobe, son of famed architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe, designed the octagonal place of worship that stood on the river side of Canal Street at the corner of Bourbon Street.  
By the 1830s, the congregation had grown to such an extent that a larger church was needed. Architects James Gallier, Sr. and James Dakin designed the second Christ Church, which stood at the same location as the church it replaced. The second church, which resembled a Greek temple, opened in 1837.

The Rev. Dr. Francis Lister Hawks became Christ Church’s rector in 1845 and expressed a desire that his congregation should have a more traditional-looking church. Aided by philanthropist Judah Touro, Hawks obtained property on the lake corner of Canal and Dauphine streets and had the third Christ Church built at that location. Although the third Christ Church is often attributed to architect James Gallier, Sr., it was Thomas K. Wharton who executed the original building designs. Soon after producing the church designs, Wharton joined Gallier’s architectural firm, which had been awarded the church’s construction contract.

Consecrated in 1847, the third Christ Church was demolished in the 1880s.  By that time, real estate values had risen substantially along Canal Street.  It was a seller’s market and the financially-strapped congregation decided to sell. The site where Christ Church’s last Canal Street church stood, once the Maison-Blanche department store, is now the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

Dear Julia,
Whatever happened to former  Lt. Gov. James Fitzmorris ?
When I was in New Orleans, he was running for governor. I came out of Pat O’Brien’s and climbed a post to get a poster with his picture on it. I still have it. Thanks,
Mike Fitzmorris
Memphis, Tenn.

Former Lt. Governor Jimmy Fitzmorris lives in Uptown New Orleans though he spends many weekends with his daughter’s family on the Northshore.

Fitzmorris had two unsuccessful mayoral bids. His first attempt was in 1965, which he lost to incumbent Vic Schiro. Fitzmorris tried again in the 1969 mayoral election, leading the Democratic primary but losing the runoff to the man who would become the city’s next mayor, Maurice “Moon” Landrieu. He served as Lt. Governor for two terms, 1972-80 before losing a closely contested race for governor.

Dear Julia,
Why does Rex always make the first move to pay respects to Comus during the Meeting of the Courts? If Rex is King of Carnival, doesn’t that mean he outranks Comus?
Judy Rain
Mandeville

The men who devised local Carnival protocol were very well-versed in mythology, literature, heraldry and courtly behavior.  Rex is a mortal, but long-lived, ruler whereas Comus is a god. Therefore Comus outranks Rex. The Comus organization (founded in 1857) is also senior to Rex by 15 years.   

Dear Julia,
Where was Manila Village?  Can you tell me anything about it?  
Virginia Caprice
Houma

Manila Village, abandoned since Hurricane Betsy,  was a settlement built atop a shrimp-processing platform on the West Bank. It was located approximately 20 miles southeast of Lafitte. The Quong Sun Company founded Manila Village in 1873 for the purpose of drying shrimp for export to China. Shrimp would first be boiled in salt water before being spread an open-air platform to dry in the sun.

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