The fascinating history of Latrobe’s on Royal

We’re super excited to host this year’s IRDC Party, slated for Thursday evening, Sept. 7, at one of New Orleans’ oldest and most architecturally significant buildings, Latrobe’s on Royal. It’s an easy walk from The Ritz-Carlton, the conference hotel, to this historic space, completed in 1822 as the Louisiana State Bank, and named for its British-born architect, Benjamin Henry Latrobe.

Known as the first uniquely “American” architect, and credited with popularizing the Greek Revival style in American building, Latrobe had already garnered attention for his work on the central portions of the U.S. Capitol, the porticos of the White House and the Baltimore Basilica when he began work on the Louisiana State Bank. As you explore the space, you’ll recognize signature elements such as an oval office for the bank president, a “whisper dome” a la that of the Capitol rotunda, and a ground-floor vault, which is part of the well-preserved event space today.

Also an accomplished civil engineer, Latrobe died of yellow fever in 1820 while developing a waterworks system designed to combat the outbreak.