The Baroness ♀️

Micaela Almonester, Baroness de Pontalba

In 2018 I attended a walking tour around New Orleans. The tour guide, Todd, gave a great story of the Spanish Baroness responsible for building twin buildings, now used as apartments, in the French Quarter area. Currently these apartments rent for a measly $4,000-$5,000 a month. This is a three story building with wrought Spanish iron with her initials in the flourishes lining the balconies. The ground floor is all store front (in 2018).

Back in the day, the Catholic church said it would be an affront to their God if any buildings were built taller than the church. Much of the architecture at that time was one or two levels. So the Baroness came in like the bad ass that she was, and she built two buildings taller than the church! And because she had money on top of money, there was nothing the church could do about it. So the church’s response to her defiance was to build onto the church to once again make it the tallest building in the city. They then issued a decree banning any buildings taller than the church. The Baroness later married a Frenchman who whisked her away to France for the rest of her days. She had to endure her in-laws that she disliked and who had an equal dislike for her. So much in fact that her father in law tried killing her in her new home at gun point. In her defense she held up her hands and the father in law shot off a few fingers and she took a few hits to the chest. And she survived! Overcome with guilt, the father in law committed suicide and the Baroness lived out the rest of her days.

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