The Garden District: A Tour Of Its Most Famous Columns

Doric columns on a mansion in the Garden District of New Orleans

Get To Know Your Columns


Doric Columns Of The Garden District

The Garden District of New Orleans is famous for its stately mansions, large shade trees, and some of the most beautiful homes in the city. No visit to New Orleans is complete without taking the green St Charles Streetcar to explore this historic neighborhood. As you walk around the shady sidewalks, astound your friends by pointing out the different architectural features of these homes.

Doric The Original GOAT

The Doric column is the first column the Ancient Greeks designed. It is a simple column that is thick, giving the columns a sturdy appearance. The Doric columns changed architecture and building styles during the early Greek period.

As architecture and building techniques improved, so did the columns, with later columns becoming more ornate. Doric columns faded in popularity with the public in favor of the more elaborate and thinner Ionic and Corinthian columns. Doric columns remained popular with banks and churches as the columns represented strength and security.

The 18th century saw the Classical Revival become all the rage of architecture. This new love of all things Greek allowed the Doric column to once again have its moment in the sun. Doric columns are one of the most popular columns seen in the Garden District.

So let’s jump into the Doric column so you can be an influencer on social media. Your Instagram will amaze your followers as you walk through this beautiful neighborhood.



Doric columns in the Garden District
Doric columns on a Garden District mansion

How To Spot A Doric Column In The Wild

The straightforward design of the Doric column makes it easy to spot once you see the pieces and parts. Columns have 3 major parts:

base, shaft, and capital

The Doric column is unique in that in Ancient Greece, the Doric column sat directly on the floor without a base. This gives the Doric a simple yet sturdy visual which is why it is so popular with government buildings, banks, and houses of worship.

Doric columns can be round or square, with round being “classical” and square “modern”. The Doric column is also classically thickest of all the columns. This thickness makes it another reason we consider the Doric the most secure and sturdy of the columns. The classical use was to place the Doric column on the ground floor for stability while using the thinner, more ornate columns for the upper floors.

The other major feature of the Doric column is the plain capital. When you look at the top of the column, you see it is lacking in decoration, giving the column its more basic design. The Italians would, later on, put a ring on it, to show that they weren’t copying the Greeks.

Doric columns in the Garden District of New Orleans
Doric column on the gallery of a Garden District mansion

Doric Column Features

  • No base or pedestal at the bottom. Placed directly on the floor or ground level.
  • A shaft that is thick, sometimes wider at the base than the top.Lack of decoration or a simple ring on the capital/top of the column. Favored by banks, government buildings, and churches/religious buildings.
Doric column of the Garden District labeled

Wrapping It Up

The Doric column’s basic design lends a nobility to the simplicity. Doric columns were first to the Greek architectural party, and they have remained a testament to the brilliance of the people of antiquity.

When you visit New Orleans, do not leave out this unique neighborhood to enjoy the beautiful architecture and colorful homes of the Garden District. Your Instagram account will be shared/go viral when you post these columns to your social media account.


Want a tour of the Garden District with Historian Jane?

Book now to learn more about the houses and the people behind them as well as a stop by the Lafayette #1 above-ground cemetery.

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