This fancy New Orleans public library was once a private mansion

There are public libraries and then there's the Milton H. Latter Memorial Library in New Orleans. This converted Italianate–beaux arts estate is set among other mansions, private ones, on the city's historic St. Charles Avenue.

Not too shabby, eh? photo by Rusty Blazenhoff

Delightfully it houses many of its original furnishings, including decor imported in the early 1900s like "Czechoslovakian chandeliers, South American mahogany paneling, and Dutch murals." First floor formal rooms are now reading rooms. Books are tastefully placed next to art and antiques on both floors.

Now this is a reading room. Photo by Rusty Blazenhoff shares a little of its story:

Built in 1907 as the private mansion of a prominent Canal Street merchant, it was later called home by aviation pioneer, Harry Williams, and his wife, silent film star Marguerite Clark…The house was later purchased by the Latter family, and then given to the city in 1948 to be used as a library, in memory of their son who was killed in WWII.

More on that here: Latter Library has its own story to tell, and it starts with an aviator and a movie star

Look for the stone book-shaped sign. photo by Rusty Blazenhoff

Thanks to my local friends, Tom and Cheryl Roche, I got to see it for myself. It's just a quick hop off the St. Charles streetcar at 5120 St. Charles Street. If you're ever in town, it's worth checking out (pun 1000% intended).