A Beautiful Evil by Kelly Keaton: NOLA landmarks

Simons and Schuster was kind enough to share this map they made of the French Quarter in New Orleans, where much of Kelly Keaton’s Darkness Becomes Her and A Beautiful Evil take place. Click on it to see the full-sized version. Below, we’ve got more in-depth info on the landmarks.

Jackson Square: Originally called Place d’Armes, Jackson Square was renamed in 1815 after Andrew Jackson, who was a general during the battle of New Orleans (not yet president). It has a gory past. It was once a popular place for public executions, particularly those of disobedient slaves. Today, it’s a favorite tourist site and hosts live street bands, tarot card readers, artists and other performers. It contains a number of shops, as well as St. Louis Cathedral, the Cabildo, the Presbytère and the Pontalba Apartments.

St. Louis Cathedral: Open since 1718, it’s been rebuilt several times. The most recent incarnation was completed in 1850 and little of the original structure remains. It survived a 1909 dynamite explosion, hurricanes, and damaging winds that tore a hole in the roof and damaged the pipe organ. Today it still operates as a Catholic church, but is open to tourists when masses are not being held.

The Cabildo: Currently the home of the Louisiana State Museum, the Cabildo was home of the Spanish municipal government in the 18th century. By 1895 it was in bad shape and slated for demolition, but was saved and restored. The third floor was destroyed by fire in 1988, but restored again and reopened in 1994. It was relatively unharmed by Hurricane Katrina.

The Presbytère: The building was constructed on the site of the residence (or presbytère) of Capuchin monks, though none ever lived in the Presbytère. It was a commercial building, and later used by the Louisiana Supreme Court. In 1911, it became part of the Louisiana State Museum.

Pontalba Apartments: These block-long buildings face each other on two side of Jackson Square. They were built in the 1840s by the colorful Baroness Micaela Almonester Pontalba. They are allegedly the oldest, continuously rented apartments in the United States. Today, the bottom floors house shops, while the upper floors are still apartments.

Lafayette Cemetery: Established in 1833 in the Garden District, the cemetery has always been nonsegregated. Unfortunately, it is the final resting place of many who fell victim to wars, yellow fever and unsanitary conditions. It is often described as a “city of the dead” because of the above-ground mausoleums. The high water table makes underground burial impossible.

Saenger Theatre: Although there are several Saenger Theatres in the South, the one in New Orleans (and A Beautiful Evil) opened on Canal Street in 1927. It suffered significant damage during Hurricane Katrina, but because it was in the middle of a renovation, the carpet and seats, as well as part of the marquee, had been removed. It was supposed to reopen in fall 2011, but has been delayed until spring 2013.

The French Market: Open since 1791, the market began as a Native American trading post. Today, both open-air and traditional shops line Decatur Street, selling everything from jewelry and Mardi Gras masks to pralines, coffee and seafood. Cafe du Monde is located within the market.

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