Buckner Mansion Garden District
When the Garden District was its own town of Lafayette, Jackson Avenue was the grand main street. And at 1410 Jackson, the grandest occupant of that street stands the Buckner Mansion.
Henry Sullivan Buckner owned plantations, warehouses and ships. All his money made his other money more money. He had the 12 bedroom, 20,000 square foot palace constructed in 1856.
The house features double decker Greek Revival columns – Ionic on the bottom level, Corinthian at the top. The idea is that as the eye moves up, the house gets more and more majestic.
In addition to the intimidating face of the house, walking around to the back reveals a long extension of two story slave quarters.
Buckner passed in 1895, and the family finally sold the property in 1923. At this time, the slave quarters became dorm rooms as the place became Soule Business College. The school, started by George Soule, had been downtown since before the Civil War. Soule taught typing, shorthand, secretarial services and bookkeeping. Two of its notable alumni are Mayor Robert Maestri and the singin’ Governor Jimmie Davis. Davis wrote the song You Are My Sunshine. “Sunshine” was his horse. There is a bit of poetry in tiles still at the front gate – “From education as the leading cause, the public character its color draws.” The school closed its doors in 1983.
Today the house is privately owned and well cared for. It has become a popular venue for film and television shows. The Estate with Toni Collette; Abraham Lincoln – Vampire Killer and a ton more.
But its actual popularity as a must-get photo was when it appeared in the third season of American Horror Story – Coven. It was Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies, a boarding school for young witches where they are taught how to use their powers. One memorable scene has Stevie Nicks running down the marble stairs from the front door through the stunning columns. Every day you can watch carloads of goth folks unloading to get their portrait before the storied building.