History of the Grand Victorian
While riding the Streetcar up and down St. Charles Avenue, tourists and residents of New Orleans can’t help but admire the mansions embodying Greek Revivial, Colonial, and Victorian styles. Sitting at the St. Charles/Washington stop is the Grand Victorian Bed and Breakfast. But before Bonnie Rabe, the proprietor, transformed this southern mansion into a B&B in 1998, this 117-year-old home tells many stories about its magnificent city of New Orleans.
Thomas Sully was a famous New Orleans architect during the turn of the twentieth century who designed about thirty-five houses along St. Charles and New Orlean’s first skyscraper, the Hennen Building. In 1893, he built this Queen-Anne style home for Frances Johnson. Johnson owned and operated the former local mortuary, F. Johnson and Sons. Bonnie jokes that luckily for the guests at the Grand Victorian, Johnson’s clientele never followed him home to haunt the mansion.
The house stood empty for a decade before Bonnie Rabe purchased it and began renovations to turn this three-story house into a bed and breakfast. By October 1998, Bonnie opened her doors to a wedding party who reserved the whole house and she has been welcoming guests ever since. Guests have said “The B&B was delightful, Bonnie a treasure, and the location was PERFECT!” and “We had a wonderful time at the Grand Victorian! The innkeeper, Bonnie, gave us great suggestions for dining and fun! It’s wonderful to see such a fabulous building preserved and shared.” Conveniently located in the Garden District, Bonnie looks forward to accommodating guests to feel like the New Orleans mansion is their home. She loves to share her knowledge to make sure each guest experiences the best New Orleans has to offer.
The Grand Victorian invites guests of the inn and guests of New Orleans to follow its new blog about this unique city. From Saints updates to Po-Boy Festivals, there’s always a reason to visit the Crescent City and you always have a home at the Grand Victorian.
Join us this weekend as we support literacy in New Orleans at the “Beds to Read Inn” Holiday Home tour. It’s on Sunday, December 5th and is sponsored by the Professional Innkeepers Association of New Orleans to benefit the Literacy Alliance of Greater New Orleans. The tour starts at 2023 Esplanade Avenue and features 4 PIANO member properties along the Esplanade Ridge between 2-6 pm. Cost of the tour is $20 per person.