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New Orleans Trivia

Was there a famous Old Spanish stables?


Hey Blake,

  I saw a JAX beer memento with an engraving of the "Old Spanish Stables" in a courtyard. Was there a famous Spanish stables?


Dear Sam,

  The Old Spanish Stables are no longer stables and were never really Spanish. They can be found at 716-724 Gov. Nicholls St. A historical plate affixed to one of the three brick buildings says this street was once named Calle de Hospital when New Orleans was the capital of the Spanish province of Louisiana. The buildings surround an open courtyard.

  Ownership has been transferred more than 15 times since 1804. In 1834, Judge Gallien Preval acquired the property and built a commercial livery stable on the first floor and living quarters on the second floor. It became known as the Spanish Stables despite the fact that New Orleans was not under Spanish control at that time. In 1962 the property was purchased by French Quarter preservationist and businessman Clay Shaw, who later stood trial for allegedly conspiring to assassinate President John F. Kennedy. A jury acquitted him in 1969. Clay converted the buildings into 12 luxury apartments. He died of lung cancer in 1974.

  The new owners of the property have decided to convert the apartments into upscale condominiums. The property is currently under construction, but so far the courtyard and carriage arches from the stables remain.

  The property that once housed the old Spanish Stables on Governor Nicholls Street is being renovated, but the arches of the carriage house in the back of the courtyard remain.

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