The Cabildo is an essential building to New Orleans History ever since it was erected during the years of Spanish Rule.
The Cabildo is located at Jackson Square along with other famous historical buildings. Its connection to important periods of New Orleans and Louisiana History makes it an important site for tourists to visit during their stay.
Up until the building was became a Museum around 1908 the building served many municipal roles including periods as the City Hall, A court house, and as a prison.
One of the most significant things to happen in the Cabildo was the signing of the transfer papers for the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. History buffs will be interested in seeing where this occurred because without this large land purchase under Thomas Jefferson, the USA would be a very different place than it became after the purchase was completed.
Those who find law history interesting may be interested to know that a couple of landmark cases were heard in the Cabildo when the State Supreme Court was housed here. The Slaughterhouse cases discussed the affect the 14th amendment had on state actions regarding privileges and immunities. Plessy v. Fergusson settled the matter regarding racial segregation and the concept of “separate but equal” doctrine in schools and other government facilitated operations.
The same year that the Cabildo was transferred into the hands of the Louisiana State Museums in 1988 it suffered an extensive fire. After the building was authentically reconstructed using the 600 year old French timber framing technology, it was opened in 1994.
The museum contains a comprehensive exhibit that explains why and how the Cabildo was constructed, the changes it saw as it passed from Spanish to American governments, and the changes it endured during reconstruction periods.
Admission tickets are very reasonably priced at $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, students and active military, and free for kids 12 years of age and under. School groups that arrange reservations are also free. When you reserve 2 or more tickets you receive a 20% discount. If you have a AAA card, you can receive a 10% discount.
The hours the Cabildo is open to visitors are 10-4:30 Tuesday-Sunday. They are closed every Monday and for all state Holidays, including Mardi Gras Day. The Cabildo is accessible for wheelchairs. If other accommodations are needed for disability, contact their offices to make arrangements.