Based in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans, near the boundary of St. Bernard Parish and south of the French Quarter, sits Jackson Barracks. You may not be familiar with the name, you have undoubtedly seen the barracks, both inside and out, if you’re a fan of Anne Rice. That’s because the interior and exterior were used for many scenes in her movie, Interview with the Vampire.
Jackson Barracks, a military base, was established in 1834. It was originally named the New Orleans Barracks, but was later renamed Jackson Barracks in 1866, in honor of Andrew Jackson. Jackson was the first supporter of a military base being open in the New Orleans’ area.
Throughout the years, Jackson Barracks has served as the headquarters for the Louisiana National Guard and even had an extensive military museum on the same grounds. If you were lucky enough to have visited the museum before 2005, you saw a large collection of military items dating back from every American War. The museum also displayed old powder magazines and a new annex.
When Hurricane Katrina hit in August of 2005, however, Jackson Barracks found itself submerged in more than ten feet of water. Flooding was due to the levee failure and was so sever that the waters did not recede for a period of three weeks. When the barracks were finally accessible, the damage was extensive; over forty-five structures were damaged, totaling millions of dollars worth of damage.
Today you’ll find Jackson Barracks, listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1976, under construction. The hope, however, is for the barracks to once again open its doors and house the Louisiana National Guard.