Bayou Structures // Notable Architecture

As you travel through the Bayou Region you will likely see a lot of unique architecture you may have not seen anywhere else. These are several characteristics that you will notice all across the region at plantations, hotels and local businesses.

French doors are one of the most common architectural features in the Bayou Region. Originally, French doors were used on plantation homes in order to allow the breeze to blow through the house on hot summer days. Today, it is very common to see these types of doors on homes and businesses, but they are mainly used because they are reminiscent of traditional southern architecture.

Shutters can be found on many building in coastal regions, including the Bayou Region. These shutters are used to protect windows when hurricanes hit. Even though shutters were originally used for protective purposes, today they are also used for aesthetic reasons. Many homes in this region have shutters for their functionality and for their traditional looks.

Many of the houses and plantations you see will be raised off the ground. They are raised because the Bayou Region is prone to flooding and by raising the living quarters off the ground they are less likely to be affected by the rising waters during a storm. The amount the building is raised can vary from one foot up to several feet.

Large porches can be seen all across the region. These porches can sometimes even wrap around the entire building. These large porches were used for socialization and still are today. With large overhangs over the porch, this was a perfect area for people to relax and still stay relatively cool in the southern heat.

Mainly seen at plantations, large outside staircases were used to move between the upper-level living quarters to the lower level where people typically worked and cooked.

You will see columns on a lot of buildings in the Bayou Region. This style of architecture is reminiscent of Grecian architecture. Columns on homes where an indication of a person’s status. The bigger and more pronounces the columns, the higher that homeowners status within the community. Today, columns are mainly used for aesthetic purposes only.

Ironwork is a very common decorative element that is on the outside of many buildings in the Bayou Region. The ironwork you see in the region is a mix of Spanish and Caribbean architectural design. You can see these designs in many different facets including fences, balconies, and awnings.