April 24, 2007

Nicolas Cage buys house in New Orleans' French Quarter for $3,450,000

Actor Nicolas Cage has continued his pattern of quietly buying historically significant properties all around the country, recently (and quietly) paying $3,450,000 for a well-known mansion in New Orleans' French Quarter.

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In a Big Time Listings exclusive, we can report that Cage purchased the mansion through his Hancock Park Real Estate Company LLC, according to public records.

Known as the Lalaurie house, the three-story Creole mansion, at 1140 Royal Street in New Orleans, long has had a reputation for being haunted. Built in 1832 for Dr. Louis Lalaurie and his sadistic wife, Delphine, the mansion was known in its early years for having been the site of terrible cruelty toward slaves by the Lalaurie family, who fled and never were charged. Since that time, the French Empire mansion, which is not open to the public, has been considered to be the most famous haunted house in New Orleans, and the lore surrounding Mme. Lalaurie's atrocities has become one of the most well-known of the scary stories emanating from the French Quarter.

Wikipedia has an excellent chronology of the various owners of the mansion over the years (but does not mention of Cage). The mansion later served as a public high school, a conservatory of music, a tenement, a refuge for young delinquents, a bar, a furniture store, and a luxury apartment building.

Now, Cage has added this property to his stable, although it's unclear what he plans to do with it. We have written often of Cage's many properties, being the first to write about his purchases in San Francisco and Las Vegas (http://www.bergproperties.com/blog/nicolas-cage-buys-new-mansion-in-las-vegas/158/celebrities), and like everyone else, noting his $35 million listing in Los Angeles' Bel-Air neighborhood.

And, we should note that this isn't the first property that Cage has purchased in New Orleans. Cage also owns a house at 2523 Prytania Street in the Big Easy's Garden District, which he bought in June 2005 for $3,450,000 through his Hancock Park Real Estate Company, according to public records. That house, which once was an active Catholic chapel and which is known as Our Mother of Perpetual Help Chapel, once was owned by author Anne Rice. She sold it to antiques dealer Buzz Harper, who then sold it to Cage. As such, that house also has been known as the Harper-Wisinger home.

Interestingly, both the Lalaurie house and the Harper-Wisinger home were purchased with zero fanfare and virtually no news media or blog coverage whatsoever. Clearly, Cage is successful at anonymity when buying well-known properties.

One final note: the Lalaurie mansion is at the corner of Royal Street and Governor Nicholls Street in the French Quarter. If that second street name sounds familiar, that's because on Jan. 2, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie purchased their own 1830s mansion at 521 Governor Nicholls Street, which is less than two blocks away from Cage's newly purchased mansion. Back in January, we wrote about the Pitt/Jolie mansion here.

Unquestionably, the French Quarter is getting more and more star-studded all the time.

Posted in Hollywood Stars
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