This 10 room Italianate mansion at 402 N. 3rd Street is one of the finest early victorian properties in the City of Louisiana. It is located one block west of the bluff overlooking the Mississippi River in a section of the ‘old town’ which contains most of Louisiana’s antebellum mansions. North Main Street and North 3rd Street are being declared a historic district by the City of Louisiana and with the assistance of a grant form the State Historic Preservation Office a nomination for the historic district is being composed for its inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. Placement in the National Register will make the Bralley Mansion and most other properties in the district eligible for state historic tax credits.
The Bralley Mansion has been unoccupied for approximately 40 years and is in a very dilapidated condition. It was built in 1871 by Dr. George L. Bralley and is remarkable because its original design has never been altered. The mansion contains a magnificent staircase and center hall with equally fine original casework throughout. Although sections of the massive cornice have fallen, they have been retrieved and stored. The structural elements of the mansion appear to be sound and there is no doubt that the property can be restored.
The Louisiana Historic Preservation Association has led a campaign against the owners of dilapidated structures within the city. This campaign has resulted in the city taking the owners of such properties to court and the imposition of very significant fines. Property owners have been given one month to bring their properties up to code or face additional fines.
Many of these unoccupied homes were constructed in the 1850’s and 1860s and can be restored. The City of Louisiana has encourages the owners of these ‘dangerous buildings’ to place them on the market with the assurance that the LHPA will assist in identifying a buyer who will restore them. Should they fail to find buyers, these historic properties will almost certainly be demolished. The LPHA hopes that listing the Bralley House will assist them in finding preservation-minded owners for all of Louisiana’s endangered structures.