Creole Vernacular Architecture

Although no one knows which master builder designed the historic home at the French Legation Museum, scholar Kenneth Hafertepe attributes the design to Thomas William Ward. Before moving to Texas, Ward built houses in Louisiana. Louisiana’s Creole or bayou vernacular style strongly influenced Ward’s design choices. Ward constructed the Texas capitol at Houston in 1837. That building, although no longer standing, strongly resembled the Legation house, both of which exhibit Creole vernacular elements. At the Legation, these characteristics include a gallery porch finished with baseboards like an interior room, batten interior and exterior doors, wrap around fireplace mantel pieces, and the hip roof, to name a few.