The Jean Baptiste Lang House is one of just a few "Anglo-Creole” structures left standing in Old Mandeville. It was completed in 1852 by Jean Baptiste Lang, a successful Belgian tobacco merchant. This home, like many along "Lake Street,” (presently Lakeshore Drive) was a reflection of the wealth generated from the antebellum economy of New Orleans. The elite built summer homes, or camps, in Mandeville to escape the busy streets of the city. Therefore as New Orleans thrived, Mandeville thrived.
These camps were similar in plan and scale, with a range of three rooms across the front or south side, mirror image "cabinets” situated in the rear corners, and an open "loggia” across the rear-middle. The Lang House is full of architectural features, such as the faux bois oak finish, mortise and tenon construction, tongue and groove floors, scarf joints, diagonal braces, Creole mantle with Creole Diamond to name a few. The recent gutting of the interior has exposed a myriad of ancient colors and woodwork. This ‘primitive’ building had a wine cellar, a bath house and wharf, slave quarters, kitchen house, stables, cistern, bead board galore, slate roof, and a double chimney just for the sake of pretense. Quite a summer home for the times!
The Jourdan Family donated the Lang House to the City of Mandeville after Hurricane Katrina. The storm caused significant damage, and the Mandeville community rallied behind its salvation. The city provided funds to move the Lang House from Lakeshore Drive six blocks inland to the beautiful Kierr Gardens, which was donated by the Kierr family. The salvation of this modest cottage was a pivotal point in the direction of our town. The Old Mandeville Historic Association accepted the task of breathing new life into this quintessential Creole beauty. The rest is history!