Morphy walking tour in New Orleans

Oct 15, 2016, 12:09 PM |

Here's a tour of US chess great Paul Morphy sites in the French Quarter.

New Orleans map from Google Maps: Starting from the upper right hand corner.
1. Birthplace: 1113 Chartres St, Born 1837. Now Beauregard-Keyes House.
2. Family house  417 Royal St - Residence from 1841 until death in 1884.Now Brennan's restaurant.
3. School: 819 Rue Conti, Jefferson Academy. Now Broussard's restaurant.
4. Buried: St. Louis Cemetery No. 1


1. Birthplace: 1113 Chartres St - the historic Beauregard-Keyes House

Paul Morphy was born here on June 22, 1837, Built in 1826 for Paul Morphy’s grandfather, Joseph Le Carpentier, the house was the family residence of LeCarpentier's daughter, Louise and her husband, Michel Alonzo Morphy, from 1829-1841.

2. Family house  417 Royal St - Brennan's restaurant. Morphy lived there from age 4 until his death in 1884 of a stroke at age 47.

Brennan's even has a Morphy Room:

"Morphy Room (12 seated | 20 reception), a cozy parlor on the second floor, pays homage to the enigmatic man considered one of the world’s greatest players. The décor evokes the mood of a sophisticated English study, with a red velvet sofa, cocktail table and, of course, a chessboard awaiting a pre-dinner or postprandial match. Rich wine-color lacquered walls have panels of Scottish tartan in salmon, burgundy, and dark green, and are perfectly paired with a checkerboard-patterned rug in matching tones. Above the fireplace’s mantle is a portrait of the master himself, surveying the room while rooks, bishops and pawns slide across the board, as if contemplating an elegant checkmate."

3. School: Jefferson Academy, which is now Broussard's Restaurant on 819 Rue Conti


4. Buried: St. Louis Cemetery No. 1

The historic French Quarter is well preserved, so it has many sites that Morphy likely passed when he himself went for walks. These include the Jackson Square statue (1856), the St. Louis Cathedral (renovated 1850, 760 Chartres), the Napoleon House (1812, 508 Chartres), the Old Ursuline Convent (1752, 1100 Chartres) and Cafe du Monde (1862, 800 Decatur Street) 

Other possible sites to locate and visit in the French Quarter:

Morphy graduated from the University of Louisiana Law School -- now part of Tulane --but at that time it was in the French Quarter.

Charles de Maurian was Morphy's best friend - in childhood, at Spring Hill College in Mobile, AL, and until Morphy's death - but I haven't determined where he lived.