The original corner building was designed in 1789 by Gilberto Guillemard and built in 1794 by Jean Baptiste Orso, a
wealthy citizen of New Orleans. The original building was destroyed in the great fire of 1794 and was rebuilt in 1797
for the last Spanish governor of Louisiana, Don Manuel Gayoso de Lemos.
After the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the corner building passed through many hands until the mid 19th century when,
it became “Le Veau Qui Tete.” As the French Quarter declined into a slum, the building fell into disrepair and remained
so until its acquisition by the theatre group, an important component of the “urban pioneers’ of the 1920’s who revived
the French Quarter by making it a center for the arts.
The enthusiastic audiences of the Drawing Room Players, as they called themselves, soon grew to the point where a
larger space was needed, so the founders decided to rent space in the lower Pontalba Building, for the sum of $17.50
per month! When the quarters were ready, a christening was held, and “Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre” was inaugurated.
- Scott and Sprout