Belle Grove In Ruin
Designed by architect Henry Howard, this Iberville Parish plantation was completed in 1857, but, having been allowed to fall into disrepair throughout the 20th century, now lay mouldering and forgotten. Photographer Clarence John Laughlin, whose images of great houses abandoned over time echoes those of Kelly, wrote of Belle Grove: "When completed, its tremendous mass rose on huge brick foundation arches over twelve feet above the surrounding earth, its walls and mantels were plastered and carved by the most expert European craftsmen money could secure, its great flight of brick steps was covered with imported marble, its door knobs and keyhole guards were of silver, its pillars bore Corinthian capitals six feet high but of the utmost refinement. . . Yet it was not heavy, or pompous. It managed somehow, to combine vastness with delicacy; titanic proportions with grace and warmth...."