Where are/were the old Spanish stables, and do you have any history on them?
At 724 Gov. Nicholls St. you will find a plaque that was dedicated in September 1976. It is a tribute to Clay Shaw (1913-1974), who was recognized by New Orleans residents as a pioneer in the renovation of the French Quarter.
He was perhaps more famous, however, as the only man ever brought to trial for the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Former Orleans Parish District Attorney Jim Garrison prosecuted Shaw in connection with Kennedy's murder, but the jury deliberated less than an hour before finding Shaw not guilty.
The plaque on Gov. Nicholls Street reads: "This 1834 building, the Spanish Stables, is one of nine restorations by Clay Shaw. In addition, he conceived and completed the International Trade Mart and directed the restoration of the French Market. Clay Shaw was a patron of the humanities and lived his life with the utmost grace. An invaluable citizen, he was respected, admired, and loved by many."
The old Spanish stables were frequently referred to as the former Spanish Cavalry barracks, even though the stable stalls and living quarters above them were built 30 years after Spanish soldiers left New Orleans.
The man responsible for the arches was Judge Gallien Preval, who built them in 1834 for a commercial livery stable. The stables were a copy of another building at 1122 Royal St. Several famous writers, including Lafcadio Hearn and George Washington Cable, claimed incorrectly that the Royal Street barracks and the stables on Rue de l'Hospital — Hospital Street, an earlier name of Gov. Nicholls Street — were built for the Spanish cavalry to use, which proves that storytelling doesn't always agree with the facts.