The Big Chill Out: A History of Air Conditioning

If you have ever heard the phrase, “In the good ole’ days”, I bit we can at least partially agree that the real good ol’ days began with the invention of Air Conditioning, at least in the hot southern states. Have you ever wondered about this wonderful invention and how it came about? GAllier Historic House is hosting a free public lecture about climate control.

unnamed-1It’s an invention that radically changed  lifestyles in the South and yet few of us can name its inventor. As summer comes to a close, learn more about the long evolution of air conditioning.

On Friday, September 30 at 6 p.m. the Gallier Historic House (1126 Royal Street) will host a free public lecture by architectural historian Elizabeth Porterfield chronicling the modern marvel of climate control. From ancient Egyptian engineers to Leonardo DaVinci and the can-do American ingenuity of Dr. John Gorrie and Willis Carrier, the story of artificial cooling is one of man attempting to prevail over nature in the eternal quest for comfort. Ms. Porterfield will also provide examples of how historic homes across the nation have retrofitted ductwork, pipes, and cooling units into their building fabric. Lead contractors from Cypress Building Conservation, currently at work installing a state-of-the-art HVAC system in the Hermann-Grima Historic House Museum, will provide an update.
Ms. Porterfield serves as Senior Architectural Historian with Hicks & Company Environmental Consultants in Austin, Texas. She received a Master’s Degree in Historic Preservation from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has 11 years of professional experience in architectural history, historic preservation, and cultural resource management. She is visiting New Orleans to attend the convention of the Southeast Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians.
For more information about the Hermann-Grima + Gallier Historic Houses, please visit, or call (504) 525-5661. To RSVP, email