NEW ORLEANS, LA–At a ceremony today, a business delegation from the city of Talavera de la Reina, Spain presented City officials with a gift of four replacement ceramic tile plates that mark the name of Jackson Square as it was known when Spain ruled New Orleans. The tile plates are exact replicas of four time-worn tile plates currently in Jackson Square, and were crafted at the same factory as the tiles donated to New Orleans by the city of Talavera de la Reina in 1959.
To view of photo of the tiles, click here.
City officials accepted the tiles during a ceremony at The Cabildo, which was built under Spanish rule in 1795-1799 and named after the municipal governing body that was located there.
The tile plates were sponsored by the Spanish firm Plus Ultra Insurance Company, whose president, Florent Hillaire, presented the tiles on behalf of Mayor Gonzalo J. Lago Viguera of Talavera de la Reina.
“Our company is pleased to have been given this opportunity, and we hope these tiles will be enjoyed by all citizens of this beautiful city,” Hillaire said.
District C Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer said, “Today represents a proud continuation of our city’s long history with Spain. We are incredibly appreciative that this delegation, led by Plus Ultra Insurance Company, is donating these replacement tiles. The Talavera tiles are an iconic and symbolic part of the French Quarter and this donation will ensure that the tiles remain part of our city for years to come.”
In addition to the Jackson Square, ceramic tile plates from Spain can be found on the corners of many buildings in the French Quarter to mark the name of street as it was during Spanish rule in New Orleans. It is understood that most or all of the tiles were given to the New Orleans in 1959 by Talavera de la Reina, which is known for its unique pottery and is nicknamed “The City of Ceramics.”
Although many of the original tiles have been damaged over time, they remain a unique decorative feature of the French Quarter and a reminder of the city’s Spanish heritage.
“New Orleans has long benefited from its unique multicultural heritage,” said Scott Hutcheson, Advisor to Mayor Mitch Landrieu for Cultural Economy. “As the only city in the world that has flown the flag of Spain, France, and the United States, our city’s culture is shaped by its rich history. It is a pleasure to be able to continue the connections between New Orleans and Spain through today’s important exchange.”
Councilmember-at-Large Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson said, “These street name tile plates are such a generous and thoughtful gift from Plus Ultra Insurance Company and the city of Talavera de la Reina. We will display them proudly and treasure them always.”
The City will remove the current tile plates in Jackson Square and install the new tile plates in the coming weeks. The City is working with the city of Talavera de la Reina to determine a process for interested French Quarter property owners to acquire replacement tile plates for their properties from the factory that made the original plates.