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Madewood Plantation House

Madewood represents one of the finest and purest examples of the Greek Revival style architecture in a plantation home.

Madewood Plantation House
Photograph from the National Historic Landmark collection


Built in 1840-48, Madewood Plantation House reflects the aspirations of its original owner, Colonel Thomas Pugh, a member of a prominent and wealthy Louisiana family. Madewood represents one of the finest and purest examples of the Greek Revival style architecture in a plantation home.

In a grove of oaks and magnolias, facing Bayou Lafourche, Pugh and his architect, Henry Howard, constructed a house whose classical splendor would surpass that of the neighboring plantations.

Madewood was the manor house for the group of plantations that Pugh acquired in the 1830s and 40s, which eventually totaled some 10,000 acres.

Sugar cane production brought economic prosperity to the area around Bayou Lafourche in the first part of the 19th century. While Madewood is one of many plantations along the bayou, it stands out for its architectural grandeur, which is unique in its blending of its Classical features with indigenous material.

The grounds today include the main house and attached kitchen, and in the rear, the carriage house, the Pugh family cemetery, Elmfield Cottage and the Madewood slave quarters.


Second floor collonade of Ionic columns
Photograph from the National Historic Landmark collection

The house is built of bricks made on the plantation, while the exterior is covered with stucco, scored to represent masonry blocks and painted white.

The proportions are carefully determined, the six fluted Ionic columns rise two stories, with the central portion retaining the character of a Greek temple.

Two one-story wings, echoing the predominant elements of the main house, complete the facade. The interior contains 23 rooms, with floors of heart pine, doorframes and moldings of cypress, painted to resemble oak (or faux bois). Each doorway is signed by the artist, Cornealieus Hennessey.

Elsewhere, the woodwork, including the cypress mantelpieces, has been painted to resemble marble or exotic woods. The Harold Marshall family purchased the property in 1964 and undertook a major restoration of the home, which was completed in 1978.

The property is now owned by their sons, but is open to the public daily and is the center for an annual arts festival and other cultural events.

Madewood, a National Historic Landmark, is located at 4250 Hwy. 308, Napoleonville. It is open for tours 10:00am to 4:30pm daily, except on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's. Call 1-800-375-7151 for further information.