The Presbytère faces Jackson Square on the e. side of the basilica at 751 Chartres St. Begun in 1793 as an ecclesiastical house, the building was completed for use as court chambers in 1813. Although the Presbytère never served the function indicated by its name, it remained church property until 1853. Now a Louisiana State Museum site, the building houses a permanent exhibit about the history, pageantry and diverse cultural traditions of the annual Mardi Gras celebration in Louisiana.
Using iconic artifacts and immersive multimedia, Living With Hurricanes, Katrina and Beyond tells the story of the history, science and human drama of living with hurricanes on the Gulf Coast. Changing exhibits about Louisiana history and culture also are presented.