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The Ambush Mansion
Direct from World Famous Bourbon Street l New Orleans, Louisiana

 

Historic 1830s Mansion Houses Ambush Compound

Ambush MansionSince 1986, the mansion at 828 Bourbon Street has housed the Ambush compound including Ambush Magazine and AMBUSHonLINE offices on the first floor adjacent to the plant laden patio. Belle Lain's Magnolia Bar on the landing of the 3-floor sweeping staircase leads to the private residence of Rip and Marsha Naquin-Delain consisting of the second floor entry hall, palour, formal dining room, service kitchen, and internationally famous, award winning Bourbon Street balcony, and the couple's third floor boudoir. The Ambush Art Collection, as well as the couple's numerous antiques and collectibles, are showcased throughout.

As publishers of the Gulf South and New Orleans' oldest LGBT regional tabloid, the Naquin-Delain's have hosted numerous parties and social events throughout the years here raising over $225,000 for worthy charities and causes vital to the LGBT community and community at large. People from all walks of life have attended these events, dedicated to the charm and hospitality of the South including gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgenders, straights, politicians, celebrities, young and old alike.

From 1991 through 2004, the Magnolia Cotillion held every August 17th celebrated the anniversary of the couple benefiting the NO/AIDS Walk. In lieu of gifts, guests were asked to sponsor the couple in the Walk by making a donation which raised $105,191 in 14 years. From 1993-2002, the couple's pledge total ranked them as Top Individuals.

"Royal Wedding, 29th April, 2011, William & Kate, Westminster Abbey-London"2011: "In celebration of the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Princess Catherine, the Krewe of Queenateenas and King Cake Queen Royalty Club hosted the Royal Wedding Crown Reception inviting the royalty, captains and guests of Gay Mardi Gras krewes to the private apartments of Rip and Marsha Naquin-Delain on the upper levels of the Ambush Mansion. They were greeted on the second floor landing where King Cake Queen VII Opal Masters announced each guest and their title. Darwin Reed then presented each guest with a commemorative pin which read Royal Wedding, 29th April, 2011, William & Kate, Westminster Abbey-London. Once their cocktails were made, they proceeded to the Victorian Parlor for their official portrait. From there, Royal Wedding Crown Receptionit was off to the dining room for 'The Queen's Choice' including Beef Balls in Wellington Sauce, Quail Eggs with Watercress Aioli, Royal Tea Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Smoked Scottish Salmon Pate Pyramid, Selections of British Cheese, Fresh Fruit Bouquet with Chocolate, and Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding with Royal Cream Cheese Frosting. Once on the balcony, guests waved to the crowd forming below and often times were urged to kiss, kiss just as William and Kate had done from the balcony at Buckingham Palace. The street crowd could not get enough of all the party guests adorned in crowns, jewels and badges of honor, all while the bells of St. Louis Cathedral rang out on the hour. King Cake Queen XV Marsha and her king Rip gathered the 40 guests in the dining room for the wedding toast. Both Darwin Reed and Tony Leggio filled the champagne flutes with selections from some 60 bottles of the bubbly given to the couple on various occasions." (Photo: some of the royal guests visible from the doorway toasting both Prince William and Princess Catherine as well as party hosts King Rip and Queen Marsha.)

In 2008, "New Orleans first registered domestic partners Rip and Marsha Naquin-Delain celebrated their 34th anniversary at Magnolia Cotillion 2008 in New Orleans. Hosted at their 828 Bourbon Street home and Ambush offices, the event raised $4,500 for the Louisiana State Gay Rodeo Association. The couple was the reigning and first Mr. and Miss LSGRA and entertained over 200 guests for the party."

Also in 2008, "Miss America 2008 Rhonda Roget, Miss Louisiana State Gay Rodeo Association (LSGRA) and King Cake Queen XV Marsha Delain, Queen Amon-Ra XLIII Opal Masters, and Mr. LSGRA Rip Naquin, were in the receiving line greeting guests for the International Gay Rodeo Association Royalty VIP Reception hosted at the Ambush Mansion in New Orleans. Both Mr. and Miss LSGRA were joined by carnival royalty of Gay Mardi Gras to welcome the IGRA Board of Directors and rodeo royalty from across the country. Carnival Royalty included Lords of Leather’s Lord King and Consort XXV Michael Ducote and Douglas Minich, King Amon-Ra XLIII Paul Davis, Queen Amon-Ra XLII Darwin Reed, Queen Amon-Ra XL Ron Issler, King Cake Queen XIV Princesse Stephaney, and King Satyricon VI Scott Loyed."

In 2001 at Magnolia Cotillion XXVII, Executive Director of the Human Relations Commission, Larry Bagneris, Jr., on behalf of Mayor Marc H. Morial, presented the honorees with a City of New Orleans proclamation making Friday, August 17, 2001 "Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain 27th Anniversary Day."

The 2000 Magnolia Cotillion XXVI marked the annual August 17th anniversary of New Orleans' first registered Domestic Partners, Rip and Marsha Naquin-Delain. For the first time, the Naquin-Delain's chose to use the celebration to honor Southern Decadence Grand Marshals' Thom "Smurf" Murphy and Tony Langlinais. City Councilman Troy Carter, District C, had quite a surprise for the Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Community of New Orleans when his office phoned to say the Council had issued two proclamation, one for Murphy and one for Langlinais. It is believed to be the first time that the City had officially acknowledged and recognized Southern Decadence, the annual end of summer celebration held Labor Day Weekend. In 1999, Southern Decadence brought in over 70,000 revelers, pumping some $35+ million dollars into the local economy. The Naquin-Delains presented the proclamations on behalf of the Council. The Proclamations read, "Whereas, the City of New Orleans is renowned for its food, festivals, famous citizens and foreign visitors; and Whereas, the City Council takes great pride in paying tribute to events and activities; now, therefore Be it proclaimed by the City of New Orleans that this Council recognizes: Thom "Smurf" Murphy and Tony Langlinais, Southern Decadence Grand Marshal XXVIII, Magnolia Cotillion XXVI, August 17, 2000, In the name of and by the authority vested in the Council of the City of New Orleans," signed by all Council members.

On their 21st Anniversary Magnolia Cotillion, August 17, 1995, according to Brad Benedict, "Anyone who was anyone at all was among those who made their entrance and presence known at the residence of one of the Crescent City's premiere philanthropic couples, Rip and Marsha Naquin-Delain." He would go on to say, "Ms. Naquin-Delain displayed a new look in what has to be one of the most fashionable ensembles to be seen among New Orleans elite. Her new hair style was the most becoming yet, and this has to be a trendsetter for even the most trendy and fashion-conscious individuals who came for the evening. New Orleans ladies have never been represented more serenely and with more dignity and grace than this first lady of Bourbon Street."

Also in 1995, the couple hosted a campaign fund-raiser garnering some $10,000 for Larry Bageneris' unsuccessful run for State Representative District 93 in November of that year at the Ambush Mansion.

Mayor Sidney Barthelemy Relection Party @ Ambush MansionIn 1990, "Rip and Marsha Naquin-Delain hosted a re-election party for Mayor Sidney Barthelemy in January 1990. It was the first time a seated mayor was entertained by an openly gay and somewhat flamboyant couple. The Mayor was greeted by some 400 guests including reigning Miss Gay America Brandi Alexander. Receiving the gay vote and endorsement of Ambush, Barthelemy was re-elected." Rip was appointed in August 1990 to the Mayor's Advisory Committee on Gay and Lesbian Issues by Barthelemy. With a host of other lesbian/gay leaders on this committee, "Exposing Hatred" was published in conjunction with LAGPAC, chronicling hate crimes for the first time against lesbians and gays in the City of New Orleans.  (Photo left: Mayor Sidney Barthelemy, Miss Gay America 1990 Brandi Alexander, Marsha Delain and Rip Naquin; front: Larry Bagneris Jr.)

The mansion is also the site for three very important LGBT events each year including the annual King Cake Queen of Gay Mardi Gras Coronation, and from the balcony, the Official Gay Mardi Gras Bead Toss on Mardi Gras Day, and the Official Southern Decadence Bead Toss every Labor Day weekend.

History of 828 Bourbon Street

Jean Florent Durel purchased 830 Bourbon Street along with 828 Bourbon Street in 1831 from a baker, Joseph Hecaud, and had these two townhouses built prior to his donation of 828 to his son Jean Victor in 1846. At the time, the house was described as a two-story brick house with a brick kitchen. As early as 1841, Durel is listed at 246 Bourbon Street, which may be one of these houses under the pre-Civil War numbering system for the city.

When originally constructed, 828 and 830 were identical, with a stucco facade, a wrought-iron balcony, and arched openings on the ground floor, the upriver one leading to an alley. Over the years, both structures have been updated with Greek Revival and Italianate detailing.


Ambush Mansion Balcony: Southern Decadence 2014

828-A Bourbon Street l New Orleans, LA 70116-3137


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