Jungle Gardens Gatehouse: A Historic Entryway in New Iberia, LA

Nestled at the entrance of Jungle Gardens in New Iberia, Louisiana, the Jungle Gardens Gatehouse stands as a charming and historic structure that welcomes visitors to this lush and serene botanical paradise. Built-in the early 1940s, the gatehouse serves as a fitting introduction to the beauty and tranquility that awaits within the Jungle Gardens. This article will explore the history, architecture, significance, and preservation efforts of the Jungle Gardens Gatehouse in New Iberia, LA. New Iberia, LA can be seen here. 

Historical Background:

The Jungle Gardens Gatehouse was constructed during the early 1940s by the McIlhenny family, the creators and owners of Jungle Gardens—Edmund McIlhenny, the family patriarch, also the inventor of the famous TABASCO® brand pepper sauce. The gatehouse was designed to serve as the main entry point to the sprawling gardens, ensuring visitors had a memorable and delightful experience from the moment they arrived. See here for information about Bayou Teche Museum: Preserving the Cultural Heritage of New Iberia, LA.

Architectural Features:

The gatehouse showcases a distinct architectural style that reflects the McIlhenny family’s appreciation for the natural beauty of Louisiana. It features a stucco exterior with elements of Mediterranean Revival architecture, including arched doorways and windows, tiled roofing, and decorative ironwork. The design seamlessly blends with the lush landscape, setting the tone for the enchanting gardens beyond its doors.

Significance and Symbolism:

Beyond its practical role as an entryway, the Jungle Gardens Gatehouse holds historical and symbolic significance for the region. It stands as a testament to the vision and passion of the McIlhenny family, who transformed the once-neglected Avery Island into the captivating Jungle Gardens that exists today. The gatehouse embodies the family’s commitment to preserving and sharing the beauty of Louisiana’s natural heritage with visitors worldwide.

Preservation Efforts:

As a cherished piece of history, efforts have been made to preserve the Jungle Gardens Gatehouse. The gatehouse has undergone renovations and maintenance to ensure that its architectural integrity is upheld and that it continues to be a well-preserved and welcoming garden entrance. Preservation work ensures that future generations can admire and appreciate this historic structure as visitors have for decades.

Visitor Experience:

The Jungle Gardens Gatehouse sets the tone for a memorable visitor experience. Visitors pass through its arched entryway and are transported into a world of natural wonder where exotic plants, wildlife, and tranquil lagoons await. The gatehouse adds to anticipation and excitement as guests explore the enchanting gardens.

Cultural and Educational Value:

The Jungle Gardens Gatehouse holds cultural and educational value as part of the Avery Island landscape. It serves as an introduction to the history and legacy of the McIlhenny family and their contributions to the preservation of Louisiana’s natural treasures. The gatehouse also enhances the educational experience of visitors, providing context and historical background before they embark on their journey through the gardens.


The Jungle Gardens Gatehouse in New Iberia, LA, stands as a historic and architecturally significant structure that sets the stage for an unforgettable experience within the Jungle Gardens. Its timeless design and preservation efforts highlight the importance of preserving Louisiana’s cultural and natural heritage. As a cherished entryway to the captivating botanical paradise beyond, the Jungle Gardens Gatehouse continues to welcome visitors and inspire a deep appreciation for the beauty and history of the region.