Spain gives Jackson Square new ceramic tile plates

New Orleans, La. - A business delegation from Spain presented the City of New Orleans with a  gift of four replacement ceramic tile plates.  The plates mark the name of Jackson Square as it was known when Spain ruled New Orleans. Theu 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.

City officials accepted the tiles during a ceremony at The Cabildo on Thursday, 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 Spain.

"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 Council member 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.   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.

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.