A former private home now serves as the most elegant public library in New Orleans. Built in 1907 and taking up an entire city block, this Italianate–beaux arts mansion was once the home of silent-screen star Marguerite Clark. It was then purchased by the Latter family and given to the city as a library in 1948 in memory of their son, who was killed in World War II. Sit and leaf through a copy of Walker Percy's The Moviegoer or John Kennedy Toole's Confederacy of Dunces (two popular novels set in New Orleans), or just relax in a wicker chair in the solarium. This is one of the few mansions on St. Charles Avenue open to the public, and the gardens are lovely.