Descriptions of Recommended Districts
The following text describes briefly the areas we recommended as potential National Register Historic Districts. It identifies which census tracts are wholly or partially included in each district, and lists buildings now on the National Register or designated city landmarks, as well as those that we consider especially significant within the district. In general, the buildings we list as significant within recommended districts would be eminently eligible on their own for the National Register or for National Historic landmarks. There are however, many other buildings which would be eligible for individual National Register listing. Reference to the maps will be required for specific boundary locations.
A separate listing identifies certain buildings in Community Development Neighborhoods, but not within the boundaries of any recommended Historic District, which we felt were eligible to be nominated individually for the National Register of Historic Places. Photographs of these and of typical neighborhood scenes in proposed districts have been submitted to the HDLC, but not included in the booklet.
A further list has been submitted, this of a group of buildings not all worthy of landmark status but which are, or appear to be, of Creole construction. Such artifacts of the indigenous Creole colonial tradition seem to us to deserve the highest priority of attention as forming a precious patrimony, unique to Louisiana.
We have attempted simply to describe in general way the character of the neighborhoods. Close experience over a long period of time is always the surest basis for understanding an area, and those who know neighborhoods we have described will undoubtedly wish, and be able, to amplify and refine this text. Additionally, district descriptions have their fullest meaning in terms of a whole city; comparisons for similarities and contrasts from one neighborhood to another add up to a balanced picture. Limited to Community Development Areas, our descriptions are necessarily limited. We also comment that as surveyors we became more sophisticated in our judgments of buildings as our experience accumulated. Our list of significant buildings is a refinement on values assigned in the field, often involving a change in the original field rating of Blue-Starred.
A final point is that these areas are in transition, and even in the year (1978-79) preparing this report, changes have been observed- most improvements and restorations, some demolitions or undesirable alterations.
For those not familiar with the method of describing directions in New Orleans (compass readings are awkward in a city where the curve of the river determined the laying out of streets), uptown refers to upriver, downtown to downriver, and riverside means towards the Mississippi, just as lakeside means towards Lake Ponchartrain. A traditional vernacular usage designates those areas below Canal Street as “Downtown” and those above Canal Street as “Uptown”. Many of the neighborhood names used today are new or more specifically identified with set boundaries than in earlier years. Even the French Quarter (Canal, Rampart, Esplanade and the river) and the Garden District (St. Charles, Jackson, the river and Louisiana) have grown and shrunk slightly in recent ears with the establishment of specific boundaries.
Central Business District-Lower Zone
Census Tracts: parts 57 and 58
Canal, the riverside of Tchopitoulas, the downtown sides of lots facing Poydras and S. Rampart, and Saratoga. This portion of the CBD contains a high percentage of historic buildings, landmarks and typical street scenes. Although not a part of this study, the downtown side of Canal Street, a border of the Vieux Carre National Landmark District is an integral part of the Canal Street neighborhood. Characterized in the late nineteenth century by warehousing and wholesaling activities near the waterfront and by important commercial and retail activities along Canal, and with more commercial, retailing and administrative work extending uptown from Canal into what past Poydras was originally residential mixed with commercial, there exists today an historic area defined by its own uptown side by the newly developed Street, on the lake side by recent work along O’Keefe and Loyola, on the downtown side by Canal, and on the river side of Tchopitoulas. The National Register listed St. Charles streetcar runs through this area on Carondelet, Canal and St. Charles Ave..
In this area are many historic structures clearly showing the growth of the city through the nineteenth century on into the twentieth. Federal, Greek Revival and Italianate exist not only in important individual buildings, but often in whole blocks or street-scape. To these are added commercial buildings of the later nineteenth century which include early high-rise structures, some with important technological history. In the first decades of the twentieth century individual buildings in the Beaux Arts or Chicago manner are found, notably the larger banks. Art Deco, Spanish and Colonial Revival work also occur. The early twentieth century is generally concentrated on Carondelet Street near canal; the earlier is found all over, most exclusively. This area reflects roughly a hundred years of activity and, despite demolition and a certain amount of Post-World War II work, retains an important historical character typical of this period.
We rate the entire area as an important accumulative historic area, and certain smaller areas within it, of outstanding historic importance.
Significant Buildings: see list
Central Business District- Upper Zone
census tracts: portions of 57, 58,59, and 77
Bounded generally by S. Front, the Ponchatrain Expressway, S. Rampart and the lots along the downtown side of Poydras Street, this area retains important vestiges of its nineteenth century character. A major cluster of warehouse and commercial buildings along the waterfront, groups of row houses, individual nineteenth century houses, and certain streets with groups of of historic work from Federal through early twentieth are mixed with later inappropriate work and open land. The National register listed St. Charles Streetcar lines runs through this area on Howard Ave, Carondelet and St. Charles. The district proposed here is lesser in quality than that recommended for the Lower Central Business District and will have different aims, the “infill” problem being dominant. Our recommendation for this district is based on the preservation of the important existing historic work, both groups and individual buildings. Planning should encourage new construction to blend with the old in a way beneficial to both old and new.
Significant Buildings: see list
Central Business District-Medical Complex
Census Tracts: portions of 58 and 59
Bounded generally by S. Liberty, Perdido, S. Claiborne and Tulane, there are several important high-rise buildings of the 1930’s, all associated with medical services provided by Charity Hospital and the Tulane and Louisiana State University Medical Schools.
From an architectural point of view, these buildings vary in quality, but all are related visually by their designs. Despite some additions and surrounded along Gravier by nondescript service yards and small unimportant buildings, this cluster of structures is an important urban architectural expression, both visually and historically.
Additionally the political and medical history of New Orleans is highly important. This Charity Hospital is the fifth building in a direct descent from the first hospital erected in 1737. The politics of Louisiana in the 1930’s was an essential part of the design and construction of the state-owned buildings in the complex.
There are two basic styles found here. The earliest style is a series in a Beaux Arts Italianate manner. These brick buildings are low and of only slight importance, if any.
The second group are much taller Art Deco buildings of the 1930’s. Taken as a group these constitute a significant landmark, possibly of national importance. Certain service buildings, notably additions and the Veteran’s Hospital, are not of architectural importance.
Significant Buildings: see list
Census Tracts: Parts of 49, 58 and 60
An irregular shaped district bounded generally by S. Rampart, then Johnson, the railroad tracks at Poydras, Broad and Canal, this district has two distinct sections. The portion uptown from Tulane is a few blocks of small houses of the Eastlake period on, many actively well maintained, some deteriorated. Surrounded by railroads, manufacturing and commercial, this little neighborhood still seems viable.
On the downtown side of Tulane below Galvez there is some early work but most Italianate and Eastlake Bracketed, with some simple early twentieth century. Above Galvez the character is the same, with more Eastlake and more twentieth century. Alterations are frequent, but many are just the application of strap iron porch and railing work which are a favorite expression here. Galvez is a major focal point and is stable, half residential, half commercial street. Not a neighborhood of high quality, this area nevertheless presents a viable neighborhood.
Census Tracts: parts of 43, 44, 45, 48, 49 and 50.
Bounded generally by Canal, Carrollton, the railroad tracks at St. Louis and Lafitte, and by N. Rampart, this long narrow strip breaks into three zones. The area below Galvez now cut off from the Quarter by a housing project still shows its closeness to the river by a number of fin, small pre-Civil War buildings. There also is a major building activity in the Eastlake period. but after that no sign of further construction until after World war II, and this work is primarily large in scale and commercial or industrial. There is deterioration, but Bienville Street with its trees is handsome. Cribs of early and later nineteenth century construction are found.
From Galvez to Broad, Bienville again is fine, the streets parallel with the river contain much good work, with a high percentage of well-kept buildings. Areas near the railroad and Canal have suffered. There is some early work, much Bracketed and, again very little twentieth century work.
Above Broad the Eastlake work continues, but early twentieth century work becomes an important factor. The railroad and New Orleans Public service barns have caused blight, but Canal Street here has an historic character, The streets parallel to the river contain much nineteenth century work and essentially are the cause for this area’s inclusion in the recommended district.
Significant Buildigs: see list
Census Tracts: 33,.05, 34, 39, 40, and parts of 35, 36, 37.01, 37.o2, 43, 44, and 45
We have recommended a large district for Esplanade, one which includes various neighborhoods which are adjacent to Esplanade Avenue as it runs from St. Claude Avenue out to Byou St. John. It would be possible to create a series of smaller districts out of this part of the city, but we felt an enormously important district reflecting many aspects of the city’s heritage was presented by our recommended district.
Following the original portage between the river and the lake, this area was used even before the city was founded; settlers were established at Bayou St. john by the late eighteenth century had become an area of suburban retreat, with villas in the Creole Style. A pattern of expressive residences along Esplanade, with more modest dwellings off on the side streets, was well established by the 1830’s andlasted until the first World War, but work of the third quarter of the nineteenth century is particularly important. The existence of the Fairgrounds gives a further special quality to the neighborhood, just as do the rows of shotguns on Dumaine and Orleans Streets out near the Bayou. Certain inappropriate remodeling work, especially along Esplanade, shows clearly the need for protective zoning and regulation to preserve the character of the street.
Signicant Buildings: see list
Census Tracts: 12, 29, and portions of 15, 20, 21, 22, 27 and 3
Bounded very generally by St. Claude Avenue, Press Street, Almonaster Avenue, N. Miro St. to Allen and then following a line a block or so downriver from St. Bernard Ave. to St. Clude, the area behind the Marigny Historic District ranges widely from early nineteenth century work to Eastlake, with twentieth construction near St. Roch Avenue. In a general way, the oldest portions of the neighborhood lie near the intersection of St. Claude and St. Bernard, with later nineteenth century work increasing as one goes past Claiborne towards the lake. St. Roch Avenue and the neighborhood bounded by St. Roch, Almonaster and N. Miro is essentially twentieth century. It is important to note, however, that buildings of various periods mingle in no special pattern. The siting of the building changes as one moves lakeward from densely packed small structures set up to the sidewalks ofthe narrow streets to deeper and wider lots and then to houses with front yards. The neighborhood consists almost entirely of small dwellings, generally one of a kind rather than row construction. The area near St. Claude above Elysian Fields has many bracketed houses but lacks typical porched Eastlake work. St. Roch Market facing St. Claude Avenue and with tree-lined neutral ground out behind it; the market apparently makes a traffic barrier, and the residential character of St. Roch Avenue has thus been preserved. The St. Roch Cemetery and the buildings of Our Lady Star of the Sea parish add significance to St. Roch Avenue farther out near the lake side boundary of the district.
There are a few signicant buildings, but the general character is of typical New Orleans designs. Much of the bracketed and Eastlake work is richly done, there is a variety of Greek Revival designs, some inventive work caan be found, and the handling of the styles is sophiscated. There is a fairly high rate of inappropriate remodeling and of deterioration, especially near St. Bernard and St. Claude. St. Claude is extensively commercial and altered, but still contains buildings of importance. We point out that St. Bernard Avenue is assigned to our recommended Esplanade district rather to Inner Marigny.
We rate Inner Marigny a satisfactory historic neighborhood, but one needing a great deal of carefull attention and improvement.
Significant Buildings: list goes here
Census Tracts: portions of 11, 12, 13.01, 13.02 and 15.
Bounded roughly by the Industrial Canal, the river, the Press Street railroad tracks, ans an irregular line several blocks on the lake side of St. Claude Avenue, Bywater is a neighborhood of small dwellings with a commercial area on Burgundy and Dauphine Streets between Louisa and Piety. McCarty Square provides green space with a few large villas facing i; the Church of St. Vincent de Paul and the church and school of the Academy of the Holy Angels are dominant area architectural elements. St. Claude Avenue, although commercialzed, is a major part of the neighborhood which lies, quite intact, parrallel to it.
Generally speaking, Bywater is not characterized by dominant individual landmark buildings, but rather by an overall consistency of scale, by the placement on small lots of buildings up to the sidewalks along narrow streets, and by a high percentage of nineteenth century structures. Much work is very rich; many buildings are in good original condition and many well maintained over the years. On the lake side of St. Claude the buildings are simpler, the scale a little more open, and there is a large number of Creole and fedral type buildings and proceeds through Greek Revival, Italianate, Eastlake, and includes many small groups of identical Bracketed houses. There is a good amount of individualistic Italianate and Eastlake work and corner stores are important. There is little twentieth century work on the river side of St. Claude. An important aspect of the entire neighborhood is the overall pattern of high architectural quality on the streets staring at the river and running toward the lake. Despite some industrial and commercial activities in some adjoining blocks and in areas near the Industrial Canal, Bywater has a good neighborhood character and use. We attach a great importance to the fact that many of its buildingsserve today the same uses for which they were built. Our survey indicatesit is a high quality historic district.
Census Tracts: 7.02 and 8
The area bounded by N. Rampart Street, the parish boundary with St. Bernard Parish, the river and the Industrial Canal contained sufficient quantities of old buildings to be inventoried. The character of the neighborhood was also carefully looked at in terms of what was typical of, as well as what was unusual in, older areas of New Orleans.
A neighborhood of small scale residences set in rather large yards and with certain old commercial buildings at its center, Holy Cross has a semi-rural character. In some areas the residential lots abut the levee with no intervening streets and the levee becomes visually a part of the yard of the dwelling, a unique situation in Orleans Parish.
The houses suggest a simple rural community of small frame “Creole Cottage” type buildings, with a few small suburban villas of the Greek Revival and Italianate periods, and then a fairlyactive period of construction in the Eastlake style. There are a few important buildings, the two Doullut houses and the old buildings at Jackson Barracks being of national importance, and St. Maurice Church being of local importance. The Italianate school building of Holy Cross School is of some importance visually.
Our colored map survey indicated, howevr, much intrusion of post-Worl War II residential slab construction in the area, a major intrusion of industrial and commercial right in the center of the neighborhood, and a fairly high level of altered original fabric. Our recommendation is for individual nominations to the National Register, but not for a National Register District. Should stabilization of the occur with repairs, restorartion and removal of some intrusive work, small historic zones might well result.
Sigificant buildings: Included in recommended city-wide landmarks.
Census Tracts: parts of 100, 101 and 102
Generally bounded by St. Charles, Napolean, S. Liberty, Marengo, S. Claiborne, Louisiana, LaSalle and Delachaise, this district abuts the the existing Central City and Garden District National on one side and is a logical extension of them. It shows a pattern of affluent late nineteenth and early twentieth century, with a sprinkling of older buildings along St. Charles and Carondelet and a simplification and smaller scale back toward the lake. However Napolean Avenue interupts this pattern with residences of a large scale back to Freret.
St. Charles combines late Italianate and Eastlake work with turn of the century and twentieth century work of all kinds. Carondelt straddles the Italiante and late nineteenth century periods and has many well-preserved buildings. From barrone Street lakeward the area below Amelia has simple one-story houses, while above Amelia the two-story single or double residence is dominant. Although early twentieth century work and deterioration occur as one goes toward the lake, there are many significant Queen Anne and Edwardian Builders houses above Amelia. A typical element is the scattering of Eastlake work through-out the area; post-World War I construction is relatively rare. The area is especially rich in elaborate and finely designed Edwardian Builders houses, most small in scale and in wood. The National Register listed St. Charles streetcar runs along the St. Charles Avenue border of this district.
Signicant Buildings: see list
Census Tracts: 97, 105, 106, 107 and portions of 96
Bounded by Tchopitoulas, Jeffreson, Magazine and Delachaise and including an area bounded by Magazine, Robert, St. Charles and Napolean, this neighborhood continues the historic building pattern that parrallels the river from the Industrial Canal and up to Carrollton.
The portion between the river and Magazine Street contains typical small scale dwellings, primarily post-Civil War tp present, set on small lots and generally tending to be placed close to the sidewalk. As one goes uptown the lots increse in size, the setback deepens, and a suburban sem-open appearance increases. Old buildings of a Creole cottage type and Greek revival work are interspersed. The blocks are regular, and the streets wider than downtown. The quality of the work ranges from simple to elaborate and the overall architectural quality is high as is the physical condition, although certain pockets are deteriorated. Groups of identical buildings are important, but there are no long rows of identical designs. Important small scale buthansomely designed villas are scattered throughout the neighborhood.
Louisiana, Napolean and Jefferson Avenues are dominant residential streets, the first two with significant ambitious buildings. Magazine Street, although commercialized and still plundered by demolition and new inappropriate construction, has a viable scale, much important work and with controls could only improve. Tchopitoulas Street, despite its paralleling the wharves and containing much inappropriate work, commercialization and substandard housing in its area, contains significant amounts of historic buildings and has been undergoinghrestoration recently.
This is an area of exceptional historic value.
The area of the recommended district between Magazine and St. Charles is more complex. Quite similar in part to the area near the river, with a few Greek Revival but more Bracketed and Eastlake types, there are fewer groups of buildings on an overall mix of building types and styles. Until one gets up to Prytania the scale is generally low, but here and along St. Charles the pattern changes to that typical of St. Charles Avenue with early twentieth century mansions and apartments mixed with some earlier side hall houses. A richness of variety of styles exists in this area and there is a high percentage of good condition mixed with pockets of deteriorated fabric. The National register listed St. Chare=les streetcar line runs along the St. Charles border of this area.
One comments that the areas between Delachaise, Magazine, Napolean and St. Charles as well as the area between Tchopitoulas, Audubon Park, St. Charles Avenue with early twentieth mansions and apartments mixed with some earlier side hall houses. A richness of variety of styles exists in this area and there is a high percentage of good condition mixed with pockets of deteriorated fabric. The National Register listed St. Charles streetcar line runs along the St. Charles border of htis area.
One comments that the areas between Delachaise, Magazine, Napolean and St. Charles as well as the area between Tchopitoulas, Audubon Park, St. Charles and Jefferson Ave. are not Community Development neighborhoods, but contain important historical work and are clearly eligible as Historic Distrcit candidates.
Significant Buildings: see list
Census Tracts: part of 125
Bounded roughly by Pearl, Lowerline and the river, this neighborhood is a pocket set just at the turn of the river at Carrollton. Abundant are small Creole and Eastlake cottages set close together and up to the sidewalks. It has almost the appearance in some blocks of a workman’s community but one of individual dwellings, not rows. Going farther back from the river, one small Greek revival cottage in a large yard is an important vestige of the kind of suburban villa once plentiful in the city but now almost entirely gone in the process of urbanization. Near St. Charles there is a mix of larger, later and some moderatley affluent earlieer work. Interestingly enough, the older parts of this area seem more dense and less rural than those areas close to the river in nearby Upper Carrollton.
Lowerline Street and the area between Pearl Street and St. Charles have been included in the Lower Carrollton district.
Signicant buildings: see list
Census Tracts: parts of 129, 130 and 131
Boundaries are roughly a line behind properties facing Carrollton, the river, the parish line, and a line between Spruce and Cohn over to Carrollton.
This area is one of the old neighborhoods, suburban in character, with buildings set back on fairly large lots, with an open space and with modest scale. There are numbers of small old cottages, many Greek Revival period. There are some Italianate and more Eastlake houses. A substantial building activity took place in early years of the twentieth century, at which time larger and more affluent building types were introduced. In the areas toward the parish border and the toward the lake, deterioration and intrusion are frequent; we at first excluded this area., but decided that the sense of neighborhood was the beat guide in this case. Oak Street, although of minimal historic importance, is a vital shopping artery and has, at laeast in scale, an appropriate quality. Areas in tract 130 and 131 toward Claiborne nopt included contain important work, buut they are primarily of twentieth century date. Carrollton Avenue is included in our Lower Carrollton District.
Significant Buildings; see list
Census Tracts: parts of 125, 129 and 130
Consisting of lots on the uptown side of Lowerline from the river to Pearl Street; the lots on the river side of Pearl from Lowerline to the river; the blocks between Pearl and St. Charles from Lowerline to the river; and lastly, the lots on the river side of S. Carrollton from the river to the lake side of Cohn Street.
Quite different in character from black Pearl or Upper Carrollton, this area is concieved as the beginnings of a future district made of similar adjacent areas eligible for National Register listing but not composed of Community Development Neighborhoods. The national Register listed St. Charles streetcar line runs through the district along St. Charles Avenue.
Lowerline is a mixture of various periods, with simpler houses occurring closer to the river. St. Charles is residential, with work from Queen Anne and Eastlake throught he twentieth century. Carrollton is heavily commercial near St. Charles and mixes Greek Revival, Italianate, and Eastlake with work of this century. Much of the commercial work is not appropriate, but the activity is an essential part of the neighborhood and many small individual shops, often of a sophisticated type, make imaginative use of the old buildings.
Significant Buildings: see list
Census Tracts: parts of 2 and 3
Bounded by the existing National Register Historic District along Slidell Street, Atlantic Avenue, a line almost to Newton and parrallel with it, and by the river, this small district is recommended as an addition to the existing Algiers Point National Register District.
This strip was isolated from a somewhat larger area with some difficulty. The commercial development of Newton Street seemed a logical border; it had not developed as it has, the district could have gone past it a couple blocks. A neighborhood of small houses, some early nineteenth century, but most Eastlake in style, there is a mix of deteriorated fabric and later work. There are important numbers of cribs to be found as well double shotguns, and the large yards give the areaq a rather suburban quality. Generally this simple area is an integral part of Old Algiers. Signicant Buildings: none
©2007 images, Jeffrey Lamb
text from the Historic District Landmarks Commission Architectural Survey, 1979