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New Orleans Historical

All Stories: 310

Gallatin Street was not only home to criminals and prostitutes, but also provided a venue for many of New Orleans’ musicians. This Times-Picayune article sets the scene of a typical Gallatin Street dancehall: “Another blast on the horn, a strum…

In 1924, Times-Picayune journalist Lyle Saxon provided a description of Gallatin Street as it appeared in the 1920s, calling it “deserted, forgotten, given over to warehouses and storage rooms of produce merchants. It is permeated with the smells…

Gallatin Street was once filled with barrooms, dance houses, and brothels — most institutions serving as all three. There was rarely a fee to enter, but men were encouraged to buy a drink for their dance partner at the end of each dance, keeping…

Gallatin Street’s close proximity to the port made it a quick and frequent stop for those who docked, worked, or lived near the booming economic area. One observer purported that the second most profitable industry in New Orleans also thrived in…

Gallatin Street: "the place where Terpsichore and Bacchus ruled the hour." A small, two-block stretch called Gallatin Street, now called French Market Place, was once the headquarters of vice in New Orleans. A visitor to the street in 1873…

In August 1861, the Academy of Music announced the arrival of Harry Macarthy to New Orleans. Macarthy, also known as "The Arkansas Comedian," was a famous performer throughout the south. He came to New Orleans to perform a stint of "Personation…

By the outbreak of the Civil War, the popularity of sheet music was at its peak throughout the United States. Well before the development of recording and broadcasting technology, the commercial music industry centered upon the circulation of sheet…

The Louisiana Supreme Court decided one of the famous “Batture Cases” while located in the Government House. In Morgan v. Livingston, the Louisiana Supreme Court held that the owner of “rural” land fronting the Mississippi River owned the…

Jimmie Wedell would never enter the MacRobertson Race from England to Australia. The Gypsy Moth in which he was giving a lesson crashed just outside of Patterson on June 24, 1934. Wedell died instantly. The funeral procession led from Patterson to…

The Wedell-Williams Air Service pilots entered air races across the country from 1928 through 1935. These races kept the viewers in suspense as the aircraft circled the pylons that marked the race course. The crowds usually only saw a portion of the…

After the formation of the Wedell-Williams Air Service, Harry Williams established a base of operations on what was once Calumet Plantation by clearing a sugarcane field. This airport offered hangars and a grass landing field, but it also featured…

In 1928, Harry Williams, the lumber man and former mayor of Patterson, LA, met Menefee Airways pilot James Wedell and received flying lessons from him. The two instantly became friends despite their highly dissimilar backgrounds. Wedell came…

The Air Service hit its height in 1933 and 1934, but it experienced a period of decline partially due to the construction of the Shushan Airport in November 1933. The air service took a bigger hit with the death of Jimmy Wedell in June 1934. His…

The Wedell-Williams Airport saw quite a bit of excitement after it opened in early 1931. The Ford company sponsored a series of annual air tours dubbed “The National Air Tour,” with the 1931 tour being the final one. The National Air Tour, led…

The Wedell-Williams Air Service sold and distributed planes, taught the next generation of pilots and mechanics, and transported passengers. To sell planes, the air service received informational pamphlets from aircraft companies on new planes…

As the Wedell-Williams Air Service expanded their air service, a new airport was under construction near Harahan in Jefferson Parish. Costing $63,000, the airport featured a 100 foot x 120 foot steel arch weld hangar with a concrete floor, complete…

The Wedell-Williams Air Service originated on May 1, 1929, a time in which American aviation was full of potential. As increasing numbers of people attained pilot’s licenses, more air routes came into existence, and airplane exports increased. …

In the fall of 1963, Ben Franklin High School became the first New Orleans public high school to integrate. Fourteen African American students, all of whom met Franklin's stringent admissions requirements, helped to break the lingering color barriers…

Regarded as Louisiana’s most important historical building, the Cabildo is located at 701 Chartres Street, the corner of Chartres and St. Peter Streets. Viewed from Jackson Square across Chartres Street, the Cabildo sits to the left of St. Louis…

In 1936, a $250,000 Works Progress Administration beautification project took place at the airport and included extensive landscaping, paving roads and runways, and this fountain. Enrique Alférez sculpted each statue to represent one of the four…

The art deco administration building epitomized a fine combination of form and function. Not simply a place for travelers to wait for their flights, the airport allowed white New Orleanians to relax and entertain themselves. Observation decks and…

"This Cat Can Play Anything" is a NOVAC documentary that follows lively jazz musician Mannie Sales around New Orleans. Sales sang and played his banjo, guitar, and fiddle on the streets, in restaurants, in music venues such as Preservation…

The Zeitgeist Theater is a venue that houses independent films screenings for the community. Receiving no public funding, the center is strictly run upon assistance from volunteers and artists, along with donations from its visitors, sponsors, and…

Since its founding in 1989, the New Orleans Film Society has hosted multiple film festivals such as the French Film Festival, Film-o-Rama and the New Orleans International Children's Film Festival. The New Orleans Film Festival is predicted to reach…

Louisiana Lou was a contest hosted by the New Orleans Times Picayune newspaper in 1916. Readers were permitted to choose the stars of the photoplay among a pool of local talent. This contest allowed the people of New Orleans to get involved with the…

In contrast to the Diamond Film Company Studios' use of local spaces to represent the place, modern studios focus on creating locations outside of Louisiana. These studios, equipped with green screen sets, special effects, and computer programs allow…

This office is the film and video branch of the New Orleans Cultural Development Office. Located in the Arts Council of New Orleans, this office assists producers with location shooting projects by giving planning and permitting assistance. Since…

Benjamin Harold Zeitlin is a New York native who, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, traveled to New Orleans to make films. He was an original founder of the production team Court 13. Court 13 has gained international recognition making Zeitlin an…

R. M. Chisholm was named founder and president of Diamond Film Company in the summer of 1917. A wealthy New Orleanian who made his money from the oil field industry, Chisholm's company was under investigation by the State Supreme Court for…

Fichtenberg Enterprises was a Southern amusement conglomerate in the early 1900s. It was one of the first corporations to promote independent material for the community. At the time, "independent" meant films that were not associated with the Edison…

The Theaters at Canal Place are luxury movie theaters located on the third floor of The Shops at Canal Place. Guests must be 18 and over to attend movies at this theater, where gourmet meals and alcoholic beverages are offered. The inside of the…

The Prytania Theater is the oldest operating theater in New Orleans, as well as the only single-screen suburban theater in the state of Louisiana. It opened originally in 1915, but relocated in 1927 to its current location, a neighborhood house…

The Alamo was a theater built by Fichtenberg Enterprises, owned by Herman Fichtenberg, in 1914. It was quoted in an issue of Moving Picture World to “put on the best picture in New Orleans.” This theater initially operated on independent film…

"Richard Pryor Here and Now" is a live stand-up performance by comedian Richard Pryor combined with a documentary that was filmed at New Orleans’ 3,000-seat Saenger Theatre in 1983. The marketing of the film is an example of how stars were…

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" is a 2006 film by director David Fincher, filmed primarily in New Orleans' Garden District. The film is based on a 1922 short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald by the same name, though in the original version the…

Actress Sandra Bullock, a more modern example of star commodification, is a Virginia native demonstrated her love for the city by becoming a resident. This is her house in the Garden District. This love between Bullock and the city could be said…

The early origins of the New Orleans film industry can be traced to a locally based company called the Diamond Film Company. Actually, Diamond was the second, if not third, attempt to locate studios on Bayou Saint John. What set Diamond apart,…

The Trianon was a movie theater built by Josiah Pearce & Sons in 1912, opening on January 15 of that year. It held 494 seats and cost $100,000 to build, housing a five-piece orchestra to accompany the three reels of first-run pictures that comprised…

Commonly known as ‘Laetrice Joy,’ the New Orleans native actress lived in the city during the initial years of her career in the film industry in the early 1900’s. Many media outlets consistently described Zeidler as the ‘New Orleans…

Although the New Orleans Association of Commerce was an organization dedicated to stimulating New Orleans-based industries, the organization saw film as part of their public relations strategies. The 1918 annual report issued by then-president…

Julian Louis Lamothe was an early New Orleans photoplay writer and founder of the New Orleans chapter of the Inquest Club, a local branch of the nationwide screenwriters’ association. A New Orleans native, Lamothe became involved in…

Negroes in City Cars. "The Daily Picayune," November 9, 1864, p 2. Town Talk. "The New Orleans Times," September 29, 1865, p 2. The Star Car Nuisance. "The New Orleans Tribune." June 25, 1865, p 2. The Car Question. "The New Orleans…

On May 4, 1867, Guillaume acted. What happened next is open to some debate. According to the New Orleans Times, at 11:30 a.m. Guillaume hailed a “Whites Only” car number 148 on Love Street, now known as Rampart. When the driver refused to stop,…

In the late nineteenth century, bicycles appeared on city streets, country roads, and race tracks. Cycle racing in New Orleans rose with a tide of interest in sports—recreational and spectator—among the middle class. In the summer of 1891, the…

In September of 1887, New Orleans cyclists held the 3rd annual meet of the League of American Wheelmen (LAW), Louisiana Division, at the Audubon Park Race Track. Originally a horse racing track, it was used for the new sport of bicycle racing. The…

The Audubon Driving Park Track was used in the late 1880s as a horse racing track. ("Driving" referred to horse riding.) Audubon Park, built in 1879, had been the site of the World's Industrial Cotton Centennial Exposition in 1884 and 1885. Starting…

In August of 1890, work was completed on the clubhouse of the Louisiana Cycling Club (LCC) at 1637 Octavia Street. The Queen Anne-style building still stands at that address. The party celebrating its opening was attended by 200 people and claimed to…

Shortly before the arrest of Homer Plessy in June 1892, a successful streetcar strike initiated a wave of union organizing that culminated in what has been called the first biracial general strike in US history. Between 20,000 and 25,000 union…

Lorraine Mizell was taking photographs along the Mississippi River at Calhoun Street in 1960 while her husband, Merle Mizell, practiced casting with a fishing rod. Lorraine noticed the clouds parting as three Daughters of Charity spoke at dusk. She…

In the early 1980s, Everette Maddox’s life began a slow decline from which he would never recover. His wife had left him and he had difficulty keeping a job or a place of residence. But he remained committed and active as a poet. In 1982, The…

The school opened in September 1957 with 103 students at the Sophomore level. Junior and Senior levels were added in subsequent years. The high school was created to provide college preparatory training for students with exceptional ability in…

Streetcar service returned to Canal Street in 2004, forty years after the line had changed to bus service. This short documentary features an interview with Elmer Von Dullen, the streetcar artisan whose career in the Carrollton Shops started in 1954…

In 1897, Newcomb College was becoming cramped, and President Dixon found himself writing to the President of Tulane. He expressed the need for another dorm to house all the girls and accommodate the growing College. In response, the Gables was…

Subjects: Education

Newcomb administrators and faculty members were rather unique in their ideas about the physical education of women, especially when compared to other schools at the time. Dixon hired Clara Baer to meet the challenge of winning over students and…

Built soon after the end of the Civil War, Warren House was later named after Mrs. Newcomb's deceased husband, Warren Newcomb. The building was secured by the Tulane Educational Fund for Newcomb College in 1903 and served as a residence hall for the…

Under the guidance of Ellsworth Woodward, the Newcomb pottery program began flourishing in the mid-1890s. In 1896, the first public display of the pottery produced by the students was presented, to polite enthusiasm. In March 1900, the program…

Mrs. Newcomb bought this house across from the Washington Avenue campus for a residence hall for the growing school in 1894. The original Josephine Louise House was managed by Alice Bowman, who was charged with both running the household and managing…

The chapel held a particular spot in Mrs. Newcomb's heart, as she saw it as symbolic of her daughter, Sophie. Mrs. Newcomb ordered Tiffany windows for this building, as well as a specially built organ and a bronze memorial tablet for Harriott Sophie…

In 1909, Newcomb's School of Music building, which was built between 1850-60, was leased from the Tulane Educational Fund to house the new program. This building served as the home of the music program until 1918, when the college moved to Broadway.…

In 1896, Mrs. Newcomb contributed to both a pottery building and an arcade to connect the high school with College Hall. The girls of Newcomb were thrilled with finally having their "missing link," as they called it, built to unite the buildings,…

The Pontchartrain Railroad was one of the first lines completed in the United States. First opening in 1831, and remaining opened uninterrupted for over 100 years, it ran the five-mile length of Elysian Fields Avenue, running from the river in the…

On June 7, 1892, a 30-year-old African-American man named Homer Plessy attempted to board a segregated East Louisiana Railroad passenger train car at Press and Royal Streets in New Orleans. Louisiana's Separate Car Act, passed in 1890, required the…

The second free bridge opened in 1930, ensuring the failure of the privately owned and managed Watson-Williams toll bridge. First as Public Service Commissioner and then as a gubernatorial candidate, Huey Long had won a great deal of support as a…

The Chef Menteur Pass Bridge offered free access to and from New Orleans, helping to make the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain and the rest of the Gulf Coast more accessible to the city. Political candidate Huey Long was a vocal opponent to toll…

On the evening of November 18, 1926, a railcar of the Orleans-Kenner Traction Co. (popularly called the "O-K Line") was traveling through Southport when it was hit by the rear end of a Louisiana Railway & Navigation Co. train. An L. R. & N. engine…

Subjects: Transportation

The headquarters and downtown station of the Orleans-Kenner Electric Railway were located at 127 South Rampart Street between Canal Street and Tulane Avenue. Better known as the "O-K Line," it was New Orleans' only interurban rail line. As an…

Subjects: Transportation

About midway through Jefferson Parish, the Orleans-Kenner interurban (or O-K Line) passed through the village of Harahan. The company's car barn and power station were located here as well as one of its busiest stops. "Harahan City," as the…

Subjects: Transportation

The town of Kenner was the western (or upper) terminus of the Orleans-Kenner interurban line from 1915 until service was discontinued in 1930. During this time, the company also operated a "trolley park" along the line called Felix Park. It…

Subjects: Transportation

College Hall was built by James Robb, a wealthy banker, between 1852 and 1854. After a series of personal and financial misfortunes, Robb sold the mansion to John Burnside, a merchant who died in 1881. The house was originally purchased to house…

After the completion of Josephine Louise House in 1895, Mrs. Newcomb attempted to live in the building with the students, but found that their chatter ill suited to her need for quiet. She moved to Newcomb House, on 1225 Fourth Street in 1897. …

Newcomb College opened its doors in October 1887 to 59 students in a converted two-story brownstone building on the corner of Camp and DeLord (Howard Avenue) Streets, near what is, in 2012, Lee Circle. This, the former Hale Mansion, quickly was…

In 1965, Hurricane Betsy demonstrated that a major hurricane could overtop the earthen levees of the 17th Street Canal. So the Army Corps of Engineers recommended two cost-effective plans which were 1) raising the height of the canal walls or 2)…

Leon C. Weiss was a well-known Louisiana architect whose firm Weiss, Dreyfous and Seiferth designed many significant public buildings and other structures throughout Louisiana. Governor Huey P. Long commissioned Weiss, one of Long's campaign…

Subjects: Architecture

In 1908, Pelican Park opened on South Carrollton Avenue, situated between Palmyra and Banks Streets. In 1915, sections of the stadium were dismantled and moved by mules to the corner of Tulane and Carrollton Avenues, where Heinemann Park opened.…

Subjects: Sports, Place

The Flamingo Club, 405 Bourbon, a strip club operated by Frank Sinopoli, was a target of District Attorney Jim Garrison in his crusade to "clean up" the French Quarter during early 1963. According to The Times-Picayune, it was the fourth club…

Subjects: Crime

New Orleans Daily Picayune. 1 Oct. 1883 - 15 June 1885; 24 April 1887; Nov. 1895; 16 Feb. 1896; 8 June 1901; 23 Aug. 1905; 30 Mar. 1908.   New Orleans Mascot. January, 1882-December, 1886.   New Orleans Times-Democrat. 1 Nov. 1884 -15 June…

Originally built as a dormitory hall, Caroline Richardson was torn down to make room for Doris Hall. By 1958, there was no building called Caroline Richardson, though the original building was named after a member of the class of 1895, who also…

Subjects: Education

Until 1958, all park amenities, including the playground, were restricted to white residents. African American children and families were banned from entering the park. In a 1995 interview, the late author Tom Dent discusses his childhood experience…

Coyle, Georgen. "Letter to Ms. Mary Elizabeth Jackson Carlisle About the Myra Claire Rogers Chapel." Print. Dixon, Brandt V.B. "A Brief History of H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College 1887-1919: A Personal Reminiscence." New Orleans: Hauser…

Subjects: Education

Stroll past the Newman bandstand to one last imaginative view of the vastness of the Main Building with the Mexican Mining Pavilion beside it. The golf course now occupies most of the grounds on which the Main Building sat. These ghostly images from…

Continue on the path in the direction you have been traveling, along the Olmsted lagoon. Soon you arrive at one end of the Foucher alley of oaks, planted in the eighteenth century. Scores of exposition visitors remarked on their beauty and noted the…

Much to the dismay of New Orleans women, management chose a northern celebrity to head the Woman's Department. However, Julia Ward Howe, author of the famed northern anthem, the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," performed her role with energy and aplomb…

Imagine yourself in a mule-drawn streetcar or private carriage being transported to Exposition grounds. Hear the hooves on a shell road constructed for the occasion. You arrive at this Main Entrance. Its architecture reflects that of the gigantic…

Take a few moments here to enjoy the activity in the park and the beauty of the entrance. As you face the entrance again, Tulane and Loyola universities are across the street and were also originally part of the Foucher-Bore plantations. A plaque to…

In the eighteenth century, working sugar plantations existed on this land. They faced the Mississippi River, which is straight ahead about a half mile. Pierre Foucher planted long alleys of live oak trees to frame his house. His neighbor Etienne de…

From December 16, 1884 until June 1, 1885, the spectacular World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition covered these grounds with gigantic wooden structures and broad, lighted paths. Too little is known of the event, even by New Orleanians,…

BIBLIOGRAPHY "1853: Terrifying Yellow Fever Epidemic Hist New Orleans." Times-Picayune, August 18, 2011. Austin, James W., and Grady J. Glenn. "TERMITE TROUBLE." In American Forests, Vol. 112, No. 1 (Spring 2006): 15. Carrigan, Jo Ann. "Mass…

The art building is one of the four original buildings that were the Broadway campus when Newcomb moved there in 1918. In 1997, the original art building underwent massive renovations, and the school was careful to make sure that the exterior…

Subjects: Education

In 1923, a new gymnasium was built on campus, along with an annex that housed a swimming pool, thanks to the assistance of Mr. Irby. Besides a new gymnasium and pool, tennis courts and an athletic field were also built between 1923 and 1929, as well…

Subjects: Education

One of the few buildings already present on the Broadway campus in 1919, Josephine Louise did little to soothe the homesick girls who lived there during their first year on the new campus. Due to an outbreak of influenza, students were forced to…

Subjects: Education

When it was built in 1925, Doris Hall, was home to 28 girls. It was named for Doris Zemurray Stone, herself a graduate of Radcliffe College and the daughter of Tulane donor, Samuel Zemurray. Built as a cooperative dormitory, Doris Hall provided an…

Subjects: Education

From the first day Newcomb College opened its doors on the Broadway campus, Newcomb Hall was the heart of the school. As the administrative stronghold of the college, most of the departments in Newcomb College have, at some point, claimed Newcomb…

Subjects: Education

Dixon Hall was built in 1929 to house a music building, auditorium, library, and a memorial to President Dixon, who retired in 1919 after 32 years. Subsequent leaders of the College were called "deans." Dixon had long dreamed of creating a worthy…

Subjects: Education

New Doris Hall was built, along with Butler and Johnston Hall, after 1954 to accommodate the explosion of applicants to Newcomb. Of the three women's residency halls, only Butler still stands today, though it is now a co-ed honors dorm. New Doris…

Subjects: Education

The construction of Doris Hall was followed in 1928 by the construction of a larger dormitory, Warren Newcomb House. Warren House is named for the husband of Josephine Louise, and in 1952, an additional wing was successfully added, expanding the…

Subjects: Education

In his book, "A Brief History of H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College 1887-1919: A Personal Reminiscence," President Dixon mentioned that the move to the Broadway campus was a good thing, as the new buildings were better adapted for college use, but…

Subjects: Education

"100 Years." New Orleans Museum of Art. http://noma.org/pages/detail/19/100-Years (accessed on 2/23/12) Absalom, Thom. "Myth and History." New Histories. Bozant, Kevin, Frentz, Amanda and Jochum, Kimberly. "Plaques, inscriptions, Markers of…

City Park is known for having one of the largest collections of mature live oaks in the world. The oldest is rumored to be up to 800 years old, although most sources claim the oak's age is closer to 500 years. Live Oaks are evergreen, but their…

Subjects: Environment

The Langles Bridge is located near the south side of the Timken Center, formerly known as the Casino building. This original stone bridge is dedicated to Miss Angele M. Langles; her estate appropriated $650 for City Park. Angele and her mother…

John F. Popp was a park visitor with a penchant for classic style architecture and music. He was determined to construct a bandstand for the park that was harmonious with the other newly constructed buildings. On July 4, 1917, Popp's Bandstand…

Built in 1912, the Casino was conceived as a combined refreshment stand and administrative center. The upper floor of the Casino once housed the park's administrative offices, and it was used for City Park Improvement Association meetings. Late in…

1777 marked the birth of Louis Allard, son and heir of the affluent Creole family of Francoise Lorreins and Jean Allard. One narrative of Louis Allard's life said he was "destined to be an active citizen of the bayou for the next seventy years." …

Subjects: Recreation, Bridges

Many myths are associated with the "Dueling Oaks." An 1892 Times-Democrat article noted that "Blood has been shed under the old cathedral aisles of nature. Between 1834 and 1844 scarcely a day passed without duels being fought at the Oaks. Why, it…

Opened as the Isaac Delgado Art Museum in 1911, it was renamed the New Orleans Museum of Art in 1971. In the early 1900's, wealthy sugar broker Isaac Delgado wrote to the City Park Board about his intention to build an art museum. "I have been lead…

Two 25 foot marble pylons mark the Esplande Avenue entrance to City Park. They were erected in memory of Park Commissioner Anthony Monteleone following his death in 1913. Known as the Monteleone Gate, the pylons include eight bronze lamps and 600…

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