New Orleans April 29, 2018
Most People Don’t Know The History Behind These 8 Famous New Orleans Streets
You’ve driven on them, been caught in traffic on them, and maybe even seen a parade or two on them, but do you know the history of them? Here’s the little known history of some of New Orleans’ most famous streets.
1. Carondelet Street
The street was named to honor Spanish colonial governor Francisco Luis Hector de Carondolet, whose administration was in the 1790s.
2. Bourbon Street
It can be easy to assume that the street got its name due to the many bars and clubs that it’s known for, but that’s not the case at all. Jean Baptiste Le Moyne de Beinville was appointed as Director General in charge of developing a colony in the area, and he founded New Orleans in 1718. In 1721, Adrien de Pauger, the royal engineer, designed the city’s street layout. He named the streets after French royal houses and Catholic saints, and Bourbon Street was named to honor France’s ruling family, the House of Bourbon.
3. Rampart Street
This street gets its name from the wall, or Rampart that was built during New Orleans’ early years. During the 1970s, Francisco Luis de Carondelet strengthened several forts that encircled the city (Fort St. John, Fort Burgundy, Fort. St. Charles, etc) and he also built a rampart ("Rempart" in French) along the north side of the street.
4. Canal Street
Canal Street was originally named for a canal that was supposed to be built, connecting the Mississippi River to Lake Pontchartrain. The canal was never dug, but the the street received the name anyway.
5. Decatur Street
Running parallel to the Mississippi River, this French Quarter street was originally known as "Rue de la Levée", or "Levee Street", as it was the original location of the levee. When the river had changed course in 1870, the street was renamed Decatur Street to honor the naval hero Stephen Decatur.
6. Magazine Street
Filled with unique boutiques, cafes and restaurants, this famous street seems to have taken its name from an ammunition magazine that was located nearby during the 18th century. However, there’s another theory floating around that the street may have been named after the Spanish word for warehouse, almacin. As the story goes, General James Wilkinson came to New Orleans and persuaded the governor of Louisiana, Esteban Rodriguez Miro into building him a warehouse to store his Kentucky tobacco. The street was originally called Calle del Almazen, which would later be called Magazine Street.
7. Elysian Fields Avenue
It should come as no surprise that this street has French roots. Named after the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris, this street originated in the early 19th century.
8. Poydras Street
Poydras Street dates back to 1788 when it was first laid out, and it was named for Julien de Lallande Poydras, who served as the first President of the Louisiana State Senate, and helped Louisiana become a state.
Did you know the history of any of these streets? Let us know in the comments below!