French Mississippi Company, under the direction of Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville founded the city, La Nouvelle Orleans, May 7, 1718. The French Quarter is the original grid as set out by French explorers and previously known asÂ Vieux Carre, which means "Old Square." Two major fires, one in 1788 and another in 1794, destroyed much of the French colonial architecture. Most of the French Quarter's architecture was rebuilt during the time of Spanish rule over New Orleans and this change in style is still evident. From this period, strict fire codes also influenced design and style requiring the new buildings to be adjacent and close to the curb, while banning wooden siding. The area that the French Quarter covers today is the same 6 x 13 blocks as it was in the 1700s, with many of the buildings dating prior to New Orleans becoming part of the United States via the Louisiana Purchase of 1803.
When it comes to shopping and dining, the variety and abundance will inspire. Royal Street, running parallel to Bourbon, is full of antique shops and art galleries. Intriguing voodoo shops also add a sense of magic to the French Quarter. Shopping near the waterfront includes the famous French Market. Both visitors and local residents alike frequent this district, which spans from the Shops at the Upper Pontalba on Jackson Square to the famous Flea Market near the Old U.S. Mint.
French Quarter restaurants are too many to name! Favorites include Brennan's Restaurant on Royal Street. It is a Creole restaurant known for its lavish breakfast. NOLA Restaurant, apart from mouth-watering menu items, has waiters full of personality and offers much atmosphere. A true classic New Orleans restaurant right off Bourbon Street is Galatoire's. Walk in and feel like you walked into another time. Acme Oyster House is a very popular restaurant and there is always a line for their great oysters, great po boys and it is a fun place to go. Broussard's Restaurant is one of the four classic Creole New Orleans restaurants known as the Grand Dames and is named on www.gayot.com as one of 2011 Top 10 Romantic Restaurants in New Orleans.
One of the many attractions for people considering French Quarter real estate is the endless and varied retail scene. Shopping in the French Quarter ranges from The Shops at Canal Place, which provides a sophisticated shopping destination including Coach, Brooks Brothers, Saks Fifth Avenue and boutiques to the unusual and unexpected. There are bookstores and art galleries like Paul Gruer Designs on Bourbon Street, and vintage inspired clothes such as those found in Trashy Diva. Or you can enjoy the Riverwalk Marketplace on Poydras Street where you will find, apart from the Dixieland sounds and energy, Nine West, Gap, Clarks, Brookstone, Perfumania, Got It (for groceries), Chico's, Ann Taylor Loft and more.
Residents of the French Quarter are never far from restful parks and riverside walkways. Strolling through Jackson Park, buying a first edition Faulkner from the bookstore where he once lived or simply people watching. Local residents can enjoy this while surrounded by eclectic architecture and historic buildings of exquisite detail. Enjoy a walk in Woldenberg Park, listen to the music and watch the jugglers. Located in Dutch Alley in the French Market is the New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park. Come and enjoy free music programs, films, educational talks and presentations, kids' workshops, and more. Dutch Alley is also home to public art, scenic walkways, Galvez Restaurant, the steps leading to the Mississippi River, French Market parking lot and streetcar access. Lafayette Square is the place to be in Spring and Fall to enjoy free concerts with food and gift vendors. Locals and visitors alike are attracted to Latrobe Park. Surrounding the park is a popular open-air cafÃ© and shops. There is an abundance of public art throughout including a spectacular piece of artwork, the Joan of Arc statue, located in front of The Market Cafe, at St. Phillip and Decatur Streets.
An attraction to French Quarter real estate is the ease of walking to venues within the neighborhood. Many people do not own a car and in that respect, it is similar to living on Manhattan Island or in San Francisco. The French Quarter is extremely urban and most building fronts are on the sidewalk with very few having front yards. Some residents have said uptown is nice, but there is a charm in living in what feels like a movie set when you own French Quarter real estate! It is a second or third homeownerâ€™s dream, with the concentration of bars, clubs, restaurants, hotels and retail outlets. Yet despite the commercialization, the French Quarter is still an authentic neighborhood. It is like living in a small sophisticated town, but with some of the greatest entertainment, art and food at your doorstep. Many people plan on passing through but end up staying.
Mardi Gras year-round? Yes, in the French Quarter! While Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras in English) occurs in 2012 on February 21, it's really an entire season of celebration and fun. What's more, in the French Quarter, the lifestyle of fun lasts all year long. On Bourbon Street, every day seems like Fat Tuesday -- and for locals in the French Quarter, there are lots of other streets where great music and fun happen every day of the year. Unlike other U.S. cities, bars have no closing hours, and it's legal to drink in the street (as long as a plastic cup is used), so great music and an active social scene happen around the clock.Â
French Quarter real estate is a sizzling cocktail of opportunity for a main residence or a second or third home where the Mardi Gras experience is absorbed from a French Quarter balcony. Even in the most active parts of town, homeowners have the refuge of a quiet interior courtyard. The French Quarter manages the difficult task of being a tourism hotspot, a National Historical Park (Jean Lafitteâ€™s six sites including the French Quarter visitor center), and a place people actually enjoy living and working.
The French Quarter has several education options. Cathedral Academy is a private, co-ed, Roman Catholic school serving 167 students in grades PreK-8. School highlights are NCEA, basketball, chorus and community service. Another private school serving the area for grades 5-7 is Bishop Perry Middle School. This too is a co-ed and Roman Catholic affiliated school and is highly rated. New Orleans McDonogh #35 Senior High School serves grades 7-12 in the Orleans Parish School District. Based on reviews from 34 school community members, this school has an average Community Rating of 5 out of 5.
Transportation is well developed and diverse within New Orleans with streetcars being a notable option. The Riverfront line runs parallel to the river from Esplanade Street through the French Quarter to Canal Street with other lines branching to include many attractions such as the Museum of Art, the Convention Center, the cemeteries and entrance to the City Park. There are many bus routes connecting the city and outer areas. Major road systems include Interstate 10, Interstate 610 and Interstate 510 allowing quick commuting throughout the city. For anyone needing to travel further afield, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport serves the metropolitan area and is 10 miles from the central business area. Three trains operate via the New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal, which is the central rail depot while the Canal Street Ferry connects the heart of New Orleans with the neighborhood of Algiers Point on the other side of the Mississippi River.
Tulane Medical Center, an acclaimed teaching, research and medical facility, offers 25 clinics to serve the community. Tulane Medical Center-Downtown is located on Tulane Avenue while Tulane-Lakeside is on South I-10 Service Road West. Tulane Medical Center was the first hospital to reopen after Hurricane Katrina devastated healthcare in the region.
If you are thinking about buying or selling a home, give us a call at (504) 427-3899Â or send us an email to explore your options and to find out when is the best time for you to make a move.
The Clouse Team
Realty Executives, SELA
Ken Clouse 504-432-4262
Rose Clouse 504-427-3899
13592 River Road, Ste 6
Destrehan, LA 70047
Licensed by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission.
Each office independently owned and operated