New Orleans is a city steeped in culture and tradition. Its neighborhoods allow visitors to experience a perfect mix of the past and present through architecture, festivals and of course, it’s people. One historic neighborhood that is worth a visit is the Bayou St. John (also known as the Faubourg St. Jean or Bayou St. Jean). The boundaries of this subdistrict of the Mid-City District Area are to the north Esplanade Avenue, to the east North Broad Street, to the south St. Louis Street the Bayou St. John itself to the west.
Full of historic homes, the Bayou St. John is well known for its architectural charm. The Old Spanish Custom House, built in 1784 stands as the oldest structure in the neighborhood. Designated a New Orleans Historic District Landmark, the Custom House is enclosed by a cement and brick post fence. On the grounds are a two-room slave quarter and a carriage house. The second oldest house is the Pitot House, with construction completed in 1805. In 1810, this plantation home, built in French Colonial style, was purchased by James Pitot, the second mayor of New Orleans. It is now the headquarters of the Louisiana Landmarks Society.
Consisting of 35 blocks in a fan-like composition, the Faubourg St. John contains many beautiful and historic homes built by French Creole families, especially along Esplanade Avenue. The neighborhood is also home to the New Orleans Museum of Art as well as the 150 year old City Park, well loved for its 1,500 acres of oaks and lagoons. Although the park was heavily damaged by the effects of Hurricane Katrina, rebuilding efforts have helped restore the park’s original charm and appeal.
Filled with restaurants, bed and breakfasts, cafes, gardens and shops, the Bayou St. John, located a short distance from the French Quarter, is a perfect way to spend a memorable day in the Crescent City.