When visiting New Orleans, a trip through the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood is a must. Developed by plantation owner and eccentric millionaire Bernard de Marigny de Mandeville in the early 1800s, its borders are North Rampart Street and St. Claude Avenue on the north, the Mississippi River to the south, Franklin Avenue to the east and Esplanade Avenue to the west. It is a subdistrict of the Bywater District Area and a great locale to get a real sense of New Orleans’ flavor and culture.
The Marigny was the third village, or Municipality, to be incorporated into New Orleans. The land had been part of de Marigny de Mandeville’s family plantation. The area was located just down the river from New Orleans city limits. The area of Marigny on the side of St. Claude Avenue was often referred to as “New Marigny”. Here, in the early 1800s, white gentlemen often kept their colored mistresses and the children born to them.
The main street of the Marigny neighborhood was meant to mirror the Champs-Elysees in Paris, and was the first street that extended from the Mississippi through to Lake Pontchartrain, five miles away. Unfortunately, the stately Marigny experienced a decline in the mid-1900s and became a hotbed of crime and vice. In the late 1900s, the neighborhood experienced a rebirth when the 1984 World’s Fair came to town. Known for its live music and restaurants, it is now a popular and revitalized tourist spot.
Today, the Faubourg Marigny is thriving. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, this part of the city received far less damage than other areas. Although lower lying areas of New Marigny did flood, due to higher elevation and 19th century raised houses, the flooding was not as extensive as in other districts. When taking a trip to New Orleans, check out the Marigny. For great music, food and Big Easy flavor, you’ll find it all here.