NEW ORLEANS (/njuː ˈɔːrlᵻnz, -ˈɔːrli.ənz, -ɔːrˈliːnz/ ,
or /ˈnɔːrlᵻnz/ ; French : LA NOUVELLE-ORLéANS ( listen )) is
United States port and the largest city and metropolitan area
in the state of
The population of the city was 343,829 as of the
2010 U.S. Census .
New Orleans metropolitan area (New Orleans–Metairie–Kenner
Metropolitan Statistical Area) had a population of 1,167,764 in 2010
and was the 46th largest in the
United States . The New
Orleans–Metairie–Bogalusa Combined Statistical Area , a larger
trading area, had a
2010 population of 1,452,502.
It is well known for its distinct French and Spanish Creole
architecture , as well as its cross-cultural and multilingual
New Orleans is also famous for its cuisine, music (particularly as
the birthplace of jazz ), and its annual celebrations and festivals,
Mardi Gras , dating to French colonial times.
The city is often referred to as the "most unique" in the United
New Orleans is located in southeastern
Louisiana , and developed on
both sides of the
Mississippi River . The heart of the city and French
Quarter is on the north side of the river as it curves through this
area. The city and ORLEANS PARISH (French : paroisse d'Orléans) are
coterminous. The city and parish are bounded by the parishes of St.
Tammany to the north, St. Bernard to the east, Plaquemines to the
south, and Jefferson to the south and west.
Lake Pontchartrain ,
part of which is included in the city limits, lies to the north and
Lake Borgne lies to the east.
Hurricane Katrina ,
Orleans Parish was the most populous
parish in Louisiana. As of 2015, it ranks third in population,
Jefferson Parish , and East
Baton Rouge Parish .
* 1 History
* 1.1 Names
* 1.2 Beginnings through the 19th century
* 1.3 20th century
Civil Rights Movement
Civil Rights Movement
* 1.3.2 Drainage and flood control
* 1.4 21st century
* 1.4.3 Post-disaster recovery
* 2 Geography
* 2.1 Elevation
* 2.2 Cityscape
* 2.2.1 Historic and residential architecture
* 2.2.2 Tallest buildings
* 2.3 Climate
* 2.4 Threat from tropical cyclones
* 3 Demographics
* 3.1 Religion
* 3.2 Ethnic groups
* 3.3 Changes in population
* 4 Economy
* 4.2 Business
* 4.3 Tourist and convention business
* 5 Other
* 5.1 Top employers
* 6 Culture and contemporary life
* 6.1 Tourism
* 6.2 Entertainment and performing arts
* 6.3 Food
* 6.4 Dialect
* 7 Sports
* 8 National protected areas
* 9 Government
* 9.1 Crime and safety
* 10 Education
* 10.1 Colleges and universities
* 10.2 Primary and secondary schools
* 10.3 Libraries
* 11 Media
* 12 Transportation
* 12.1 Streetcars
* 12.2 Bicycling
* 12.3 Buses
* 12.4 Roads
* 12.5 Airports
* 12.6 Rail
* 12.7 Ferries
* 13 Notable people
* 14.1 Twinnings and Partnerships
* 15 See also
* 16 Notes
* 17 References
* 18 Further reading
* 19 External links
History of New Orleans and
Timeline of New Orleans
The city is named after the Duke of Orleans , who reigned as Regent
for Louis XV from 1715 to 1723, as it was established by French
colonists and strongly influenced by their European culture. It also
has a number of illustrative nicknames:
* Crescent City alludes to the course of the Lower Mississippi River
around and through the city.
* The Big Easy was possibly a reference by musicians in the early
20th century to the relative ease of finding work there. It also may
have originated in the Prohibition era, when the city was considered
one big speak-easy due to the inability of the federal government to
control alcohol sales in open violation of the 18th Amendment .
* The City that Care Forgot has been used since at least 1938, and
refers to the outwardly easy-going, carefree nature of many of the
BEGINNINGS THROUGH THE 19TH CENTURY
New Orleans in the American Civil War
New Orleans in the American Civil War Historical
Kingdom of France 1718–1763
Kingdom of Spain 1763–1802
French First Republic 1802–1803
United States of America 1803–1861
Confederate States of America
Confederate States of America 1861–1862
United States of America 1862–present
Orléans (New Orleans) was founded May 7, 1718, by the
Mississippi Company , under the direction of Jean-Baptiste Le
Moyne de Bienville , on land inhabited by the
Chitimacha . It was
Philippe II, Duke of Orléans , who was
Regent of the
Kingdom of France at the time. His title came from the French city of
The French colony was ceded to the Spanish Empire in the Treaty of
Paris (1763) . During the
American Revolutionary War ,
New Orleans was
an important port for smuggling aid to the rebels , transporting
military equipment and supplies up the
Mississippi River . Bernardo de
Gálvez y Madrid, Count of Gálvez successfully launched a southern
campaign against the British from the city in 1779. New Orleans
(Spanish: NUEVA ORLEANS) remained under Spanish control until 1803,
when it reverted briefly to French oversight. Nearly all of the
surviving 18th-century architecture of the Vieux Carré (French
Quarter ) dates from the Spanish period, the most notable exception
Old Ursuline Convent .
Louisiana (New France) to the
United States in the
Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Thereafter, the city grew rapidly with
influxes of Americans, French, Creoles , and Africans. Later
immigrants were Irish, Germans, and Italians. Major commodity crops of
sugar and cotton were cultivated with slave labor on large plantations
outside the city.
Haitian Revolution ended in 1804 and established the second
republic in the
Western Hemisphere and the first republic led by black
people . It had occurred over several years in what was then the
French colony of
Saint-Domingue . Thousands of refugees from the
violent revolution, both whites and free people of color (affranchis
or gens de couleur libres), arrived in New Orleans, often bringing
slaves of African descent with them. While Governor Claiborne and
other officials wanted to keep out additional free black men, the
French Creoles wanted to increase the French-speaking population. As
more refugees were allowed into the
Territory of Orleans , Haitian
émigrés who had first gone to
Cuba also arrived. Many of the white
Francophones had been deported by officials in
Cuba in retaliation for
Bonapartist schemes in Spain.
Nearly 90 percent of these immigrants settled in New Orleans. The
1809 migration brought 2,731 whites; 3,102 free persons of African
descent; and 3,226 enslaved persons of African descent, doubling the
city's population. The city became 63 percent black in population, a
greater proportion than
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina 's 53 percent.
Battle of New Orleans (1815)
During the final campaign of the
War of 1812 , the British sent a
force of 11,000 soldiers , marines , and sailors , in an attempt to
capture New Orleans. Despite great challenges, General Andrew Jackson
, with support from the
U.S. Navy on the river , successfully cobbled
together a motley military force of: militia from
Mississippi , including free men of color ,
U.S. Army regulars, a
large contingent of
Tennessee state militia ,
Choctaw fighters, and local privateers (the latter led by the pirate
Jean Lafitte ), to decisively defeat the British troops , led by Sir
Edward Pakenham , in the
Battle of New Orleans
Battle of New Orleans on January 8, 1815. The
armies had not learned of the
Treaty of Ghent
Treaty of Ghent which had been signed on
December 24, 1814. (However, the treaty did not call for cessation of
hostilities until after both governments had ratified the treaty, and
the US government did not ratify it until February 16, 1815.) The
Louisiana had begun in December 1814 and did not end until
late January, after the Americans held off the
British Navy during a
ten-day siege of Fort St. Philip . (The Royal Navy went on to capture
Fort Bowyer near Mobile , before the commanders received news of the
As a principal port ,
New Orleans played a major role during the
antebellum era in the
Atlantic slave trade . Its port also handled
huge quantities of commodities for export from the interior and
imported goods from other countries, which were warehoused and
New Orleans to smaller vessels and distributed the
length and breadth of the vast
Mississippi River watershed. The river
in front of the city was filled with steamboats, flatboats, and
sailing ships. Despite its role in the slave trade ,
New Orleans at
the same time had the largest and most prosperous community of free
persons of color in the nation, who were often educated and
middle-class property owners.
Dwarfing in population the other cities in the antebellum South , New
Orleans had the largest slave market in the domestic slave trade,
which expanded after the United States' ending of the international
trade in 1808. Two-thirds of the more than one million slaves brought
Deep South arrived via the forced migration of the domestic
slave trade . The money generated by the sale of slaves in the Upper
South has been estimated at 15 percent of the value of the staple crop
economy. The slaves represented half a billion dollars in property. An
ancillary economy grew up around the trade in slaves—for
transportation, housing and clothing, fees, etc., estimated at 13.5
percent of the price per person. All of this amounted to tens of
billions of dollars (2005 dollars, adjusted for inflation) during the
antebellum period, with
New Orleans as a prime beneficiary.
According to the historian Paul Lachance,
the addition of white immigrants to the white creole population
enabled French-speakers to remain a majority of the white population
until almost 1830. If a substantial proportion of free persons of
color and slaves had not also spoken French, however, the Gallic
community would have become a minority of the total population as
early as 1820.
Louisiana Purchase, numerous Anglo-Americans migrated to
the city. The population of the city doubled in the 1830s and by 1840,
New Orleans had become the wealthiest and the third-most populous city
in the nation. Large numbers of German and Irish immigrants began
arriving in the 1840s, working as laborers in the busy port. In this
period, the state legislature passed more restrictions on manumissions
of slaves, and virtually ended it in 1852.
In the 1850s, white Francophones remained an intact and vibrant
community; they maintained instruction in French in two of the city's
four school districts (all were white). In 1860, the city had 13,000
free people of color (gens de couleur libres), the class of free,
mostly mixed-race people that developed during French and Spanish
rule. The census recorded 81 percent as mulatto, a term used to cover
all degrees of mixed race. Mostly part of the Francophone group, they
constituted the artisan, educated and professional class of African
Americans. Most blacks were still enslaved, working at the port, in
domestic service, in crafts, and mostly on the many large, surrounding
sugar cane plantations.
Mississippi River steamboats at New
After growing by 45 percent in the 1850s, by 1860, the city had
nearly 170,000 people The city was a destination for immigrants. It
had grown in wealth, with a "per capita income was second in the
nation and the highest in the South." The city had a role as the
"primary commercial gateway for the nation's booming mid-section."
The port was the third largest in the nation in terms of tonnage of
imported goods, after Boston and New York, handling 659,000 tons in
As the French Creole elite feared, during the Civil War their world
changed. In 1862, following the occupation by the Navy after the
Battle of Forts Jackson and St. Philip , Northern forces under Gen.
Benjamin F. Butler , a respected state lawyer of the Massachusetts
militia, occupied the city. Later
New Orleans residents nicknamed him
as "Beast" Butler, because of a military order he issued. After his
troops had been assaulted and harassed in the streets by Southern
women, his order warned that future such occurrences would result in
his men treating such "ladies" as those "plying their avocation in the
streets", implying that they would treat the women like prostitutes.
Accounts of this spread like wildfire across the South and the North.
He also came to be called "Spoons" Butler because of the alleged
looting that his troops did while occupying New Orleans.
French language instruction in city schools;
statewide measures in 1864 and, after the war, 1868 further
strengthened English-only policy imposed by federal representatives.
With the predominance of English speakers in the city and state, that
language had already become dominant in business and government. By
the end of the 19th century, French usage in the city had faded
significantly; it was also under pressure from new immigrants: English
speakers such as the Irish, and other Europeans, such as the Italians
and Germans. However, as late as 1902 "one-fourth of the population
of the city spoke French in ordinary daily intercourse, while another
two-fourths was able to understand the language perfectly," and as
late as 1945, one still encountered elderly Creole women who spoke no
English. The last major
French language newspaper in New Orleans,
L\'Abeille de la Nouvelle-
New Orleans Bee), ceased
publication on December 27, 1923, after ninety-six years. According
to some sources, Le Courrier de la Nouvelle Orleans continued until
1955. The starving people of
New Orleans under Union occupation
during the Civil War, 1862
As the city was captured and occupied early in the war, it was spared
the destruction through warfare suffered by many other cities of the
American South . The
Union Army eventually extended its control north
Mississippi River and along the coastal areas of the State.
As a result, most of the southern portion of
Louisiana was originally
exempted from the liberating provisions of the 1863 "Emancipation
Proclamation " issued by President
Abraham Lincoln . Large numbers of
rural ex-slaves and some free people of color from the city
volunteered for the first regiments of Black troops in the War. Led by
Daniel Ullman (1810–1892), of the 78th Regiment of New
York State Volunteers
Militia , they were known as the "Corps
d\'Afrique ." While that name had been used by a militia before the
war, that group was composed of free people of color . The new group
was made up mostly of former slaves. They were supplemented in the
last two years of the War by newly organized
United States Colored
Troops , who played an increasingly important part in the war.
Violence throughout the South, especially the Memphis Riots of 1866
followed by the
New Orleans Riot in July of that year, resulted in
Congress passing the
Reconstruction Act and the Fourteenth Amendment ,
to extend the protections of full citizenship to freedmen and free
people of color.
Louisiana and Texas were put under the authority of
Fifth Military District " of the
United States during
Louisiana was eventually readmitted to the Union in
1868; its Constitution of 1868 granted universal manhood suffrage and
established universal public education. Both blacks and whites were
elected to local and state offices. In 1872, lieutenant governor
P.B.S. Pinchback , who was of mixed race , succeeded Henry Clay
Warmouth for a brief period as Republican governor of
becoming the first governor of African descent of an American state .
African American to serve as governor of an American state
Douglas Wilder , elected in Virginia in 1989.)
New Orleans even
operated a racially-integrated public school system during this
New Orleans Mardi Gras in the early 1890s.
Wartime damage to levees and cities along the Mississippi River
adversely affected southern crops and trade for the port city for some
time. The federal government contributed to restoring infrastructure,
but it took time. The nationwide financial recession and Panic of 1873
also adversely affected businesses and slowed economic recovery.
From 1868, elections in
Louisiana were marked by violence, as white
insurgents tried to suppress black voting and disrupt Republican
gatherings. Violence continued around elections. The disputed 1872
gubernatorial election resulted in conflicts that ran for years. The
White League ", an insurgent paramilitary group that supported the
Democratic Party, was organized in 1874 and operated in the open,
violently suppressing the black vote and running off Republican
officeholders. In 1874, in the
Battle of Liberty Place , 5,000 members
White League fought with city police to take over the state
offices for the Democratic candidate for governor, holding them for
three days. By 1876, such tactics resulted in the white Democrats ,
Redeemers , regaining political control of the state
legislature. The federal government gave up and withdrew its troops in
1877, ending Reconstruction.
White Democrats passed
Jim Crow laws, establishing racial segregation
in public facilities. In 1889, the legislature passed a constitutional
amendment incorporating a "grandfather clause " that effectively
disfranchised freedmen as well as the propertied people of color free
before the war. Unable to vote, African Americans could not serve on
juries or in local office, and were closed out of formal politics for
several generations in the state. It was ruled by a white Democratic
Party. Public schools were racially segregated and remained so until
New Orleans' large community of well-educated, often French-speaking
free persons of color (gens de couleur libres), who had been free
prior to the Civil War, sought to fight back against Jim Crow. They
organized the Comité des Citoyens (Citizens Committee) to work for
civil rights. As part of their legal campaign, they recruited one of
Homer Plessy , to test whether Louisiana's newly enacted
Separate Car Act was constitutional. Plessy boarded a commuter train
New Orleans for Covington,
Louisiana , sat in the car
reserved for whites only, and was arrested. The case resulting from
Plessy v. Ferguson
Plessy v. Ferguson , was heard by the U.S. Supreme
Court in 1896. The court ruled that "separate but equal"
accommodations were constitutional, effectively upholding Jim Crow
measures. In practice, African-American public schools and facilities
were underfunded in
Louisiana and across the South. The Supreme Court
ruling contributed to this period as the nadir of race relations in
the United States. The rate of lynchings of black men was high across
the South, as other states also disfranchised blacks and sought to
Jim Crow to establish white supremacy . Anti-Italian sentiment
in 1891 contributed to the lynchings of 11 Italians , some of whom had
been acquitted of the murder of the police chief. Some were shot and
killed in the jail where they were being held. It was the largest mass
lynching in U.S. history. In July 1900 the city was swept by white
mobs rioting after Robert Charles, a young African American, had
killed a policeman and temporarily escaped. They killed him and an
estimated 20 other blacks; seven whites died in the conflict, which
lasted a few days until a state militia suppressed it.
Throughout New Orleans' history, until the early 20th century when
medical and scientific advances ameliorated the situation, the city
suffered repeated epidemics of yellow fever and other tropical and
Esplanade Avenue at Burgundy Street, looking lakewards north
Lake Ponchartrain (1900) 1943 waiting line at wartime
Rationing Board office in
New Orleans' zenith as an economic and population center, in relation
to other American cities, occurred in the decades prior to 1860. At
New Orleans was the nation's fifth-largest city and was
significantly larger than all other American South population centers.
New Orleans continued to increase in population from the mid-19th
century onward, but rapid economic growth shifted to other areas of
the country, meaning that New Orleans' relative importance steadily
declined. First to emerge in importance were the new industrial and
railroad hubs of the Midwest, then the rapidly growing metropolises of
the Pacific Coast in the decades before and after the turn of the 20th
century. Construction of railways and highways decreased river
traffic, diverting goods to other transportation corridors and
markets. Thousands of the most ambitious blacks and people of color
New Orleans and the state in the Great Migration around World War
II and after, many for West Coast destinations. In the post-war
Sun Belt cities in the South and West surpassed New
Orleans in population.
From the late 1800s, most U.S. censuses recorded New Orleans'
slipping rank among American cities. Reminded every ten years of its
declining relative importance,
New Orleans would periodically mount
attempts to regain its economic vigor and pre-eminence, with varying
degrees of success.
By the mid-20th century, New Orleanians recognized that their city
was being surpassed as the leading urban area in the South . By 1950,
Dallas , and
New Orleans in size, and in
Miami eclipsed New Orleans, even as the latter's population
reached what would be its historic peak that year. As with other
older American cities in the postwar period, highway construction and
suburban development drew residents from the center city to newer
housing outside. The 1970 census recorded the first absolute decline
in the city's population since it joined the United States. The New
Orleans metropolitan area continued expanding in population, however,
just not as rapidly as other major cities in the Sun Belt. While the
port remained one of the largest in the nation, automation and
containerization resulted in significant job losses. The city's
relative fall in stature meant that its former role as banker to the
South was inexorably supplanted by competing companies in larger peer
cities. New Orleans' economy had always been based more on trade and
financial services than on manufacturing, but the city's relatively
small manufacturing sector also shrank in the post–World War II
period. Despite some economic development successes under the
administrations of DeLesseps "Chep" Morrison (1946–1961) and Victor
"Vic" Schiro (1961–1970), metropolitan New Orleans' growth rate
consistently lagged behind more vigorous cities.
Civil Rights Movement
During the later years of Morrison's administration, and for the
entirety of Schiro's, the city was a center of the Civil Rights
Movement . The
Southern Christian Leadership Conference
Southern Christian Leadership Conference was founded in
the city, and lunch counter sit-ins were held in Canal Street
department stores. A prominent and violent series of confrontations
occurred in 1960 when the city attempted school desegregation,
following the Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education
(1954). When six-year-old
Ruby Bridges integrated William Frantz
Elementary School in the city's Ninth Ward , she was the first child
of color to attend a previously all-white school in the South.
The Civil Rights Movement's success in gaining federal passage of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the
Voting Rights Act of 1965 provided
enforcement of constitutional rights, including renewed voting for
blacks. Together, these resulted in the most far-reaching changes in
New Orleans' 20th century history. Though legal and civil equality
were re-established by the end of the 1960s, a large gap in income
levels and educational attainment persisted between the city's White
and African-American communities. As the middle class and wealthier
members of both races left the center city, its population's income
level dropped, and it became proportionately more African American.
From 1980, the African-American majority has elected primarily
officials from its own community. They have struggled to narrow the
gap by creating conditions conducive to the economic uplift of the
New Orleans became increasingly dependent on tourism as an economic
mainstay during the administrations of
Sidney Barthelemy (1986–1994)
Marc Morial (1994–2002). Relatively low levels of educational
attainment, high rates of household poverty, and rising crime
threatened the prosperity of the city in the later decades of the
century. The negative effects of these socioeconomic conditions
contrasted with the changes to the economy of the United States, which
were based on a post-industrial, knowledge-based paradigm in which
mental skills and education were far more important to advancement
than manual skills.
Drainage And Flood Control
Drainage in New Orleans A view of the New Orleans
Central Business District as seen from the
Mississippi River . USS New
Orleans (LPD-18) in foreground. (2007)
In the 20th century, New Orleans' government and business leaders
believed they needed to drain and develop outlying areas to provide
for the city's expansion. The most ambitious development during this
period was a drainage plan devised by engineer and inventor A. Baldwin
Wood , designed to break the surrounding swamp's stranglehold on the
city's geographic expansion. Until then, urban development in New
Orleans was largely limited to higher ground along the natural river
levees and bayous .
Wood's pump system allowed the city to drain huge tracts of swamp and
marshland and expand into low-lying areas. Over the 20th century,
rapid subsidence , both natural and human-induced, resulted in these
newly populated areas declining to several feet below sea level.
New Orleans was vulnerable to flooding even before the city's
footprint departed from the natural high ground near the Mississippi
River. In the late 20th century, however, scientists and New Orleans
residents gradually became aware of the city's increased
vulnerability. In 1965, flooding from
Hurricane Betsy killed dozens of
residents, although the majority of the city remained dry. The
rain-induced flood of May 8, 1995 , demonstrated the weakness of the
pumping system. After that event, measures were undertaken to
dramatically upgrade pumping capacity. By the 1980s and 1990s,
scientists observed that extensive, rapid, and ongoing erosion of the
marshlands and swamp surrounding
New Orleans , especially that related
Mississippi River – Gulf Outlet Canal , had the unintended
result of leaving the city more vulnerable to hurricane-induced
catastrophic storm surges than earlier in its history.
Hurricane Katrina at its
New Orleans landfall. See also:
Hurricane Katrina in
New Orleans and Drainage in New
New Orleans was catastrophically affected by what the University of
California Berkeley's Dr. Raymond B. Seed called "the worst
engineering disaster in the world since Chernobyl ", when the Federal
levee system failed during
Hurricane Katrina in 2005. By the time the
hurricane approached the city at the end of August 2005, most
residents had evacuated. As the hurricane passed through the Gulf
Coast region , the city's federal flood protection system failed,
resulting in the worst civil engineering disaster in American history.
Floodwalls and levees constructed by the
United States Army Corps of
Engineers failed below design specifications and 80% of the city
flooded. Tens of thousands of residents who had remained in the city
were rescued or otherwise made their way to shelters of last resort at
Louisiana Superdome or the
New Orleans Morial Convention Center .
More than 1,500 people were recorded as having died in Louisiana, most
in New Orleans, and others are still unaccounted for. Before
Hurricane Katrina, the city called for the first mandatory evacuation
in its history, to be followed by another mandatory evacuation three
years later with
Hurricane Gustav .
The city was declared off-limits to residents while efforts to clean
Hurricane Katrina began. The approach of
Hurricane Rita in
September 2005 caused repopulation efforts to be postponed, and the
Lower Ninth Ward
Lower Ninth Ward was reflooded by Rita's storm surge.
Reconstruction of New Orleans An aerial view from
United States Navy helicopter showing floodwaters around the
Louisiana Superdome (stadium) and surrounding area (2005).
Because of the scale of damage, many people settled permanently
outside the city in other areas where they had evacuated, as in
Houston. Federal, state, and local efforts have been directed at
recovery and rebuilding in severely damaged neighborhoods. The Census
Bureau in July 2006 estimated the population of
New Orleans to be
223,000; a subsequent study estimated that 32,000 additional residents
had moved to the city as of March 2007, bringing the estimated
population to 255,000, approximately 56% of the pre-Katrina population
level. Another estimate, based on data on utility usage from July
2007, estimated the population to be approximately 274,000 or 60% of
the pre-Katrina population. These estimates are somewhat smaller than
a third estimate, based on mail delivery records, from the Greater New
Orleans Community Data Center in June 2007, which indicated that the
city had regained approximately two-thirds of its pre-Katrina
population. In 2008, the Census Bureau revised its population
estimate for the city upward, to 336,644. Most recently, 2010
estimates show that neighborhoods that did not flood are near 100% of
their pre-Katrina populations, and in some cases, exceed 100% of their
Several major tourist events and other forms of revenue for the city
have returned. Large conventions are being held again, such as those
held by the
American Library Association
American Library Association and American College of
Cardiology . College football events such as the
Bayou Classic , New
Orleans Bowl , and
Sugar Bowl returned for the 2006–2007 season. The
New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints returned that season as well, following speculation
of a move . The
New Orleans Hornets (now named the Pelicans) returned
to the city fully for the 2007–2008 season, having partially spent
the 2006–2007 season in
Oklahoma City .
New Orleans successfully
2008 NBA All-Star Game and the 2008 BCS National
Championship Game . The city hosted the first and second rounds of the
2007 NCAA Men\'s Division I
Basketball Tournament .
New Orleans and
Tulane University hosted the Final Four Championship in 2012.
Additionally, the city hosted the
Super Bowl XLVII
Super Bowl XLVII on February 3, 2013
Mercedes-Benz Superdome .
Major annual events such as
Mardi Gras and the
Jazz "> A
true-color satellite image of
New Orleans taken on
New Orleans is located at 29°57′53″N 90°4′14″W /
29.96472°N 90.07056°W / 29.96472; -90.07056 (29.964722,
−90.070556) on the banks of the
Mississippi River , approximately
105 miles (169 km) upriver from the
Gulf of Mexico . According to the
U.S. Census Bureau
U.S. Census Bureau , the city has a total area of 350 square miles
(910 km2), of which 169 square miles (440 km2) is land and 181 square
miles (470 km2) (52%) is water.
Orleans Parish is the smallest parish
by land area in Louisiana.
The city is located in the
Mississippi River Delta on the east and
west banks of the
Mississippi River and south of
Lake Pontchartrain .
The area along the river is characterized by ridges and hollows.
Drainage in New Orleans
New Orleans was originally settled on the natural levees or high
ground, along the Mississippi River. After the Flood Control Act of
1965 , the US Army Corps of Engineers built floodwalls and man-made
levees around a much larger geographic footprint that included
previous marshland and swamp. Over time, pumping of nearby marshland
allowed for development into lower elevation areas. Today, a large
New Orleans is at or below local mean sea level and
evidence suggests that portions of the city may be dropping in
elevation due to subsidence .
A 2007 study by Tulane and Xavier University suggested that "51%...
of the contiguous urbanized portions of Orleans, Jefferson, and St.
Bernard parishes lie at or above sea level," with the more densely
populated areas generally on higher ground. The average elevation of
the city is currently between 1 foot (0.30 m) and 2 feet (0.61 m)
below sea level, with some portions of the city as high as 20 feet (6
m) at the base of the river levee in Uptown and others as low as 7
feet (2 m) below sea level in the farthest reaches of Eastern New
Orleans . A study published by the ASCE Journal of Hydrologic
Engineering in 2016, however, stated:
New Orleans proper - about 65% - is at or below mean sea
level, as defined by the average elevation of
The magnitude of subsidence potentially caused by the draining of
natural marsh in the
New Orleans area and southeast
Louisiana is a
topic of debate. A study published in Geology in 2006 by an associate
Tulane University claims:
While erosion and wetland loss are huge problems along Louisiana's
coast, the basement 30 to 50 feet (15 m) beneath much of the
Mississippi Delta has been highly stable for the past 8,000 years with
negligible subsidence rates.
The study noted, however, that the results did not necessarily apply
to the Mississipi River Delta, nor the
New Orleans Metropolitan area
proper. On the other hand, a report by the American Society of Civil
Engineers claims that "
New Orleans is subsiding (sinking)":
Large portions of Orleans, St. Bernard , and Jefferson parishes are
currently below sea level—and continue to sink.
New Orleans is built
on thousands of feet of soft sand, silt, and clay. Subsidence, or
settling of the ground surface, occurs naturally due to the
consolidation and oxidation of organic soils (called "marsh" in New
Orleans) and local groundwater pumping. In the past, flooding and
deposition of sediments from the
Mississippi River counterbalanced the
natural subsidence, leaving southeast
Louisiana at or above sea level
. However, due to major flood control structures being built upstream
Mississippi River and levees being built around New Orleans,
fresh layers of sediment are not replenishing the ground lost by
Vertical cross-section of New Orleans, showing maximum levee
height of 23 feet (7.0 m)
In May 2016,
NASA published a study which suggested that most areas
New Orleans were, in fact, experiencing subsidence at a "highly
variable rate" which was "generally consistent with, but somewhat
higher than, previous studies."
Wards of New Orleans and
Neighborhoods in New Orleans
Bourbon Street , New Orleans, in 2003, looking towards Canal Street
The Central Business District of
New Orleans is located immediately
north and west of the Mississippi River, and was historically called
the "American Quarter" or "American Sector." It was developed after
the heart of French and Spanish settlement. It includes Lafayette
Square . Most streets in this area fan out from a central point in the
city. Major streets of the area include Canal Street , Poydras Street,
Tulane Avenue and Loyola Avenue. Canal Street functions as the street
which divides the traditional "downtown " area from the "uptown "
Every street crossing Canal Street between the
Mississippi River and
Rampart Street , which is the northern edge of the French Quarter, has
a different name for the "uptown" and "downtown" portions. For
St. Charles Avenue
St. Charles Avenue , known for its street car line, is called
Royal Street below Canal Street, though where it traverses the Central
Business District between Canal and Lee Circle, it is properly called
St. Charles Street. Elsewhere in the city, Canal Street serves as the
dividing point between the "South" and "North" portions of various
streets. In the local parlance downtown means "downriver from Canal
Street", while uptown means "upriver from Canal Street". Downtown
neighborhoods include the
French Quarter ,
Tremé , the 7th Ward ,
Faubourg Marigny , Bywater (the Upper Ninth Ward), and the Lower Ninth
Ward . Uptown neighborhoods include the Warehouse District, the Lower
Garden District , the Garden District , the Irish Channel , the
University District, Carrollton , Gert Town , Fontainebleau , and
Broadmoor . However, the Warehouse and the Central Business District ,
despite being above Canal Street, are frequently called "Downtown" as
a specific region, as in the Downtown Development District.
Other major districts within the city include
Bayou St. John ,
Mid-City , Gentilly , Lakeview , Lakefront,
New Orleans East , and
Historic And Residential Architecture
Buildings and architecture of New Orleans
New Orleans is world-famous for its abundance of unique architectural
styles which reflect the city's historical roots and multicultural
New Orleans possesses numerous structures of national
architectural significance, it is equally, if not more, revered for
its enormous, largely intact (even post-Katrina) historic built
environment. Twenty National Register Historic Districts have been
established, and fourteen local historic districts aid in the
preservation of this tout ensemble. Thirteen of the local historic
districts are administered by the
New Orleans Historic District
Landmarks Commission (HDLC), while one—the French Quarter—is
administered by the Vieux Carre Commission (VCC). Additionally, both
the National Park Service, via the National Register of Historic
Places, and the HDLC have landmarked individual buildings, many of
which lie outside the boundaries of existing historic districts.
Many styles of housing exist in the city, including the shotgun house
and the bungalow style. Creole townhouses, notable for their large
courtyards and intricate iron balconies, line the streets of the
French Quarter . Throughout the city, there are many other historic
housing styles: Creole cottages, American townhouses, double-gallery
houses, and Raised Center-Hall Cottages.
St. Charles Avenue
St. Charles Avenue is famed
for its large antebellum homes . Its mansions are in various styles,
such as Greek Revival , American Colonial and the Victorian styles of
Queen Anne and
Italianate architecture .
New Orleans is also noted for
its large, European-style Catholic cemeteries, which can be found
throughout the city.
List of tallest buildings in New Orleans Pictured in
New Orleans skyline is
One Shell Square (towards left), New
Orleans' tallest building, standing at 697 ft (212 m)), as well as
Place St. Charles ,
Plaza Tower ,
First Bank and Trust Tower , and
Energy Centre .
For much of its history, New Orleans' skyline consisted of only low-
and mid- rise structures. The soft soils of
New Orleans are
susceptible to subsidence, and there was doubt about the feasibility
of constructing large high rises in such an environment. Developments
in engineering throughout the twentieth century eventually made it
possible to build sturdy foundations to support high rise structures
in the city, and in the 1960s, the World Trade Center
New Orleans and
Plaza Tower were built, demonstrating the viability of tall
skyscrapers in New Orleans.
One Shell Square took its place as the
city's tallest building in 1972. The oil boom of the 1970s and early
1980s redefined New Orleans' skyline with the development of the
Poydras Street corridor. Today, most of New Orleans' tallest buildings
are clustered along Canal Street and Poydras Street in the Central
Business District .
One Shell Square
697 ft (212 m)
Place St. Charles
645 ft (197 m)
531 ft (162 m)
530 ft (160 m)
First Bank and Trust Tower
481 ft (147 m)
Hurricane preparedness for New Orleans
CLIMATE DATA FOR NEW ORLEANS INT\\'L (1981–
RECORD HIGH °F (°C)
MEAN MAXIMUM °F (°C)
AVERAGE HIGH °F (°C)
DAILY MEAN °F (°C)
AVERAGE LOW °F (°C)
MEAN MINIMUM °F (°C)
RECORD LOW °F (°C)
AVERAGE PRECIPITATION INCHES (MM)
AVERAGE PRECIPITATION DAYS (≥ 0.01 IN)
AVERAGE RELATIVE HUMIDITY (%)
MEAN MONTHLY SUNSHINE HOURS
PERCENT POSSIBLE SUNSHINE
NOAA (relative humidity and sun 1961–1990)
CLIMATE DATA FOR AUDUBON PARK, NEW ORLEANS (EXTREMES
RECORD HIGH °F (°C)
RECORD LOW °F (°C)
The climate of
New Orleans is humid subtropical (Köppen climate
classification Cfa), with short, generally mild winters and hot, humid
summers; most suburbs and parts of Wards 9 and 15 fall in
Hardiness Zone 9a, while the city's other 15 wards are rated 9b in
whole. The monthly daily average temperature ranges from 53.4 °F
(11.9 °C) in January to 83.3 °F (28.5 °C) in July and August.
Officially, as measured at
New Orleans International Airport,
temperature records range from 11 to 102 °F (−12 to 39 °C) on
December 23, 1989 and August 22, 1980, respectively; Audubon Park has
recorded temperatures ranging from 6 °F (−14 °C) on February 13,
1899 up to 104 °F (40 °C) on June 24, 2009. Dewpoints in the summer
months (June–August) are relatively high, ranging from 71.1 to 73.4
°F (21.7 to 23.0 °C). Snow falls on
St. Charles Avenue
St. Charles Avenue in
The average precipitation is 62.5 inches (1,590 mm) annually; the
summer months are the wettest, while October is the driest month.
Precipitation in winter usually accompanies the passing of a cold
front. On average, there are 77 days of 90 °F (32 °C)+ highs, 8.1
days per winter where the high does not exceed 50 °F (10 °C), and
8.0 nights with freezing lows annually. It is rare for the temperature
to reach 20 or 100 °F (−7 or 38 °C), with the last occurrence of
each being February 5, 1996 and June 26, 2016, respectively.
New Orleans experiences snowfall only on rare occasions. A small
amount of snow fell during the
2004 Christmas Eve Snowstorm and again
Christmas (December 25) when a combination of rain, sleet, and snow
fell on the city, leaving some bridges icy. The New Year\'s Eve 1963
New Orleans and brought 4.5 inches (11 cm). Snow
fell again on December 22, 1989, when most of the city received 1–2
inches (2.5–5.1 cm).
The last significant snowfall in
New Orleans was on the morning of
December 11, 2008.
THREAT FROM TROPICAL CYCLONES
Category 3 or greater passing within 100 miles of
New Orleans 1852–2005. from
Hurricanes pose a severe threat to the area, and the city is
particularly at risk because of its low elevation; because it is
surrounded by water from the north, east, and south; and because of
Louisiana's sinking coast. According to the Federal Emergency
Management Agency ,
New Orleans is the nation's most vulnerable city
to hurricanes. Indeed, portions of Greater
New Orleans have been
flooded by: the
Grand Isle Hurricane of 1909 , the New Orleans
Hurricane of 1915 ,
1947 Fort Lauderdale Hurricane , Hurricane
Flossy in 1956,
Hurricane Betsy in 1965,
Hurricane Georges in 1998,
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, and
Hurricane Gustav in 2008,
with the flooding in Betsy being significant and in a few
neighborhoods severe, and that in Katrina being disastrous in the
majority of the city.
In 2005, storm surge from
Hurricane Katrina caused catastrophic
failure of the federally designed and built levees, flooding 80% of
the city. A report by the
American Society of Civil Engineers says
that "had the levees and floodwalls not failed and had the pump
stations operated, nearly two-thirds of the deaths would not have
New Orleans has always had to consider the risk of hurricanes, but
the risks are dramatically greater today due to coastal erosion from
human interference. Since the beginning of the 20th century, it has
been estimated that
Louisiana has lost 2,000 square miles (5,000 km2)
of coast (including many of its barrier islands), which once protected
New Orleans against storm surge. Following Hurricane Katrina, the Army
Corps of Engineers has instituted massive levee repair and hurricane
protection measures to protect the city.
Louisiana voters overwhelmingly adopted an amendment to the
state's constitution to dedicate all revenues from off-shore drilling
to restore Louisiana's eroding coast line. Congress has allocated $7
billion to bolster New Orleans' flood protection.
According to a study by the
National Academy of Engineering and the
National Research Council , levees and floodwalls surrounding New
Orleans—no matter how large or sturdy—cannot provide absolute
protection against overtopping or failure in extreme events. Levees
and floodwalls should be viewed as a way to reduce risks from
hurricanes and storm surges, not as measures that completely eliminate
risk. For structures in hazardous areas and residents who do not
relocate, the committee recommended major floodproofing
measures—such as elevating the first floor of buildings to at least
the 100-year flood level.
Population given for the City of New Orleans, not for Orleans Parish,
New Orleans absorbed suburbs and rural areas of Orleans Parish
Orleans Parish was 41,351 in 1820; 49,826 in 1830;
102,193 in 1840; 119,460 in 1850; 174,491 in 1860; and 191,418 in
Historical Population Figures U.S. Decennial Census
Source: U.S. Decennial Census
Hispanic or Latino (of any race)
Map of racial distribution in New Orleans,
2010 U.S. Census.
Each dot is 25 people: WHITE, BLACK, ASIAN HISPANIC, or OTHER (yellow)
New Orleans contains many distinctive neighborhoods.
According to the
2010 Census , 343,829 people and 189,896 households
were in New Orleans. The racial and ethnic makeup of the city was
African American , 33.0% White , 2.9% Asian (1.7% Vietnamese,
0.3% Indian, 0.3% Chinese, 0.1% Filipino, 0.1% Korean), 0.0% Pacific
Islander , and 1.7% were people of two or more races . People of
Hispanic or Latino origin made up 5.3% of the population; 1.3% of New
Orleans is Mexican, 1.3% Honduran, 0.4% Cuban, 0.3% Puerto Rican, and
The last population estimate before
Hurricane Katrina was 454,865, as
of July 1, 2005. A population analysis released in August 2007
estimated the population to be 273,000, 60% of the pre-Katrina
population and an increase of about 50,000 since July 2006. A
September 2007 report by The Greater
New Orleans Community Data
Center, which tracks population based on U.S. Postal Service figures,
found that in August 2007, just over 137,000 households received mail.
That compares with about 198,000 households in July 2005, representing
about 70% of pre-Katrina population. More recently, the Census Bureau
revised upward its 2008 population estimate for the city, to 336,644
inhabitants. In 2010, estimates showed that neighborhoods that did
not flood were near 100% of their pre-Katrina populations, and in some
cases, exceeded 100% of their pre-Katrina populations.
A 2006 study by researchers at
Tulane University and the University
of California, Berkeley determined that there are as many as 10,000 to
14,000 undocumented immigrants , many from
Mexico , currently residing
in New Orleans.
Janet Murguía , president and chief executive
officer of the
National Council of La Raza
National Council of La Raza , stated that there could
be up to 120,000 Hispanic workers in New Orleans. In June 2007, one
study stated that the Hispanic population had risen from 15,000,
pre-Katrina, to over 50,000.
The Times-Picayune reported in January 2009 that the metropolitan
area had a recent influx of 5,300 households in the later half of
2008, bringing the population to around 469,605 households, or 88.1%
of its pre-Katrina levels. While the area's population has been on an
upward trajectory since the storm, much of that growth was attributed
to residents returning after Katrina. Many observers predicted that
growth would taper off, but the data center's analysis suggests that
New Orleans and the surrounding parishes are benefiting from an
economic migration resulting from the global financial crisis of
2010 , 90.31% of
New Orleans residents age 5 and older spoke
English at home as a primary language , while 4.84% spoke Spanish,
1.87% Vietnamese, and 1.05% spoke French. In total, 9.69% of New
Orleans's population age 5 and older spoke a mother language other
Saint Louis Catholic Cathedral is a symbol of New Orleans.
New Orleans' colonial history of French and Spanish settlement has
resulted in a strong Roman Catholic tradition. Catholic missions
administered to slaves and free people of color, establishing schools
for them. In addition, many late 19th and early 20th century European
immigrants, such as the Irish, some Germans, and Italians, were
New Orleans and the surrounding
Louisiana Gulf Coast
area, the predominant religion is
Catholicism . Within the Archdiocese
New Orleans (which includes not only the city but the surrounding
Parishes as well), 35.9% percent of the population is Roman Catholic.
The influence of
Catholicism is reflected in the city's French and
Spanish cultural traditions, including its many parochial schools,
street names, architecture, and festivals, including
Mardi Gras .
New Orleans notably has a distinctive variety of
Louisiana Voodoo ,
due in part to syncretism with African and Afro-Caribbean Roman
Catholic beliefs. The fame of the voodoo practitioner Marie Laveau
contributed to this, as did New Orleans' distinctly Caribbean cultural
influences. Although the tourism industry has strongly associated
Voodoo with the city, only a small number of people are serious
adherents to the religion.
Jewish settlers, primarily
Sephardim , settled in
New Orleans from
the early nineteenth century. Some migrated from the communities
established in the colonial years in
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina and
Savannah, Georgia . The merchant
Abraham Cohen Labatt helped found the
first Jewish congregation in
New Orleans and
Louisiana in the 1830s,
which became known as the Portuguese Jewish Nefutzot Yehudah
congregation (he and some other members were
Sephardic Jews , whose
ancestors had lived in Portugal and Spain). Ashkenazi Jews from
eastern Europe came as immigrants in the late 19th and 20th centuries.
By the 21st century, there were 10,000 Jews in New Orleans. This
number dropped to 7,000 after the disruption of Hurricane Katrina.
In the wake of Katrina, all
New Orleans synagogues lost members, but
most re-opened in their original locations. The exception was
Congregation Beth Israel , the oldest and most prominent Orthodox
synagogue in the
New Orleans region. Beth Israel's building in
Lakeview was destroyed by flooding. After seven years of holding
services in temporary quarters, the congregation consecrated a
synagogue in August 2012 on land purchased from its new neighbor, the
Reform Congregation Gates of Prayer in Metairie .
Hondurans in New Orleans ,
Italians in New Orleans , and
Vietnamese in New Orleans
As of 2011 there had been increases in the Hispanic population in
New Orleans area, including in Kenner , central Metairie , and
Jefferson Parish and eastern
New Orleans and Mid-City in
New Orleans proper.
Hurricane Katrina there were few persons of Brazilian origin
in the city, but after Katrina and by 2008 a population emerged.
Portuguese speakers were the second most numerous group to take
English as a second language classes in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese
New Orleans , after Spanish speakers. Many Brazilians worked in
skilled trades such as tile and flooring; fewer worked as day laborers
than did Latinos. Many had moved to
New Orleans from Brazilian
communities in the Northeastern
United States , Florida, and Georgia.
Brazilians settled throughout the
New Orleans metropolitan area. Most
of the Brazilians were undocumented immigrants. In January 2008 Bruce
Nolan of the
Houston Chronicle stated that estimates of the New
Orleans Brazilian population had a mid-range of 3,000, but no entity
had determined exactly how many Brazilians resided in the city. By
2008 Brazilians had opened many small churches, shops, and restaurants
catering to their community.
CHANGES IN POPULATION
The city of
New Orleans faced a decreasing population before and
Hurricane Katrina . Beginning in 1960, the population of the
city decreased due to several factors. Jobs and population followed
the cycles of oil and tourism, the city's population declined as
suburbanization increased (in common with many US cities), and jobs
migrated to surrounding parishes. This economic and population
decline resulted in high levels of poverty among city residents; in
1960 it was the fifth-highest of all US cities, and was almost twice
the national average in 2005, at 24.5%.
New Orleans experienced an
increase in residential segregation from 1900 to 1980, leaving the
poor, who were disproportionately
African American in older,
low-lying locations within the city's core. These areas were
especially susceptible to flood and storm damage.
Hurricane Katrina , which displaced 800,000 people in total,
contributed significantly to the continued decline of New Orleans'
population. As of
2010 , the population of
New Orleans was at 76% of
what it was in 2005. African Americans, renters, the elderly, and
people with low income were disproportionately affected by Hurricane
Katrina, compared to affluent and white residents. In the aftermath
of Katrina, city government commissioned groups such as Bring New
Orleans Back Commission , the
New Orleans Neighborhood Rebuilding
Plan, the Unified
New Orleans Plan, and the Office of Recovery
Management to contribute to plans addressing depopulation. Their ideas
included shrinking the city's footprint from before the storm,
incorporating community voices into development plans, and creating
green spaces , some of which incited controversy.
2010 to 2014 the city grew by 12%, adding an average of more
than 10,000 new residents each year following the
A tanker on the
Mississippi River in
Intracoastal Waterway near
New Orleans has one of the largest and busiest ports in the world ,
New Orleans is a center of maritime industry. The New
Orleans region also accounts for a significant portion of the nation's
oil refining and petrochemical production , and serves as a
white-collar corporate base for onshore and offshore petroleum and
natural gas production.
New Orleans is a center for higher learning, with over 50,000
students enrolled in the region's eleven two- and four-year degree
granting institutions. A top-50 research university, Tulane University
, is located in New Orleans' Uptown neighborhood. Metropolitan New
Orleans is a major regional hub for the health care industry and
boasts a small, globally competitive manufacturing sector. The center
city possesses a rapidly growing, entrepreneurial creative industries
sector, and is renowned for its cultural tourism . Greater New
Orleans, Inc. (GNO, Inc.) acts as the first point-of-contact for
regional economic development, coordinating between Louisiana's
Department of Economic Development and the various parochial business
New Orleans was developed as a strategically located trading
entrepôt , and it remains, above all, a crucial transportation hub
and distribution center for waterborne commerce. The
Port of New
Orleans is the 5th-largest port in the
United States based on volume
of cargo handled, and second-largest in the state after the
Louisiana . It is the 12th-largest in the U.S. based on value of
Port of South Louisiana, also based in the New Orleans
area, is the world's busiest in terms of bulk tonnage. When combined
Port of New Orleans, it forms the 4th-largest port system in
volume handled. Many shipbuilding, shipping, logistics, freight
forwarding and commodity brokerage firms either are based in
New Orleans or maintain a large local presence. Examples
include Intermarine, Bisso Towboat,
Northrop Grumman Ship Systems
Northrop Grumman Ship Systems ,
Expeditors International , Bollinger Shipyards, IMTT,
International Coffee Corp, Boasso America, Transoceanic Shipping,
Transportation Consultants Inc., Dupuy Storage Product (TEPPCO
Partners , Colonial, Plantation, Explorer, Texaco, Collins); and
Petroleum Gas (Dixie, TEPPCO, Black Lake, Koch, Chevron,
Kinder Morgan Energy Partners ,
Dow Chemical Company
Dow Chemical Company ,
Bridgeline, FMP, Tejas, Texaco, UTP). Several major energy companies
have regional headquarters in the city or its suburbs, including Royal
Dutch Shell ,
Eni and Chevron . Numerous other energy producers and
oilfield services companies are also headquartered in the city or
region, and the sector supports a large professional services base of
specialized engineering and design firms, as well as a term office for
the federal government's
Minerals Management Service
Minerals Management Service .
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The city is the home to a single
Fortune 500 company:
Entergy , a
power generation utility and nuclear powerplant operations specialist.
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the city lost its other Fortune 500
Freeport-McMoRan , when it merged its copper and gold
exploration unit with an Arizona company and relocated that division
Phoenix, Arizona . Its McMoRan Exploration affiliate remains
headquartered in New Orleans. Other companies either headquartered or
with significant operations in
New Orleans include: Pan American Life
Insurance, Pool Corp, Rolls-Royce , Newpark Resources, AT&T ,
IBM , Navtech,
Superior Energy Services , Textron
Marine & Land Systems , McDermott International, Pellerin Milnor,
Lockheed Martin , Imperial Trading, Laitram, Harrah\'s Entertainment ,
Stewart Enterprises, Edison Chouest Offshore, Zatarain\'s , Waldemar
S. Nelson & Co.,
Whitney National Bank ,
Capital One , Tidewater
Marine , Popeyes Chicken and the headquarters for the Marine Force
Reserves in Federal City in Algiers .
According to the City's 2008 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,
the top employers in the city are:
# OF EMPLOYEES
Ochsner Health System
Acme Truck Line
Al Copeland Investments
Vinson Guard Services
American Nursing Services
Boh Bros. Construction
United States Services Group
CULTURE AND CONTEMPORARY LIFE
Culture of New Orleans
Culture of New Orleans § Museums and other attractions
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New Orleans has many visitor attractions, from the world-renowned
French Quarter ; to
St. Charles Avenue
St. Charles Avenue , (home of Tulane and Loyola
Universities, the historic
Pontchartrain Hotel , and many 19th-century
Magazine Street , with its boutique stores and antique
French Quarter (2002)
Street artist in the French
According to current travel guides,
New Orleans is one of the top ten
most-visited cities in the United States; 10.1 million visitors came
New Orleans in 2004. Prior to
Hurricane Katrina (2005) , there
were 265 hotels with 38,338 rooms in the Greater
New Orleans Area. In
May 2007, there were over 140 hotels and motels in operation with over
Travel + Leisure
Travel + Leisure poll of "America's Favorite Cities" ranked
New Orleans first in ten categories, the most first-place rankings of
the 30 cities included. According to the poll,
New Orleans is the best
U.S. city as a spring break destination and for "wild weekends",
stylish boutique hotels, cocktail hours, singles/bar scenes, live
music/concerts and bands, antique and vintage shops, cafés/coffee
bars, neighborhood restaurants, and people watching . The city also
ranked second for the following: friendliness (behind Charleston,
South Carolina ), gay -friendliness (behind San Francisco), bed and
breakfast hotels/inns, and ethnic food. However, the city was voted
last in terms of active residents, and it placed near the bottom in
cleanliness, safety, and as a family destination.
French Quarter (known locally as "the Quarter" or Vieux Carré),
which was the colonial-era city and is bounded by the Mississippi
Rampart Street , Canal Street , and Esplanade Avenue , contains
many popular hotels, bars, and nightclubs. Notable tourist attractions
in the Quarter include
Bourbon Street , Jackson Square , St. Louis
Cathedral , the
French Market (including
Café du Monde , famous for
café au lait and beignets ), and
Preservation Hall . Also in the
French Quarter is the old
New Orleans Mint
New Orleans Mint , a former branch of the
United States Mint which now operates as a museum, and The Historic
New Orleans Collection , a museum and research center housing art and
artifacts relating to the history of
New Orleans and the
Gulf South .
Close to the Quarter is the
Tremé community, which contains the New
Jazz National Historical Park and the
New Orleans African
American Museum — a site which is listed on the
American Heritage Trail .
To tour the port , one can ride the Natchez , an authentic steamboat
with a calliope , which cruises the Mississippi the length of the city
twice daily. Unlike most other places in the United States, New
Orleans has become widely known for its element of elegant decay . The
city's historic cemeteries and their distinct above-ground tombs are
attractions in themselves, the oldest and most famous of which, Saint
Louis Cemetery , greatly resembles
Père Lachaise Cemetery
Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.
New Orleans Museum of Art
New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) located in City Park
The National WWII Museum , opened in the Warehouse District in 2000
as the "National D-Day Museum," has undergone a major expansion.
Confederate Memorial Hall , the oldest continually-operating
Louisiana (although under renovation since Katrina),
contains the second-largest collection of Confederate Civil War
memorabilia in the world. Art museums in the city include the
Contemporary Arts Center , the
New Orleans Museum of Art
New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) in
City Park , and the
Ogden Museum of Southern Art .
New Orleans also boasts a decidedly natural side. It is home to the
Audubon Nature Institute (which consists of Audubon Park , the Audubon
Zoo , the
Aquarium of the Americas , and the
Audubon Insectarium ),
and home to gardens which include
Longue Vue House and Gardens and the
New Orleans Botanical Garden . City Park , one of the country's most
expansive and visited urban parks , has one of the largest stands (if
not the largest stand) of oak trees in the world.
There are also various points of interest in the surrounding areas.
Many wetlands are found in close proximity to the city, including
Honey Island Swamp and Barataria Preserve . Chalmette Battlefield and
National Cemetery , located just south of the city, is the site of the
Battle of New Orleans
Battle of New Orleans .
New Orleans ranked No. 7 on
Newsmax magazine's list of the
"Top 25 Most Uniquely American Cities and Towns", a piece written by
CBS News travel editor
Peter Greenberg . In determining his
ranking, Greenberg cited the city's rebuilding effort post-Katrina as
well as its mission to become eco-friendly.
ENTERTAINMENT AND PERFORMING ARTS
Music of New Orleans Mounted krewe officers in
the Thoth Parade during
Mardi Gras .
New Orleans area is home to numerous celebrations, the most
popular of which is
Carnival , often referred to as
Mardi Gras .
Carnival officially begins on the Feast of the Epiphany , also known
as the "Twelfth Night ".
Mardi Gras (French for "Fat Tuesday"), the
final and grandest day of festivities, is the last Tuesday before the
Catholic liturgical season of
Lent , which commences on Ash Wednesday
The largest of the city's many music festivals is the New Orleans
Jazz & Heritage Festival . Commonly referred to simply as "
it is one of the largest music festivals in the nation, featuring
crowds of people from all over the world, coming to experience music,
food, arts, and crafts. Despite the name, it features not only jazz
but a large variety of music, including both native
and international artists. Along with
Jazz Fest, New Orleans' Voodoo
Experience ("Voodoo Fest") and the
Essence Music Festival are both
large music festivals featuring local and international artists.
Other major festivals held in the city include
Southern Decadence ,
French Quarter Festival, and the
Tennessee Williams/ New Orleans
Literary Festival .
Louisiana began offering tax incentives for film and
television production. This led to a substantial increase in the
number of films shot in the
New Orleans area and brought the nickname
"Hollywood South." Films which have been filmed or produced in and
New Orleans include: Ray ,
Runaway Jury , The Pelican Brief ,
Glory Road , All the King\'s Men , Déjà Vu , Last Holiday , The
Curious Case of Benjamin Button , 12 Years a Slave , and numerous
others. In 2006, work began on the
Louisiana Film "> Louis
Armstrong , famous
New Orleans jazz musician
Frank Ocean is a
musician from New Orleans.
New Orleans has always been a significant center for music,
showcasing its intertwined European, Latin American, and African
cultures. The city's unique musical heritage was born in its colonial
and early American days from a unique blending of European musical
instruments with African rhythms. As the only North American city to
have allowed slaves to gather in public and play their native music
Congo Square , now located within
Louis Armstrong Park ),
New Orleans gave birth to an indigenous music: jazz . Soon, brass
bands formed, gaining popular attraction which continues today. The
Louis Armstrong Park area, near the
French Quarter in
Jazz National Historical Park . The city's
music was later significantly influenced by
Acadiana , home of Cajun
Zydeco music, and by Delta blues .
New Orleans' unique musical culture is further evident in its
traditional funerals. A spin on military brass band funerals, New
Orleans traditional funerals feature sad music (mostly dirges and
hymns) on the way to the cemetery and happier music (hot jazz) on the
way back. Such musical funerals are still held when a local musician,
a member of a social club, krewe , or benevolent society, or a noted
dignitary has passed. Until the 1990s, most locals preferred to call
these "funerals with music", but visitors to the city have long dubbed
them "jazz funerals ."
Much later in its musical development,
New Orleans was home to a
distinctive brand of rhythm and blues that contributed greatly to the
growth of rock and roll . An example of the New Orleans' sound in the
1960s is the #1 US hit "
Chapel of Love " by the Dixie Cups , a song
which knocked the Beatles out of the top spot on the Billboard Hot
New Orleans became a hotbed for funk music in the 1960s and
1970s, and by the late 1980s, it had developed its own localized
variant of hip hop , called bounce music . While never commercially
successful outside of the
Deep South , it remained immensely popular
in the poorer neighborhoods of the city throughout the 1990s.
A cousin of bounce,
New Orleans hip hop has seen commercial success
locally and internationally, producing
Lil Wayne ,
Master P , Birdman
, Juvenile ,
Cash Money Records , and
No Limit Records . Additionally,
the wave of popularity of cowpunk , a fast form of southern rock ,
originated with the help of several local bands, such as The Radiators
Better Than Ezra ,
Cowboy Mouth , and
Dash Rip Rock . Throughout the
1990s, many sludge metal bands started in the area. New Orleans' heavy
metal bands like
Soilent Green , Crowbar , and Down
have incorporated styles such as hardcore punk , doom metal , and
southern rock to create an original and heady brew of swampy and
aggravated metal that has largely avoided standardization.
New Orleans is the southern terminus of the famed Highway 61 .
Steamship Bienville on-board restaurant menu (April 7, 1861)
Café du Monde , a landmark
New Orleans beignet cafe established in
1862. Main articles:
Cuisine of New Orleans ,
cuisine , and
New Orleans is world-famous for its food. The indigenous cuisine is
distinctive and influential.
New Orleans food developed from centuries
of amalgamation of the local Creole, haute Creole, and New Orleans
French cuisines. Local ingredients, French, Spanish, Italian, African,
Native American, Cajun, Chinese, and a hint of Cuban traditions
combine to produce a truly unique and easily recognizable Louisiana
New Orleans is known for specialties like beignets (locally
pronounced like "ben-yays"), square-shaped fried pastries that could
be called "French doughnuts" (served with café au lait made with a
blend of coffee and chicory rather than only coffee); and
Muffuletta sandwiches; Gulf oysters on the half-shell, fried
oysters, boiled crawfish , and other seafood ; étouffée , jambalaya
, gumbo , and other Creole dishes; and the Monday favorite of red
beans and rice . (
Louis Armstrong often signed his letters, "Red beans
and ricely yours".) Another
New Orleans specialty is the praline
locally /ˈprɑːliːn/ , a candy made with brown sugar, granulated
sugar, cream, butter, and pecans. The city also has notable street
food including the Asian inspired beef
Yaka mein .
New Orleans English See also: Culture of New Orleans
New Orleans has developed a distinctive local dialect of American
English over the years that is neither
Cajun nor the stereotypical
Southern accent, so often misportrayed by film and television actors.
It does, like earlier Southern Englishes, feature frequent deletion of
the pre-consonantal "r" . This dialect is quite similar to New York
City area accents such as "Brooklynese ", to people unfamiliar with
either. There are many theories regarding how it came to be, but it
likely resulted from New Orleans' geographic isolation by water and
the fact that the city was a major immigration port throughout the
19th century. As a result, many of the ethnic groups who reside in
Brooklyn also reside in New Orleans, such as the Irish , Italians
(especially Sicilians ), and Germans , among others, as well as a very
sizable Jewish community.
One of the strongest varieties of the
New Orleans accent is sometimes
identified as the
Yat dialect , from the greeting "Where y'at?" This
distinctive accent is dying out generation by generation in the city
itself, but remains very strong in the surrounding parishes.
Less visibly, various ethnic groups throughout the area have retained
their distinctive language traditions to this day. Although rare,
languages still spoken are the Kreyol Lwiziyen by the Creoles ; an
archaic Louisiana-Canarian Spanish dialect spoken by the Isleño
people and older members of the population; and
Sports in New Orleans
New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints
Mercedes-Benz Superdome (73,208)
New Orleans Pelicans
New Orleans Pelicans
Smoothie King Center (16,867; 18,500 in NBA Playoff games)
New Orleans Baby Cakes
Shrine on Airline (10,000)
The fleur-de-lis is often a symbol of
New Orleans and its sports
New Orleans' professional sports teams include the 2009 Super Bowl
New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints (NFL ), the
New Orleans Pelicans
New Orleans Pelicans (NBA
), and the
New Orleans Baby Cakes (PCL ). It is also home to the Big
Easy Rollergirls , an all-female flat track roller derby team, and the
New Orleans Blaze , a women\'s football team. A local group of
investors began conducting a study in 2007 to see if the city could
Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer team.
New Orleans is also home to two
NCAA Division I athletic programs, the
Tulane Green Wave of the
American Athletic Conference and the
UNO Privateers of the Southland
Mercedes-Benz Superdome is the home of the Saints, the Sugar
Bowl, and other prominent events. It has hosted the
Super Bowl a
record seven times (1978 , 1981 , 1986 , 1990 , 1997 , 2002 , and 2013
Smoothie King Center is the home of the Pelicans, VooDoo, and
many events that are not large enough to need the Superdome. New
Orleans is also home to the
Fair Grounds Race Course , the nation's
third-oldest thoroughbred track. The city's
Lakefront Arena has also
been home to sporting events.
New Orleans plays host to the
Sugar Bowl , the New Orleans
Bowl and the Zurich Classic , a golf tournament on the
PGA Tour . In
addition, it has often hosted major sporting events that have no
permanent home, such as the
Super Bowl ,
ArenaBowl , NBA All-Star Game
BCS National Championship Game , and the NCAA Final Four . The Rock
Mardi Gras Marathon and the
Crescent City Classic are two
road running events held annually in the city.
NATIONAL PROTECTED AREAS
Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge
Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve (part)
Jazz National Historical Park
List of mayors of New Orleans
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New Orleans cityscape in early-February 2007.
The City of
New Orleans is a political subdivision of the State of
Louisiana. It has a mayor-council government according to a Home Rule
Charter adopted in 1954, as later amended. The city council consists
of seven council members, who are elected by district and two at-large
councilmembers. The current mayor,
Mitch Landrieu , was elected on
2010 and assumed office on May 3, 2010. The Orleans
Parish Civil Sheriff\'s Office serves papers involving lawsuits and
provides security for the Civil District Court and Juvenile Courts.
The Criminal Sheriff, Marlin Gusman , maintains the parish prison
system, provides security for the Criminal District Court, and
provides backup for the
New Orleans Police Department on an as-needed
basis. An ordinance in 2006 established an Office of Inspector General
for city government.
The city of
New Orleans and the parish of Orleans operate as a merged
city-parish government . Before the city of
New Orleans became
co-extensive with Orleans Parish,
Orleans Parish was home to numerous
smaller communities. The original city of
New Orleans was composed of
what are now the 1st through 9th wards. The city of Lafayette
(including the Garden District) was added in 1852 as the 10th and 11th
wards. In 1870, Jefferson City, including Faubourg Bouligny and much
of the Audubon and University areas, was annexed as the 12th, 13th,
and 14th wards. Algiers , on the west bank of the Mississippi, was
also annexed in 1870, becoming the 15th ward.
New Orleans' government is now largely centralized in the city
council and mayor's office, but it maintains a number of relics from
earlier systems when various sections of the city ran much of their
affairs separately. For example,
New Orleans has seven elected tax
assessors, each with their own staff, representing various districts
of the city, rather than one centralized office. A constitutional
amendment passed on November 7, 2006, will consolidate the seven
assessors into one by 2010. On February 18, 2010, Errol Williams was
elected as the first citywide assessor. The
New Orleans government
operates both a fire department and the
New Orleans Emergency Medical
CRIME AND SAFETY
New Orleans Police Department and
Culture of New Orleans §
Crime has been recognized as an ongoing problem for New Orleans,
although the issue is outside the view of most visitors to the city.
As in other U.S. cities of comparable size, the incidence of homicide
and other violent crimes is highly concentrated in certain
impoverished neighborhoods, such as housing projects . The murder
rate for the city has been historically high for its population and
has always stayed among cities with the highest murder rates. In 1979,
242 killings was the first record of homicides broken in New Orleans.
Murders would later go up to 305 by the end of 1990 and to 345 in
New Orleans was named the Murder Capitol of America as the
city hit a historic peak of 424 killings. The murder count surpassed
Washington D.C. ,
New Orleans the #2 "America's Dirtiest
City", down from a #1 "Dirtiest" status of the previous year. The
magazine surveyed both national readership and local residents, from a
list of prominent cities having the most visible illegal littering,
dumping, and other environmental crime conditions.
Across New Orleans, homicides peaked in 1994 at 86 murders per
100,000 residents. By 2009, despite a 17% decrease in violent crime
in the city, the homicide rate remained among the highest in the
United States, at between 55 and 64 per 100,000 residents. In 2010,
New Orleans was 49.1 per 100,000, and in 2012, that number climbed to
53.2. This is the highest rate among cities of 250,000 population or
larger. Offenders in
New Orleans are almost exclusively black men,
with 97% of the offenders being black and 95% being male.
The violent crime rate was also a key issue in the city's 2010
mayoral race. In January 2007, several thousand
New Orleans residents
marched through city streets and gathered at City Hall for a rally
demanding police and city leaders tackle the crime problem. Then-Mayor
Ray Nagin said he was "totally and solely focused" on addressing the
problem. Later, the city implemented checkpoints during late night
hours in problem areas. The murder rate climbed 14% higher in 2011 to
57.88 per 100,000 retaining its status as the 'Murder Capital of the
United States' and rising to 21 in the world. In 2016, according to
annual crime statistics released by the
New Orleans Police Department,
there were 176 murders in the city.
COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES
A view of Gibson Hall at
Tulane University .
There are several higher education institutions in the city:
Tulane University , a major research university founded in 1834.
Loyola University New Orleans , a
Jesuit university founded in
University of New Orleans , a large public research university in
* Xavier University of
Louisiana , the only historically black
Catholic university in the United States.
Southern University at New Orleans
Southern University at New Orleans , an historically black
university in the
Southern University System .
Dillard University , a private, historically black liberal arts
college founded in 1869.
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
Our Lady of Holy Cross College
Our Lady of Holy Cross College , a Catholic liberal arts college
founded in 1916.
Notre Dame Seminary
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
Delgado Community College , founded in 1921.
* William Carey College School of Nursing
New Orleans Culinary Institute
PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS
New Orleans Public Schools (NOPS) is the name given to the city's
public school system. Pre-Katrina, NOPS was one of the area's largest
systems (along with the
Jefferson Parish public school system ). In
the years leading up to Hurricane Katrina, the
New Orleans public
school system was widely recognized as the lowest performing school
district in Louisiana. According to researchers
Carl L. Bankston and
Stephen J. Caldas, only 12 of the 103 public schools within the city
New Orleans showed reasonably good performance at the
beginning of the 21st century.
Following Hurricane Katrina, the state of
Louisiana took over most of
the schools within the system (all schools that fell into a nominal
"worst-performing" metric); many of these schools, in addition to
others that were not subject to state takeover, were subsequently
granted operating charters giving them administrative independence
Orleans Parish School Board, the Recovery School District
Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
(BESE). At the start of the 2014 school year, all public school
students in the NOPS system will attend these independent public
charter schools , making
New Orleans "the nation's first completely
privatized public school district in the nation."
The last few years have witnessed significant and sustained gains in
student achievement, as outside operators like KIPP , the Algiers
Charter School Network, and the
Capital One – University of New
Orleans Charter School Network have assumed control of dozens of
schools. The most recent release of annual school performance scores
(October 2009) demonstrated continued growth in the academic
performance of New Orleans' public schools. If the scores of all
public schools in
New Orleans (
Orleans Parish School Board-chartered,
Recovery School District-chartered, Recovery School District-operated,
etc.) are considered, an overall school district performance score of
70.6 results. This score represents a 6% increase over an equivalent
2008 metric, and a 24% improvement when measured against an equivalent
pre-Katrina (2004) metric, when a district score of 56.9 was posted.
Notably, this score of 70.6 approaches the score (78.4) posted in 2009
by the adjacent, suburban
Jefferson Parish public school system ,
though that system's performance score is itself below the state
average of 91.
This longstanding pattern is changing, however, as the NOPS system is
engaged in the most promising and far-reaching public school reforms
in the nation, reforms aimed at decentralizing power away from the
pre-Katrina school board central bureaucracy to individual school
principals and independent public charter school boards, monitoring
charter school performance by granting renewable, five-year operating
contracts permitting the closure of those not succeeding, and vesting
choice in parents of public schools students, allowing them to enroll
their children in almost any school in the district.
There are numerous academic and public libraries and archives in New
Orleans, including Monroe Library at Loyola University, Howard-Tilton
Memorial Library at
Tulane University , the Law Library of Louisiana,
and the Earl K. Long Library at the University of New Orleans.
New Orleans Public Library includes 13 locations, most of which
were damaged by Hurricane Katrina. However, only four libraries
remained closed in 2007. The main library includes a Louisiana
Division housing city archives and special collections.
Other research archives are located at the Historic New Orleans
Collection and the Old U.S. Mint .
An independently operated lending library called Iron Rail Book
Collective specializes in radical and hard-to-find books. The library
contains over 8,000 titles and is open to the public. It was the first
library in the city to re-open after Hurricane Katrina.
Louisiana Historical Association was founded in
New Orleans in
1889. It operated first at Howard Memorial Library. Then its own
Memorial Hall was added to Howard Library. The design for the new
building was undertaken by the
New Orleans architect Thomas Sully .
Media of New Orleans See also: Culture of New Orleans
§ News -webkit-column-count: 3; column-count: 3;">
* 4 WWL (
* 8 WVUE (Fox )
* 12 WYES (
WHNO (LeSEA )
WGNO (ABC )
* 32 WLAE (
* 38 WNOL (The CW )
* 42 KGLA (
WPXL (Ion )
Two radio stations that were influential in promoting New
Orleans-based bands and singers were 50,000-watt WNOE-AM (1060) and
10,000-watt WTIX (690 AM). These two stations competed head-to-head
from the late 1950s to the late 1970s.
Jazz and Heritage Station, broadcasts, 24
hours per day, modern and traditional jazz, blues, rhythm and blues,
brass band, gospel, cajun, zydeco, Caribbean, Latin, Brazilian,
African, bluegrass, and Irish at 90.7 FM and at www.wwoz.org.
WTUL, a local college radio station (Tulane University), broadcasts
a wide array of programming, including 20th century classical,
reggae, jazz, showtunes, indie rock, electronic music, soul/funk,
goth, punk, hip hop,
New Orleans music, opera, folk, hardcore,
Americana , country, blues, Latin, cheese, techno, local, world, ska,
swing and big band, kids shows, and even news programming from
DemocracyNow. WTUL is listener supported and non-commercial. The disc
jockeys are volunteers, many of them college students.
Louisiana's film and television tax credits have spurred some growth
in the television industry, although to a lesser degree than in the
film industry. Many films and advertisements have in part or whole
been filmed in the city, as have television programs such as The Real
New Orleans in 2000, The Real World: Back to
New Orleans in
2010 and Bad Girls Club:
New Orleans in 2011.
New Orleans streetcar traveling down Canal Street
Streetcar network Main article:
Streetcars in New Orleans
New Orleans has four active streetcar lines :
* The ST. CHARLES STREETCAR LINE is the oldest continuously
operating streetcar line in America and each car is a historic
landmark. It runs from Canal Street all the way to the other end of
St. Charles Avenue, then turns right into South Carrolton Avenue to
its terminal at Carrolton and Claiborne.
* The RIVERFRONT STREETCAR LINE runs parallel to the river from
Esplanade Street through the
French Quarter to Canal Street to the
Convention Center above Julia Street in the Arts District.
* The CANAL STREETCAR LINE uses the Riverfront line tracks from the
intersection of Canal Street and Poydras Street, down Canal Street,
then branches off and ends at the cemeteries at City Park Avenue, with
a spur running from the intersection of Canal and Carrollton Avenue to
the entrance of City Park at Esplanade, near the entrance to the New
Orleans Museum of Art.
* The RAMPART–ST. CLAUDE STREETCAR LINE opened on January 28, 2013
as the LOYOLA-UPT LINE running along Loyola Avenue from New Orleans
Union Passenger Terminal to Canal Street, then continuing along Canal
Street to the river, and on weekends on the Riverfront line tracks to
French Market. The
French Quarter Rail Expansion saw the line extended
from the Loyola Avenue/Canal Street intersection along Rampart Street
and St. Claude Avenue to Elysian Fields Avenue effective October 2,
2016 and the line was renamed at that time. It no longer runs along
Canal Street to the river, or on weekends on the Riverfront line
tracks to French Market.
More lines are at the planning stage.
The city's streetcars were also featured in the
play, A Streetcar Named Desire . The streetcar line to Desire Street
became a bus line in 1948. There are proposals to revive a Desire
streetcar line, running along the neutral grounds of North Rampart and
St. Claude, as far downriver as Poland Avenue, near the Industrial
Hurricane Katrina destroyed the power lines supplying the St. Charles
Avenue line. The associated levee failures flooded the Mid-City
facility storing the red streetcars which normally run on the
Riverfront and Canal Street lines. Restoration of service has been
gradual, with vintage St. Charles line cars running on the Riverfront
and Canal lines until the more modern Czech-built red cars are back in
service; they are being individually restored at the RTA 's facility
between Willow and Jeannette streets in the Carrollton neighborhood.
On December 23, 2007, streetcars were restored to running on the St.
Charles line up to Carrolton Avenue. The much-anticipated re-opening
of the second portion of the historic route, which continues until the
intersection of Carrolton Avenue and Claiborne Avenue, was
commemorated on June 28, 2008.
The city's flat landscape, simple street grid, and mild winters,
facilitate bicycle ridership, helping to make
New Orleans eighth among
U.S. cities in its rate of bicycle and pedestrian transportation, and
sixth in terms of the percentage of bicycling commuters. The city's
bicyclists benefit from being located at the start of the Mississippi
River Trail , a 3,000-mile (4,800 km) bicycle path that stretches from
the city's Audubon Park to
Minnesota . The first 25 miles (40 km) of
the path, through Destrehan , is paved with a smooth macadam surface.
Bicyclists looking to cross the river have access to the city\'s
ferries . Since the 2005 levee-breach , the city has actively sought
to promote bicycling by constructing a $1.5 million bike trail from
Lake Pontchartrain , and by adding over 37 miles (60 km)
of bicycle lanes to various streets, including
St. Charles Avenue
St. Charles Avenue .
Tulane University contributed to these efforts by converting
the main street through its Uptown campus, McAlister Place , into a
pedestrian mall opened to bicycle traffic. In 2010, work began to add
a 3.1-mile (5.0 km) bicycle corridor from the
French Quarter to
Lakeview, and 14 miles (23 km) of additional bike lanes on existing
New Orleans has also been recognized as a place with an
abundance of uniquely decorated and uniquely designed bicycles.
Public transportation in the city is operated by the New Orleans
Regional Transit Authority ("RTA"). There are many bus routes
connecting the city and suburban areas. The RTA lost 200+ buses due to
Hurricane Katrina , this would mean that there would be a 30–60
minute waiting period for the next bus to come to the bus stop, and
the streetcars took until 2008 to return, so the RTA placed an order
for 38 Orion VII Next Generation clean diesel buses, which arrived in
July 2008. The RTA has these new buses running on biodiesel . The
Jefferson Parish Department of Transit Administration operates
Jefferson Transit, which provides service between the city and its
List of streets of New Orleans
New Orleans is served by
Interstate 10 , Interstate 610 and
Interstate 510 . I-10 travels east–west through the city as the
Pontchartrain Expressway . In the far eastern part of the city, New
Orleans East , it is known as the Eastern Expressway. I-610 provides a
direct shortcut for traffic passing through
New Orleans via I-10,
allowing that traffic to bypass I-10's southward curve. In the future,
New Orleans will have another interstate highway,
Interstate 49 ,
which will be extended from its current terminus in Lafayette to the
In addition to the interstate highways, U.S. 90 travels through the
city, while U.S. 61 terminates in the city's downtown center. In
addition, U.S. 11 terminates in the eastern portion of the city.
New Orleans is home to many bridges, the
Crescent City Connection is
perhaps the most notable. It serves as New Orleans' major bridge
across the Mississippi River, providing a connection between the
city's downtown on the eastbank and its westbank suburbs. Other
bridges that cross the
Mississippi River in the
New Orleans area are
the Huey P. Long Bridge , over which U.S. 90 travels, and the Hale
Boggs Memorial Bridge , which carries
Interstate 310 .
The Twin Span Bridge , a five-mile (8 km) causeway in eastern New
Orleans, carries I-10 across
Lake Pontchartrain . Also in eastern New
Interstate 510 /LA 47 travels across the Intracoastal
Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet Canal via the Paris Road
Bridge , connecting
New Orleans East and suburban Chalmette .
Causeway , consisting of two parallel
bridges are, at 24 miles (39 km) long, the longest bridges in the
world. Built in the 1950s (southbound span) and 1960s (northbound
span), the bridges connect
New Orleans with its suburbs on the north
Lake Pontchartrain via Metairie .
The metropolitan area is served by the
Louis Armstrong New Orleans
International Airport , located in the suburb of Kenner . New Orleans
also has several regional airports located throughout the metropolitan
area. These include the Lakefront Airport , Naval Air Station Joint
New Orleans (locally known as Callender Field) in the
suburb of Belle Chasse and
Southern Seaplane Airport , also located in
Belle Chasse. Southern Seaplane has a 3,200-foot (980 m) runway for
wheeled planes and a 5,000-foot (1,500 m) water runway for seaplanes.
New Orleans International suffered some damage as a result of
Hurricane Katrina, but as of April 2007, it contained the most traffic
and is the busiest airport in the state of
Louisiana and the sixth
busiest in the Southeast. As of 2017, the airport handled more than 11
million passengers, with service to more than 57 destinations. The
airport's international service includes nonstop flights to the United
Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Mexico, Honduras, Bahamas, and Dominican
The city is served by rail via
Amtrak . The
New Orleans Union
Passenger Terminal is the central rail depot, and is served by three
trains: the Crescent , operating between
New Orleans and New York
City; the City of
New Orleans , operating between
New Orleans and
Chicago; and the
Sunset Limited , operating through New Orleans
between Orlando and Los Angeles. From late August 2005 to the present,
Sunset Limited has remained officially an Orlando-to-Los Angeles
train, being considered temporarily truncated due to the lingering
effects of Hurricane Katrina. At first (until late October 2005) it
was truncated to a San Antonio-to-Los Angeles service; since then
(from late October 2005 on) it has been truncated to a New
Orleans-to-Los Angeles service. As time has passed, particularly since
the January 2006 completion of the rebuilding of damaged tracks east
New Orleans by their owner, CSX Transportation, the obstacles to
restoration of the Sunset Limited's full route have been more
managerial and political than physical.
With the strategic benefits of both a major international port and
one of the few double-track
Mississippi River crossings, the city is
served by six of the seven Class I railroads in North America: Union
Pacific Railroad ,
BNSF Railway ,
Norfolk Southern Railway
Norfolk Southern Railway , Kansas
City Southern Railway ,
CSX Transportation and Canadian National
Railway . The
New Orleans Public Belt Railroad provides interchange
services between the railroads.
Recently, many have proposed extending New Orleans' public transit
system by adding light rail routes from downtown, along Airline
Highway through the airport to
Baton Rouge and from downtown to
Slidell and the
Mississippi Gulf Coast . Proponents of this idea claim
that these new routes would boost the region's economy, which has been
badly damaged by
Hurricane Katrina , and serve as an evacuation option
for hospital patients out of the city.
New Orleans with Algiers (left) and Gretna
New Orleans has had continuous ferry service since 1827, with three
routes in current operation. The
Canal Street Ferry (or Algiers Ferry)
New Orleans at the foot of Canal Street with the
National Historic Landmark District of
Algiers Point on the other side
Mississippi River ("West Bank" in local parlance) and is
popular with tourists and locals alike. This downtown ferry terminal
also serves the Canal Street/Gretna Ferry, connecting Gretna,
Louisiana . The Gretna Ferry serves pedestrians and bicyclists only.
Canal Street Ferry services passenger vehicles, bicycles and
pedestrians, as does a third ferry miles downriver, connecting
Louisiana and Lower Algiers.
List of people from New Orleans
New Orleans has ten sister cities :
Caracas , Venezuela
Innsbruck , Austria
Juan-les-Pins , France
Maracaibo , Venezuela
Matsue, Shimane , Japan
Mérida, Yucatán , Mexico
Republic of the Congo
San Miguel de Tucumán , Argentina
Tegucigalpa , Honduras
TWINNINGS AND PARTNERSHIPS
Batumi , Georgia
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Buildings and architecture of New Orleans
* Jackson Square
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