Faubourg Marigny was developed in the early 19th century as a residential neighborhood by Bernard Xavier Philippe de Marigny de Mandeville, who in 1805 divided his plantation into lots. The Marigny is a triangular shaped area bounded by Esplanade, the Mississippi, Press Street and St. Claude Avenue. What makes the Marigny such a beautiful place is the many architectural styles which blend together to create a homogenous streetscape. The Marigny has not been and is not solely residential. It has a wonderful mix of industry as evidenced by the many warehouse buildings spotted throughout the neighborhood.
Faubourg Marigny, as with the other Creole Faubourgs, abounds with varied building styles. Examples of the early Creole cottage (it has been suggested that of America’s six colonial building traditions, Creole architecture is the only one to actually have evolved in America) sit alongside Creole townhouses, American cottages, American townhouses, two, three and four-bay shotgun houses, 19th century corner store-houses, the occasional 1960’s brick public assistance multi-storied apartment house, a few mid-twentieth century suburban houses, and alongside the river, brick warehouses. The New Orleans Center for Creative Arts [NOCCA] incorporates some of the warehouses in its complex.
St. Claude Avenue was a predominantly residential street until the mid-twentieth century. It incorporates many of the aforementioned building types as well as larger buildings used as boarding houses for the many unmarried men who crowded the faubourg to work on the railroad, the riverfront and the many lumber yards.
Church buildings abound (8 at last count) even though many have reverted to secular uses as the population of the area has decreased.
Modern intrusions e.g., Christopher Inn on Washington Square, are rare and the Marigny today remains one of the most intact 19th century neighborhoods in the country. The FMIA remains dedicated to the preservation of our architectural patrimony.
The FMIA hosts an annual Home Tour where you can get a up close view of the architecture and a glimpse of the way people live in the Marigny. If you can’t make the home tour, we invite you to visit the Marigny anytime. Come grab a cup of coffee, eat some delectable food, listen to great music or just have a drink from one our local businesses and stroll though the Marigny. Enjoy the architecture, the history and the local flavor that make the Marigny a beautiful and wonderful place to live, work and have fun.