Frenchmen Street

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Frenchmen Street is in the 7th Ward of New Orleans, Louisiana.

It is most famous for the short 3 block section in the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood that is home to some of the city's most popular live music venues including Snug Harbor, The Spotted Cat, and The Maison in addition to restaurants, bars, bookstores, coffee shops, and other businesses.

Location[edit]

Frenchmen Street runs from the intersection with Esplanade Avenue just inland from the Mississippi, back to the Gentilly neighborhood.

History[edit]

The oldest, most famous, and frequently visited section of Frenchmen Street is the section in the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood, just down river on the edge of the Vieux Carre, or French Quarter. This area was once the plantation of Bernard de Marigny, a wealthy Creole born man who made the dice game craps popular in America. He influenced the city of New Orleans with his joie de vivre—or a keen enjoyment of living—and extravagance. In 1806 his property was subdivided and the area was developed as a neighborhood. Many of the houses in this area are over 100 years old, some much older. The Frenchmen Street entertainment district began developing in the 1980s with the appearance of several bars that featured live music. As Bourbon Street became more commercialized and the entertainment more tourist focused, Frenchmen emerged as the favorite spot for locals to party, as the music and vibe was much more geared toward authentic local tastes. Over the years more bars and restaurants opened on the street, and while Frenchmen Street's popularity soared among locals, the street still remained a relative secret to tourists unless you were clued in or stumbled upon it accidentally.

Residing on some of the highest ground in the city, Frenchmen survived Katrina relatively unscathed. Following the storm Frenchmen was officially designated an Arts and Entertainment district by the city; its popularity rose further as it was additionally patronized by people who came to New Orleans to help rebuild, and with tourists seeking authentic local music.[citation needed] After the Saints Super Bowl win in 2010 the street's reputation was broadcast to the world, as it was featured prominently in the U.S. media for hosting one of the biggest celebrations in the city's history;[citation needed] it has also been regularly featured on the popular HBO series Treme. Frenchmen Street has come to be known as one of the best places to enjoy live music and food in New Orleans.[citation needed]

Architecture[edit]

Wandering down Frenchmen Street, a passerby will notice the New Orleans architecture that makes the city stand apart from other American metropolitan areas. Frenchmen Street is home to many Creole Cottages—a New Orleans design stemming back to the period between 1790-1850. Creole Cottages are single story, set at ground level, have a steeply pitched roof, symmetrical four-opening façade and are set close to the front property line. The cottages are usually made of stucco or wood exterior. In the “French Quarter Manual” New Orleans architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe describes the cottages: “These one-storied houses are very simple in their plan. The two front rooms open into the street with French glass doors. Those on one side are the dining & drawing rooms, the others, chambers. The front rooms, when inhabited by Americans, are the family rooms, & the back rooms the chambers.” (Benjamin Henry Latrobe, Impressions Respecting New Orleans, Diary & Sketches, 1818-1820)

Frenchmen Street also has a number of examples of another characteristically New Orleans style home: Creole Townhouse. This style dates back to 1788, following the Great New Orleans fire. The Creole Townhouse is a two- to four-story structure set at or near ground level, a symmetrical arrangement of arched openings on façade, set on property line, iron balcony at second and sometimes third levels, and steeply pitched side gabled roof often with multiple roof dormers. It usually has a stucco or brick exterior.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

New Orleans/Faubourg Marigny travel guide from Wikivoyage