Algiers, New Orleans

Coordinates: 29°55′30″N 90°00′50″W / 29.92500°N 90.01389°W / 29.92500; -90.01389
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15th Ward
Shotgun houses in Old Algiers
Shotgun houses in Old Algiers
Boundaries of the 15th Ward
Coordinates: 29°55′30″N 90°00′50″W / 29.92500°N 90.01389°W / 29.92500; -90.01389
CountryUnited States
CityNew Orleans
Police DistrictDistrict 4, Algiers
 • Total0.62 sq mi (1.6 km2)
 • Land0.62 sq mi (1.6 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.0 km2)
 • Total25,995
 • Density42,000/sq mi (16,000/km2)
DemonymsAlgierene, or Algerine
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
Area code504

Algiers /ælˈɪərz/ is a historic neighborhood of New Orleans and is the only Orleans Parish community located on the West Bank of the Mississippi River. Algiers is known as the 15th Ward, one of the 17 Wards of New Orleans.[1] It was once home to many jazz musicians[2][3] Algiers frequently although dubiously bills itself as the second oldest neighborhood in the city.[4]


Early settlement[edit]

Algiers was established in 1719 as a plantation, not a neighborhood. Originally called the "King's Plantation," it was first used as the location for the city's powder magazine, a holding area for the newly arrived African slaves. Decades later it became a port call for the displaced Cajuns.

Developed as a town by Barthelemy Duverjé, Algiers expanded due mainly to the shipbuilding and repair industries of the dry docks and the extensive railroad yards. A large part of the town in the area surrounding the Courthouse was destroyed by fire in 1895 but rose again like a Phoenix from the ashes.

In 1870, Algiers was annexed to the city as the 15th Ward, an arrangement which has remained although there have been repeated discussions of secession. Until the latter 1930s, rail yards housed large amounts of freight and rolling stock, which was brought back and forth across the Mississippi River by barge. Then, the Huey P. Long Bridge, which included a railway bridge, was built upriver at Bridge City, Louisiana. The largest railroad presence had been the Southern Pacific yard. That location is still known to Algerines as "the SP yard." For decades it was largely a vacant strip. Portions of the tract were redeveloped for housing in the early 21st century. In the yard's active days, a steam-powered Southern Pacific train ferry brought railroad cars from there across the Mississippi River.[citation needed]

20th Century[edit]

In 1901, the U.S. Navy established a naval station in Algiers. During the early 20th Century, Algiers was segregated due to the Jim Crow Laws of the south. Under Jim Crow, blacks were not allowed to live in Algiers Point which was for whites or Creoles of color whom passed as white. Blacks occupied the area downriver from Algiers Point called McDonoghville (locals refer to it as “Over the Hump”). The neighborhood was named after John McDonogh. Before his death in 1850, McDonogh established "Freetown" for freed slaves and other people of color. Freetown was renamed McDonoghville in 1815. When Algiers became apart of Orleans Parrish in 1870, it became the largest populated black community on the West bank of the Mississippi river. Many Jazz artists such as Kid Thomas Valentine, Red Allen and Papa Celestin all grew up in McDonoghville section in Algiers during the 1910s.[5] Some of the early black neighborhoods included Riverview, Tunisbourg McCLendonville, LeBeoufville, Hendeeville, Oakdale and Whitney. In 1938 L.B. Landry High School opened as the first all black school in Algiers. The school was named after Dr. Lord Beaconsfield Landry, who lived in the area and died in 1934. It was also one of the first schools to serve African-Americans in New Orleans.[6]

Around the 1930s and 40s, several other schools and neighborhoods were built for blacks, including Peter S. Lawton School and Oakdale. Oakdale once stood on the edge of Jefferson Parish and stretched from Whitney Avenue to the Mississippi River. It was completely destroyed in the late 1950's to make room for the Greater New Orleans Bridge. McDonoghville’s Newton Street became the heart of Algiers's black community as it was once filled with ballrooms, saloons and Juke joints. Popular hangout spots like Kohlman's Tavern, Ping Pong Club and Whitney's Ballroom attracted hundreds of people every weekend. The most famous, Greystone Voter's League, became the place for Rhythm & Blues shows and great singers such as Ray Charles, Son House, and B. B. King, who all played there. Most of the jazz venues in Algiers closed by the 1970s.[7]

Algiers began a slow decline after suburban neighborhoods were developed and expanded along Gen. Meyer and Gen De Gaulle. Many white families from the older parts of the city began moving into the newly built sections of Algiers. Behrman Heights which was originally built to house military families regardless of race, became the first racially integrated community. Aurora and Walnut Bend subdivisions remained mostly white. The oil industry provided many jobs and sustained the growth of commerce. In 1970, New Orleans Public Schools opened a second high school O’ Perry Walker. O’ Perry Walker was named after former New Orleans Public School superintendent Oliver Perry Walker who supported segregation.[8] During the early 1970s, Whites had begun to move out of Behrman Heights after the Housing Authority of New Orleans opened the Christopher Park Homes for low-income black families. The building of public housing led to White flight. The White flight resulted in a major decline as many businesses left Algiers for more sustainable neighborhoods in the neighboring Jefferson Parish.

Jazz culture[edit]

Algiers was home to various jazz pioneers such as Red Allen, Peter Bocage, George Lewis, Papa Celestin, Kid Thomas Valentine and many others. Jazz musicians of the 1920s referred to Algiers as the "Brooklyn of the South", the latter for its proximity to New Orleans as compared to New York and Brooklyn, both separated by a river. Algiers also has a long history of Brass bands. The most notable is the Algiers Brass Band which is one of the oldest traditional brass bands still active in the city. There were a number of social halls including Algiers Masonic Hall, the Elks Hall, and the Ladies of Hope Benevolent Hall where early jazz was played. There is some jazz parading in the neighborhood today.[9][10][11]


Algiers is predominantly African American, with 89.4% of residents identifying as such in the 2000 Census.[12] Algiers' total population pre-Katrina, according to the census, was 28,385 of whom 45.9 were male and 54.1 female. The average age is 29.6, while the population for children under 5 was 2,515. Aged 18 and over was 19,204, while 65 and over were a total of 2,839. Whites make up 21.8 per cent of the population in Algiers Point, while African-Americans make up 73.6. Native Americans and Alaskan Natives are 0.2 per cent of the population. Hawaiians barely registered, and Latino/as make up 4.3 percent. The average household size is 2.68; the average family size is 3.41. The total number of housing units in Algiers was 12,351; of those, 83.9 per cent were occupied, and 16.1 vacant. 40.6 of those units are owned by homeowners, while 59.4 are rented. Socially speaking, 72.3% are high school graduates, and 14.3% hold at least a bachelor's degree. The married population is 41.2 percent male, and 33.2 are female. Families that are below the poverty level are at 30.3%; individuals below the poverty level are 35.3%.


Algiers lies within NOPD’s 4th District jurisdiction of Orleans Parish. The 4th District violent crime rate in low-income neighborhoods have been high since the late 1980’s. These areas include the notorious Fischer Projects, Whitney and Behrman Heights neighborhoods.[13]

Between 1987-1988, 4th District’s violent crime rate doubled with the biggest increase in gun homicides and robberies.[14] Algiers made national headlines during 1981 with the “Algiers 7” case in which 7 officers were indicted for killing and torturing black families in revenge for the slaying of NOPD officer Gregory Newport in 1980.[15][16]

In 2017, the 4th District teamed with the NOPD's street-gang unit to quell gun battles spurred by conflicts between neighborhood groups. The groups were formed of loose associations among people, not stable enough to be considered traditional gangs, and had "some very petty, petty beefs that led to very violent encounters," he said. To reduce crime, law enforcement installed 13 crime surveillance cameras, including 10 fixed cameras and three mobile cameras, along with five license-plate readers, including three fixed readers and two mobile readers.[17][18]

In 2015, 4th District tallied 25 homicides to 26 in 2021. In 2022, the district was second in homicides behind Eastern New Orleans with 38 homicides.[19]


Algiers contains many neighborhoods such as


Primary and secondary schools[edit]

Algiers is zoned to schools in the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB), also known as New Orleans Public Schools (NOPS). The district has its headquarters in the Westbank area of Algiers.[20]

The schools include:

  • Martin Behrman Elementary School (K-8)- Algiers Point
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower Elementary School (K-8)- Tall Timbers/Brechtel
  • William J. Fischer Elementary School (K-8)- Fischer Development
  • McDonogh #32 Elementary School (K-8)- McDonogh
  • L.B. Landry High School - Old Algiers
  • O.P. Walker High School - Old Algiers

The InspireNola Charter Schools operate

Crescent City Schools include

  • Harriet Tubman Charter Elementary School
  • Paul B Habans Elementary School

One campus of the International School of Louisiana (ISL) is in Algiers.[21]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "New Orleans Business Alliance - Living in New Orleans Neighborhoods". Archived from the original on February 16, 2016. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  2. ^ "Interview of musician Tom Albert" (PDF). Music Rising at Tulane University. September 25, 1959. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  3. ^ "Hogan Jazz Archive Photography Collection at Tulane University" (PDF). Hogan Jazz Archive at Tulane University. 1927. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  4. ^ Campanella, Richard (August 8, 2017). "How Algiers grudgingly became part of New Orleans". Retrieved June 24, 2019.
  5. ^ "Brass Band Jazz, Part Three".
  6. ^ "L. B. Landry High School, New Orleans, Louisiana". African American High Schools in Louisiana Before 1970. June 24, 2018. Retrieved October 27, 2023.
  7. ^ "History".
  8. ^ "Landry-Walker merger faces opposition". The Advocate. December 15, 2012. Retrieved October 27, 2023.
  9. ^ "History of Jazz in Algiers Louisiana". Algiers Historical Society.
  10. ^ "The Brooklyn of the South" (DOC). Retrieved June 24, 2019.
  11. ^ "The Best of the West". Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  12. ^ "Algiers New Orleans, LA 70114, Neighborhood Profile".
  13. ^,E&p_text_date-0=10/15/1990%20to%2010/19/1990)&p_field_advanced-0=&p_text_advanced-0=(ALGIERS%20RESIDENTS%20ORGANIZE%20ON%20CRIME)&xcal_numdocs=20&p_perpage=10&p_sort=_rank_:D&xcal_ranksort=4&xcal_useweights=yes
  14. ^
  15. ^ "7 OFFICERS INDICTED IN NEW ORLEANS". The New York Times. July 10, 1981. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 27, 2023.
  16. ^ Pope, John (July 10, 1981). "Seven New Orleans Policemen Charged With Rights Offenses". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved October 27, 2023.
  17. ^ "Algiers residents express fears, hear crime-fighting plans at community meeting".
  18. ^ "New crime cameras flashing across New Orleans". Retrieved June 24, 2019.
  19. ^ "New Orleans plagued with several homicides over the Holiday weekend". Retrieved October 27, 2023.
  20. ^ "Central Office Staff Archived 2009-06-09 at the Wayback Machine." New Orleans Public Schools. Retrieved on December 15, 2009.
  21. ^ Tan, Sarah. "The International School of Louisiana opens in Harahan." Times Picayune. November 23, 2012. Retrieved on May 18, 2014.
  22. ^ "Oscar". December 16, 2020.
  23. ^ "Lester Young: From Woodville to Algiers to Minneapolis to Kansas City".
  24. ^ "Bobby Mitchell".
  25. ^ "Obituary: Herman Riley". July 5, 2007.
  26. ^ "Can Louisiana Go Wilson's Way?". The New Orleans Tribune.

External links[edit]