Faubourg St. John

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Bastille Day celebrations on Ponce de Leon Street, 2013.

Faubourg St. John, is a neighborhood in New Orleans, Louisiana, located just north of Broad Street at the intersection of Orleans Avenue. Faubourg St. John is approximately 75 city blocks in area and has an average elevation of about one foot above sea level. It was built along what is known as the Esplanade Ridge. The Esplanade Ridge Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

More than 4,000 residents call Faubourg St. John (originally Faubourg Saint-Jean) home. The word faubourg is French for neighborhood or suburb.

Faubourg St. John is known for its abundant parks, architecturally-significant homes, museums, the Bayou St. John waterway, and restaurants and shops along Ponce de Leon and Broad Streets.[1][2]


"Bayou Saint John at end of Grand Route Saint John" painted by William Woodward in 1887.

The area near the end of the navigable section of Bayou St. John was long a Native American trade route. Some French trappers and traders settled with the Native Americans by the end of the 17th century. In 1708,[3] the community of Port Bayou Saint-Jean was established here. The town predated the official founding of New Orleans, but it was not incorporated into the city boundaries until the start of the 19th century.

A 1730 account notes Mardi Gras celebrations here.[4] In 1794 the Carondelet Canal provided a navigable water link from the neighborhood to the city at the French Quarter.

A visitor at the start of the 19th century noted the neighborhood "has charming dance halls, cafes, and billiard parlors. The pleasures procured there by the young folks attract many people."[5][6]

In 1852 the "Union Race Course" was laid out, later known as New Orleans Fair Grounds, it has long been a noted home to horse racing and other events. Since 1972 the Fair Grounds has been the venue for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.


Old Spanish Customs House aka Lorreins Plantation House
Detail of ironwork fence at the Dufour Plassan House

Schools and education[edit]

Cabrini High School is a girls' Catholic school located in Faubourg St. John which offers grades 8-12 and was founded in 1905 by Mother Francesca Cabrini.

McDonough City Park Academy is a K-5 school.[10]

Recent development[edit]

The current goal of the Faubourg St. John Neighborhood Association (FSJNA) is to revamp the worn Desmare Playground at 3456 Esplanade Avenue. Plans include making the playground a more welcoming place for children, with the addition of a swing set and complete replacement of the playground equipment.[11]

Neighborhood association[edit]

The Faubourg St. John Neighborhood Association (FSJNA) has been around in one form or another since the 1920s. It was registered with the state in 1977. FSJNA is a benevolent group interested in continuing improvements in this historic New Orleans neighborhood through its people, children, historic waterway, public spaces and other environs. FSJNA has participated in numerous beautification efforts throughout Faubourg St. John from parks and playgrounds to simple street plantings. FSJNA works to keep its membership informed. It also reaches out to other non-profits and bordering neighborhood organizations, through its participation in area festivals, cultural events, community workshops, and informational seminars.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "about". Faubourg St. John.
  2. ^ Carll, A. "Bayou St. John is the Reason for New Orleans". Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  3. ^ "history". Faubourg St. John.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-01-21. Retrieved 2015-01-21.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Robin, Charles Cesar (1805). Voyage to Louisiana. p. 43.
  6. ^ Powell, Lawrence N. (2012). The Accidental City: Improvising New Orleans. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p. 218. ISBN 9780674059870.
  7. ^ "Visit the Pitot House". Louisiana Landmarks Society.
  8. ^ "The Southern Adventures of a California Girl: Neighborhood Sights: Dufour-Plassan House". califorleanian.blogspot.com.
  9. ^ "St. Louis Cemetery No. 3".
  10. ^ "Schools". Faubourg St. John.
  11. ^ "Desmare Playground Project". Faubourg St. John. Archived from the original on 2014-11-21. Retrieved 2014-11-25.
  12. ^ "Faubourg St. John".

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 29°59′02″N 90°05′24″W / 29.984°N 90.090°W / 29.984; -90.090