Magazine Street in New Orleans, Louisiana is one of the south’s most recognized thoroughfares, dating back to the early days of the expansion of the city beyond the original French Quarter. The derivation of its name has been argued by local historians. Some believe the street was named for a ammunitions warehouse or a magasin a poudre1, that exploded destroying much of Fort St. Louis during the Great Fire of 1794. Others believe it was named for a warehouse or magasin that housed tobacco and other goods awaiting export, located just across from the commons of the city and the name was used to identify the location. It was possibly named for both. Regardless, as the city grew uptown from the French Quarter so did the length of Magazine Street.
The downriver end of Magazine Street is at Canal Street; on the other side of Canal Street in the French Quarter the street becomes Decatur Street. From Canal through the Central Business District and Lower Garden District, Magazine Street is one-way in the upriver direction; downriver traffic forks to join Camp Street, the next street away from the river. Above Felicity Street to the far Uptown end it has a lane of traffic going in both directions with parking on both sides. It is an RTA bus route.
The street follows the length of the crescent through Uptown. After several miles of residential and commercial neighborhoods, it cuts through Audubon Park, with Audubon Zoo on the river side of the street. The far upper end of the street is at Leake Avenue, a part of the Great River Road, where it turns away from the river in the Carrollton riverbend.
Magazine Street is six miles with a distinctly unique flair. Visually, the street offers an abundance of historic buildings from mansions, (now housing elegant bed & breakfasts or single family homes) to Victorian row houses, some residential, some art galleries, some local shops; to a renovated bus barn, converted to a neighborhood grocery.
Magazine Street is Main Street USA in true New Orleans style, offering an array of experiences with incredible flavor. While you will find a few national brands, locally owned businesses are the norm. Unique boutiques, top chefs, arts studios, and markets have been popping up along this exceptional thoroughfare since the early days of New Orleans.
- Campanella, Richard. Time and Place in New Orleans: Past Geographies in the Present Day. Gretna, Louisiana: Pelican Publishing Company, 2002. ISBN 1-56554-991-0
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Magazine Street.|
- Magazine Street Merchants' Association website
- Magazine Street at New Orleans Online
- Southern Living Magazine: A New Orleans Travel Guide
- Gambit: Best of New Orleans Website
- New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau