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The street gets its name from the wall, or "Rampart" (Rempart in French), that was built on the north side of the street in the city's early years to fortify the early French colonial city. Today, the portion Rampart St. from Canal to St. Claude Avenue has four lanes separated by a tree-lined median. Like Canal Street, Carondelet Street, and other streets in New Orleans, Rampart features classic lightposts reminiscent of the past.
The section of Rampart Street downriver from Canal is designated as North Rampart Street, that upriver as South Rampart Street. Above Canal, South Rampart continues to Felicity Street. In the 19th century, the "South Rampart Street" designation continued into Uptown New Orleans; this section is now named Danneel Street.
Across Esplanade Avenue, the street continues into the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood, then splits off from St. Claude Avenue to become a single-lane, one-way street through residential neighborhoods. It continues into the Bywater neighborhood. With a break from the Industrial Canal, Rampart street resumes in the Lower 9th Ward.
In the early and mid-20th century, Rampart Street on either side of Canal was the center of an important African-American commercial and entertainment district.
"South Rampart Street Parade" is a jazz march composed by Ray Bauduc and Bob Haggart in 1937. It is named for the southern (western) part of Rampart Street that extends upriver toward Saint Charles Parish.
- Louis Armstrong Park—the site of Congo Square and home of the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park
- Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel (The Old Mortuary Chapel)—Built in 1826, the oldest surviving church building in New Orleans.
- The Center of Jesus the Lord (Old Carmelite Convent)—Built in 1895.
- St. Mark's United Methodist Church—Built in 1924.
- Eagle Saloon & Oddfellows Hall—19th century lodge building is perhaps the most important surviving building from the early days of jazz, having been the base for the famous "Eagle Band" and where Buddy Bolden, Freddie Keppard, Buddie Petit, Louis Armstrong, and many other early jazz greats played.
- Iroquois Theater, an African-American cinema and Vaudeville house managed by Clarence Williams in the early 20th century
- The State Palace Theater (formerly Lowe's State)
- WWL-TV Channel 4's television studios (former 7-UP bottler)
- The Saenger Theater
- The J & M Music Store and recording studio at the corner of Rampart and Dumaine, where Cosimo Matassa recorded such musical luminaries as Professor Longhair, Champion Jack Dupree, Big Joe Turner, Fats Domino, and many others. Longhair's anthem "Mardi Gras in New Orleans" and Dupree's version of "Frankie and Johnny" both mention the intersection explicitly.
- The New Orleans Athletic Club, Established 1872, one of the oldest running athletic clubs in the country
Rampart Street has also been commemorated in such tunes and songs as "South Rampart Street Parade", "I've Got the Blues for Rampart Street" and "Saturday Night Fish Fry".
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rampart Street, New Orleans.|
- "NORTH RAMPART STREET SALUTES SATCHMO" - The Times Picayune
- "Delachaise opening keys revival on Rampart Street in N.O." - New Orleans City Business
- "Rampart Street Revisited" - St. Petersburg Times