Marigny Neighborhood Snapshot
Census 2000 Data Tables: People & Household Characteristics, Housing & Housing Costs, Income & Poverty, Transportation, Employment, Educational Attainment, Immigration & Language, Disabilities, Neighborhood Characteristics
Historically the Marigny was home to many free women of color who owned cottages there.
In 1975, when the Faubourg Marigny was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, the neighborhood began a surge of revitalization. According to New Orleans City Business January 2002 profile of the neighborhood:
Charming suburb, home to many ethnic groups
Faubourg Marigny is considered the first suburb of New Orleans. The Marigny neighborhood is a maze of angular streets that form triangles, pentagons and squares. Numbers jump their sequence mid-block and so do street names. The Creole cottage is the predominant architectural style of this neighborhood.
Spanish, French Creoles, Italians, Germans, Irish and many free persons of color were among the first ethnic inhabitants to live in this section of the city.
Many free women of color or Creole women owned property in the Marigny. Many of these women were involved in relationships with white men who gave them these cottages as gifts.
Many dance spots, distinctive restaurants, bars and a coffee house have popped up on Frenchmen Street. The Praline Connection was one of the first of these to open. In 1991, Curtis Moore, Jr. and Cecil Kaigler, who met when they were employed at British Petroleum, decided to open their soul food restaurant in this up and coming neighborhood. Their restaurant was so successful that they opened a second location in the Warehouse District in 1993.
Bits and pieces of the Marignys history
The land originally belonged to Claude DuBreuil, who found himself in the Bastille after some underhanded dealings with the city. Next, Mathurin Dreux wanted to build a huge sugar plantation on the land, but died before it happened. Balthazer Mazan, the next owner, mysteriously ended up in a Spanish prison and the governors secretary became the new owner. Lorenzo Sigur traded the land with Pierre Marigny for a plantation in Chalmette. After his fathers death, Bernard Xavier Phillippe de Marigny inherited the land in the early 1800s.
Bernard Marigny was quite a colorful character and is credited with having brought the game of craps to this country. Bernard Marigny divided his vast estate into small lots designed for residential development very shortly after inheriting the land. Bernard had many debts and the smaller the land parcels the more there was to sell. The area grew rapidly. Lots were sold all the way into the 1820s. However, the Faubourg Marigny began to decline in the mid-1800s. The reason for the decline around the time of the Civil War is unclear.
Some believe that Bernard alienated many French Creole families in his dealings with American developers. Also, with the development of the Pontchatrain Railroad in 1830, many people began settling further down Elysian Fields. For more than the next 100 years, the area remained considerably poorer than it was at its inception.
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Last modified: October 5, 2002