Community Data & Info Share Center Banner

Home >> Pre Katrina Home >> Orleans Parish >> Uptown/ Carrollton District >> Freret >> Snapshot

This information is pre-Katrina.
Although the information on this page is out-of-date, we are continuing to make it available, as it provides insight about this neighborhood pre-Katrina.

Post-Katrina, we will not be making any changes or updates to this page. As a result, you may find outdated information and broken links.

For current data about New Orleans and its neighborhoods, visit our homepage.

Freret Neighborhood Snapshot

Census 2000 Data Tables: People & Household CharacteristicsHousing & Housing Costs, Income & Poverty, Transportation, Employment, Educational Attainment, Immigration & Language, Disabilities, Neighborhood Characteristics

The Freret neighborhood in uptown New Orleans is economically and ethnically diverse and has a wide variety of housing styles from grand mansions to small shotgun houses. It also has a well-known commercial corridor.

A little bit about Freret’s history

This neighborhood is named for William Freret. The Freret brothers, William and James, operated a huge cotton press that occupied nearly two blocks on St. Charles Avenue between Poydras and Gravier. This was the first large industry in the American sector of New Orleans. William was elected mayor in 1840 and served until 1842, then again from 1843-1844. Mayor Freret was considered one of the city’s best mayors of the time because he believed in equality.

© GNO Community Data Center

  A mural in the commercial section on Freret Street

For over a century Freret Street has been the main street of this neighborhood. Small businesses of all kinds line both sides of Freret Street from Napoleon Avenue to Jefferson Avenue. The Freret Street commercial corridor is situated on the former site of two plantations.

In the 1920s and 1930s, Jewish and Italian merchants opened businesses and a streetcar began running down Freret Street. Most of the merchants lived above or near their businesses creating a very diverse neighborhood.

In 1952, things began to change.

A population shift occurred when Merrick Elementary School changed from an all-white school to an all-black school. In addition, the FHA low-interest loans for whites moving to the suburbs attracted residents out of the neighborhood. Larger retailers were beginning to open around town and people had cars to take them shopping outside of the neighborhood. By the early 1970s, Freret Street had lost many businesses. Although Mayor Dutch Morial tried to help with a Neighborhood Commercial Revitalization Program in the late 1970s, the situation continued to get worse until Neighborhood Housing Service of New Orleans, Inc. (NHS), a non-profit housing corporation, came to Freret Street in the 1990s. Changes have begun and small businesses are rediscovering and relocating to this convenient neighborhood. Freret Street is now designated as a National Trust for Historic Preservation. In 2001, the National Trust for Historic Preservation Main Street Program adopted Freret Street and the City of New Orleans has promised $300,000 to help revitalize this commercial corridor.

National Main Street program adopts Freret Street
Mary Fitzpatrick, Preservation Resource Center, September 2001

Landmarks, highlights and memories of Freret

Dunbar’s Restaurant at 4927 Freret Street was voted the #2 Best Soul Food Restaurant in New Orleans in the GAMBIT 2001 Best of New Orleans Poll. The red beans and rice with corn bread and fried chicken are considered by many to be the best in New Orleans.

© Memorial Medical Center (

Memorial Medical Center  

Memorial Medical Center (Baptist Campus) at 2700 Napoleon Avenue was formerly Southern Baptist Hospital. The hospital is now owned by Tenet Health Systems. The hospital is noted for specialties in cardiology, neurology, women’s and infant’s services and oncology.

Long’s Bakery opened in the 1940s at the corner of Freret and Jena Streets and was considered one of the best bakeries and delis in New Orleans. People came from all over New Orleans for the potato salad. The bakery closed after an armed robber murdered Bill Long in the bakery on a weekday afternoon. For many years, people described Freret Street as the place where the popular baker was murdered.

The Freret Parade was started in 1952 when a group of businessmen in uptown New Orleans organized the parade to bring a Mardi Gras parade to their neighborhood. The parade’s route began on Freret Street before continuing on the traditional uptown parade route down St. Charles Avenue. In 1994, the Krewes of Freret and Pandora, both having fallen on hard times, merged and paraded together. That was the last year that the Krewe of Freret paraded.


Arthur Hardy’s Mardi Gras Guide, 18th ed. 1994. p 64.

Huber, Leonard V. New Orleans: A pictorial history. 1971.

LaCoste, Elaine. Street names and picayune histories of New Orleans. 1997.

“Freret, William” Dictionary of Louisiana Biography. Ed. By Glenn R. Conrad. 1988.

For more information:

Realtor Tommy Crane's Website
Tommy Crane’s description of Uptown covers the Freret neighborhood

Census 2000 Data Tables: People & Household CharacteristicsHousing & Housing Costs, Income & Poverty, Transportation, Employment, Educational Attainment, Immigration & Language, Disabilities, Neighborhood Characteristics

Home >> Pre Katrina Home >> Orleans Parish >> Uptown/ Carrollton District >> Freret >> Snapshot



The Community Data Center website is a product of Greater New Orleans Nonprofit Knowledge Works. Copyright © 2000-2. All Rights Reserved.

Last modified: October 5, 2002