Bourbon Street, New Orleans

Bourbon Street

9/15/2012 | New Orleans, LA

The oldest neighborhood in New Orleans, the French Quarter, was part of the original city design harking back to 1721 when the French colony was initially planned. The neighborhood was named to pay homage to the French ruling family, the House of Bourbon – not the ubiquitous American spirit now served throughout the neighborhood. After the Seven Years War in 1763, New Orleans was given to the Spanish and in 1803 was taken over by America as part of the Louisiana Purchase. This unique heritage, spawned by the city’s possession by both the French and Spanish, created the unique Creole culture centered historically in the French Quarter.

Later, in the early 1900’s, the neighborhood began to change with the construction of the Storyville Red Light district nearby on Basin Street. Prostitution, gambling and jazz spilled out into adjacent neighborhoods and by the 1950’s, Bourbon Street was the central red-light district of the city.