Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Old Photos of New Orleans (& LA)

Old photography fascinates me. It's the great recorder of how life was, the things people wore, the way people got around... it's the living historian that can't lie. But it's funny how the "good old days" are never the good old days when you're living in them. I could go put my camera in the same exact position and take photos of the same street scenes that you see here, but they would be insanely boring. But to a person living 100 years from now this photo would be pretty damn interesting. This is what makes photography great.

Another thing that humbles me is how much more you had to know and do to be a photographer back then. We are all spoiled by the modern digital pixels that have whored the art of photography almost beyond recognition. But that's ok, I'm not complaining. I probably wouldn't have made it back in the day.  The sharpness and range in these 8x10 negatives is stunning.  It's ironic that their quality is actually diminished by the digital scanning.  

Anyway, if you've never heard of Shorpy.com, you need to check it out. It is a huge online collection of thousands of high res photos mostly taken 100+ years old. It's fantastic. So here are a few I found from New Orleans and Louisiana taken around the turn of the century. It's cool to see how little this place has changed over the past few hundred years.

What's sad is how much this city has lost, even before Katrina. Beautiful and historic buildings, neighborhoods, churches, libraries- all of which seem to have been demolished in the 1950's and replaced with the ugliest architecture the world has ever seen. If it were up to me I would destroyed every building built in the 1950's and 60's. I'm not even kidding. 

Be sure to check out Shorpy...always interesting. Enjoy a little history.

[UPDATE]  For whatever reason, this blog post has gotten over 11,000 hits in the past week.  A new record for this site, for sure.  It appears that I am not the only one with an interest in old photography.  So, I have updated this page and added many more photos.

Also, all of these photos are the original size...meaning, if you right click the picture and open in a new tab you will see glorious details that you would have otherwise missed.  It's fascinating to see people, signs, dogs, fashion, cars....just life in general.  Enjoy.

Update on the update: apparently blogger maxes the size of my uploads at 1600px...what a shame.  Check out Shorpy.com for the original hugeness.

Enjoy the photos and feel free to share away!  And comment below!   


The abandoned Belle Grove mansion in White Castle, LA. These photos were taken in 1938, years after its abandonment. When it was built in 1857 it was the largest mansion in the south and comprised of more than 75 rooms. It has since burned to the ground.

I would have seriously considered amputation of a limb to have explored this place.



Old Cotton Exchange, 1900.

Esplanade Avenue, 1900. 

French Opera house, 1900.  

Here it is again in 1910.  It would burn to the ground in December of 1919.  It's burning signifies the death of class of Bourbon Street.


Mules on the levee, 1903.  Notice the JAX Brewery to the right.

 Unloading bananas on the levee, 1903.

Oyster sluggers, 1906.

Oyster & charcoal luggers in the old basin, 1908.

Pay day on the levee, 1906.

"Steamer loading grain from floating elevator." 1906

"Steamer loading hides." 1903

Torpedo boats on the Mississippi, 1906

Milkbobile in Quarter, 1903.

1910.

 Milk runner on Esplanade Ave, 1903.

Now and then.  As you can see, the scene remains exactly the same.  

"Smallest news & post card stand in New Orleans."  103 Royal Street, 1908.

View of the St. Charles Hotel, one of the finest in the south.

The buildings even leaned back then...Lee Circle, 1936.

Old Ursuline Convent, 1910.  Finished in 1752, it's considered the oldest surviving structure in New Orleans.

815 Toulouse Street, 1937.

837 Gov Nicholls Street, 1937.

842 Royal Street, 1937.

Tulane & Charity Hospitals, 1928. 

Bourbon & St. Peters, 1937

Chalmette refinery, 1913.

Jackson Avenue, 1920's

Lee Circle, 1928.

Slow up?  Lee Circle.


West End streetcar out in Lakeview, 1949.

Old Absinthe House & Bourbon Street, 1903.

Inside the Absinthe House.

House on Palmer Avenue, built for $10,000.

Liberty Theatre on St. Charles, 1936.  Many people don't know that it was actually New Orleans who had the first movie theater in the country.  

The Joy Theater on opening night, February 8, 1947.  See my photos inside the abandoned theater here.  It was since been restored!  

Camp & Canal, 1905.

Canal Street, 1910.

Maison Blanche building, where my grandpa had his dental practice.  Now the Ritz Carlton.


Canal Street, 1890's.

1907.

Carondelet Street, 1905. NEW Jackson Square Cigars!

Mardi Gras on Canal.

End of Canal Street, 1890.  The Clay monument has since been moved to Lafayette Square.  Notice the advertisement for the Opera.

Canal Street from above, 1903.

View down Chartres Street.  Still looks the same.

View of the Mississippi atop the Grunewald Hotel, 1910.

Downtown rooftops from the Grunewald (now The Roosevelt), 1910.

Postcard from Lafayette Square.

Lafayette Square.  The church to the right was First Presbyterian.  It was demolished in 1938 and moved to South Claiborne & Jefferson in Uptown.

Angola landing, 1910.

Basin Street (early 1890's?), part of Storyville.  These beautiful buildings, along with the rest of Storyville, were demolished in 1930 to make way for the Iberville Projects.  Great move New Orleans...great move.

Storyville prostitutes photographed by E.J. Bellocq, early 1900's.


Jewish Boys Home, corner of St. Charles & Jefferson.

NOLA's main public library on Lee Circle.  Why was this demolished?!

Postcard from 1912.

View from 1940/50's.

Touro Shakspeare Home, now abandoned.  Check out my pics here.

Dedication of the Industrial Canal, 1923.

French courtyard, 1906.

French Market, early 1900's.

Same view, 1890's.

Nola Paperboys, 1913.  Photographed by Lewis Hine.

"Group of workers in Lane Cotton Mill showing the youngest workers and typical conditions in New Orleans.  Violations of the law are rare."  November 1913.

Rare photograph of the James Robb mansion, once the largest in the entire south.  It occupied an entire city block in Uptown New Orleans.  Read a bit more about it's history here.

Robb Mansion, after it had been turned into Newcomb College for women.

Luling Mansion, and later the Jockey Club.


Katz & Besthoff, 1950's.

Le Pretre Mansion in the Quarter, built in 1835.  Still looks the same.

"Italian headquarters, Madison Street." 1906

Masonic Temple, 1910.

Napoleon House, 1905.  One of my favorite bars in the city.  (Pim's Cup might be my favorite drink of all time...so refreshing.) 

"Negro house in New Orleans, Louisiana." 1936

The new Hotel Denechaud on Poydras Street, 1908.  Now the Le Pavillon Hotel.

Sun Coffee Shop on Canal Street, 1935.

Courtyard at 1135 Chartres Street, 1937.

Le Petite Theatre, 1937

Southern Railroad Depot, demolished in the 1950's.

Somewhere on Esplanade Avenue.

Mount Airy in St. John the Baptist Parish, 1938.

Elks Home...still there.

Learning numbers.  Translyvania, Louisiana 1939


Notre Dame de Bon Secours.

Pointe Coupee Parish, 1938.

Trepagnier House, St. Charles Parish, 1938.  Destroyed to build the Bonnet Carre spillway.  The caption reads, "Abandoned plantation house now occupied by Negroes."

Uncle Sam's Plantation...built in 1847, demolished in 1940.


NOLA skyline, 1950's.


147 comments:

  1. I love seeing all of these pictures. I live in Oklahoma City but my dad's parents were born and raised in New Orleans and so I just love looking at pictures that show the past of this beautiful city. Its amazing that you could find these pictures! Please post more if you find them!
    Thank you! -Natalie Trepagnier

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    1. Hey there...I'm just seeing your comment. I love these old photos, I'm so glad they're still around. I get most of them from Shorpy.com, an amazing collection of old photos. Check it out, they just added some more of New Orleans!

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    2. Having spent lots of time in this wonderful city as a child and as an adult, I love seeing these pictures and am so happy that you have shared them!

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    3. Thank you for sharing these photos. I am a native New Orleanian living in Fl now - sure enjoyed the nostalgia.

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    4. Grace

      I grew up in Louisiana and I'm working on my second novel which will be set in LA. These pictures were wonderful, especially the one of the loading dock at Angola.

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    5. fabulous pictures. I, as well as my father and grandfather, was raised in New Orleans. Many of the pictures brought back memories. I was particularly interested in your grandfather's dental practice being in the Maison Blanche Bld. My first cousin was the president of MB for many years and my father was a dentist in New Orleans. I know his first office was downtown (not sure which building but maybe the Maison Blanche bldg.) and his last office was on Prytania near Touro Infirmary. Pretty fascinating stuff.

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    6. Beautiful old photos. My mother-in-law worked in a dentists office in that building. Saw my first Mardi Gras from the window. Keep up the good work.

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    7. Where you say "Somewhere on Esplanade"?
      That is the first St Aloysius on the corner of Esplanade at N Rampart.
      Before the second larger one with the front courtyard

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  2. Thanks for sharing. Truly enjoy the photos.

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  3. Thank you for posting the page above..gorgeous buildings!!!

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  4. Thank you for posting this site. Amazing pics!

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    1. Wonderful pictures, atrocious grammar in the captions.

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    2. Ass. Why is grammar even an issue when sharing such beauty?

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    3. Beautiful clear pictures! I've never seen such clear older photos. Thank you so much for sharing.

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    4. MY FATHER AND GRANDMOTHER WERE BORN IN NEW ORLEANS, THESE PICTURE ARE AWSOME, THANKS LOU FOR SENDING THEM TO ME.

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    5. My Name is Aimee Gravois Simon. Warren below is my cousin. He is a very good photographer so he certainly appreciates these pictures and so do I. I grew up in Vacherie where Oak Alley and Laurel Plantation are. So in my growing years I just adored these old places. Lived twice in New Orleans and I really appreciate what these pictures give us of our past. Thanks for sharing these fabulous memories of the Jewel of a city, New Orleans.

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    6. My name is Ray Canatella and having been born and raised in New Orleans, I was over joyed to see those old pictures. New Orleans is one of the great cities in our country. It has an unbelievable History that goes back to 1725, which was around the time the French and Spanish explorers began to settle there. What has always amazed me was that even though our city is 3 feet below sea level we have very little flooding like other cities around the country. It is truly an amazing city with amazing people. And lets not forget our amazing food that people from all over the world come to New Orleans to enjoy a good meal.
      A million thanks for sharing those beautiful pictures of a beautiful city.

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  5. Great photography! Notice how sharp they are. Back then they used a large format camera like 8X10 negatives and the camera probably was on a tri-pod. I think the one of Lafayette Square was shot from the roof of the Times-Picayune building. The Mardi Gras picture shows everyone wearing hats and suits...how times have changed!


























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    1. Hey Warren, it really is amazing how tack sharp those 8x10 glass negatives are. In fact, they still beat digital in terms of dynamic range and sharpness...the problem is now that when you scan something that big into a computer, you actually have to downgrade the quality (due to the limitations of the scanner). Anyway, definitely check out Shorpy.com for some amazing hi res images. You'll spend all day there.

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    2. As a native New Orleanian now living in California - AMAZING - Pictures bring back memories of my youth growing up in the city in the 40's and 50's. Thanks.
      John Bourgeois

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  6. As late as the early 50's NO ONE dreamed of going downtown without "Dressing to the 9's". My Mother had TWO pairs of white, kidskin gloves so she could always have a pair for the occassion if one pair was being cleaned. I was never allowed to touch them. I remember her and my Grandmother going through a huge rigamarole getting dressed.

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    1. My mom says the same thing. In fact, her mom would send her and her sisters down to Canal Street (white gloves on) by themselves. Sadly, those days are over. I just hope that Canal Street can one day get a little of that magic back. It really pisses me off driving down that street and seeing the endless potential...

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  7. Everytime I see pictures of the city I love, I always think how much I miss New Orleans.

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  8. Virginia LittlejohnJune 11, 2013 at 8:37 PM

    Hi, James. Wonderful photos that brought back so many memories. I was born in New Orleans in 1942, and a lot of the place still looked similar to the photos from 1910 and earlier, though the transportation had upgraded, many of the hotels and restaurants had changed names, and men no longer wore elegant hats -- but perhaps straw panamas with their linen or seersucker suits in the summer. But my mother and grandmother both had their white kid gloves, and I think I also had a pair when our grandmother took my sister and me to shop at D.H. Holmes and have lunch at Galatoires.

    My husband and I currently live in Vietnam, which has some lovely old French colonial architecture, sultry weather, wonderful food, and intermittent typhoons (the Asian equivalent of hurricanes). Sounds like I'm trying to recreate my beloved New Orleans!

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    1. Thanks for the info! Love hearing stuff like this... I would love to get to Vietnam sometime. As you already know, New Orleans is blessed to have a huge Vietnamese population and it is some of my favorite food by far. I hope to get there one day!

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    2. I too am New Orleans born and bred. Spent time in Vietnam too and I experienced those monsoons mentioned, but foxholes were a little different than those French houses. I was born a year after many of those pictures were taken in 1937. I remember seeing the mule pulled milk wagons and ice trucks delivering ice. In fact during the summer at age 15 I rode many of those streets on the back of an ice truck delivering ice! Some great memories in these photos.

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    3. Did you ever run into Fats Domino?! Didn't he get his start delivering ice? Thanks for the info!

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  9. Really fantastic! Thanks for your blog. I've just sent the link to my sisters-we grew up in Slidell. I miss NOLA. :-(

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    1. Come back soon! (just not in August)

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  10. Really great photos. Was born there in 1938, moved to Texas in 1963 and still here. Miss New Orleans so much! Try to get down there as often as possible. The early 1900 pics were when my parents were children. The 50's pics were when I was in high school. So, lots of memories for me. Bless you for posting all of these. I saw The Three Stooges in person at the Liberty on St. Charles--seems like eons ago. I had to be 7 or 8 at the time. Thanks for the memories, as the song goes.

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    1. That is so cool! Thank you for sharing! Where exactly on St. Charles was the Liberty?

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    2. On Lee Circle where the K&B Office Building was built per my memory.

      Randall Abadie

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    3. Wow...that's sad. So the K&B building (and assuming the interstate) took the place of both that and the first public library... :(

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    4. Enjoyed the old pictures very much, and yes the library was replaced by the K&B building and expressway. Glad that some of the closed up places are coming back.

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  11. My father Leslie Duplan went to work at 13 in the 1920's in a lumber yard.
    His mother said he wore a White Linen Suit and carried his lunch
    in a brief case until he got on the job.
    Far cry from some today. Sad

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    1. Very far cry...thanks for sharing.

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    2. Would that have been Liberty Lumber Yard on Tchoupitoulas St? My inlaws grew up next door to it.... just wondering?

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  12. Fortunately a friend sent me this site to view. As a former resident of New Orleans - Metairie, I was overwhelmed to see each photograph. It was like I was sucked into the past and felt like I was visiting there all over again. I can only tell you that your site is beautiful and a real keeper for me. Thanks you so much. Judie Kiker Kopfman, Cheraw, SC

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  13. Wow! I am in awe! I am 80 and remember some things as thy were when I was a child . My dad was a fruit peddler and I would sometimes go to the French Market with him to buy his wares. Please,please keep them coming, everyone should be able to enjoy them! I will certainly forward the site!!!

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    1. Thanks so much Bev...I'm always on the hunt for old pictures!

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    2. Bev, I also remember the people who came through my Mid City neighborhood, always singing out their wares. Strawberries - blackberries - The sound still resonates in my mind!! There was also the Rag Man, who would come by with his mule and wagon, the Ice Man who would give us kids a chip on a hot day, and the tar man who would spoon out a measure of tar for us to chew on (wonder what that did for us??) But what I remember most fondly was the little Italian man with his music box and his Capuchin Monkey - he would play the box and that little monkey would do tricks dressed in a tiny Bellman outfit (think Philip Morris Cigarettes) then would take his hat and hold it out for the nickles we would give him. Or he would take it out of your hands with his long fingers, which I preferred. I just wish I could have had the same pleasures for my children to enjoy, but progress marches on.

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  14. These photo's are amazing!!

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  15. Thank you so much for sharing these remarkable pictures of my beloved New Orleans.♡

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  16. Thank you for preserving a pictorial history that will soon be lost if no one cares enough to digitize and post them.

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  17. you even have the ghost photo. "View down Chartres Street. Still looks the same." bottom right corner you see a figure coming out of the store wearing a hat. Loved these pics.

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  18. Hey James have you seen the app - New Orleans Historical? I think you can link these to their map, making them geographically sharable to all. Thanks for sharing - these are awesome!
    - Chris Lane

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    1. That's great I will def check it out...thanks!

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  19. Thanks for sharing, a beautiful way to see the development of our great city of New Orleans!

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  20. Wonderful photos! I'm from Florida and my parents took me and my brother to New Orleans for the first time when we were 12 (me) and 8 years old. Now my husband and I go all the time just for entertainment of all sorts. We just love New Orleans. Thanks for sharing.
    Paula

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  21. Wow, really wonderfull Pictures. Thanks for sharing.
    Greeting from Austria/Vienna

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  22. WOW! Thank you so much for sharing this fabulous collection of photos! I visited New Orleans only once in April of 2005--so grategul I got to go before Katrina did so much damage. I've always been fascinated with the city--featuring in so many novels, and I love the history, it was wonderful to see the places I'd read about. I want to go again and spend more time--just loved it! If I could take a "dream trip". it would be to travel back in time and experience the NOLA in these photos!

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    1. Yes absolutely...I would love to travel back in time, assuming I get to pick the time of year...spring. I think the city has come back better than before. We were on track to be the next Detroit, but now there is so much vested interested in making this place better than before, while preserving the past. So many young people are moving here, and better yet, staying here. Unlike the 60's thru the 90's, our economy will not just rely on tourism. Our future is very bright. That being said, come and see us again!

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  23. I never get enough of old photos, especially of my home town. God bless the folks who create and harbor these photos for all of us and our children. Thanks to those who care.......
    Donnie Joe

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  24. Great job Jamey. Very cool and interesting. Can I recommend you taking your version of your favorites above as they are today? I thought that might be a cool thing to see like the one on Esplanade.

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    1. Yes I would love too...def on my list of things to do. (the list is long!)

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  25. I too enjoyed the pictures. I take strolls in the French Market as much as I can. There is always something going on. I have been living here in the New Orleans area all my life.

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  26. I was born in New Orleans and lived there for 36 years. Although I no longer live there, it will ALWAYS be home. Thank you for providing this wonderful time to reminisce about my city. Used to go to the movies at The Joy, wearing my white gloves, and stopping at The Pearl Restaurant first for a very sloppy roast beef po-boy (no gloves)!!

    My dentist was in the MB building...Dr. Crane was his name, and I bet he knew your grandaddy.
    My father started the glassware department at DH Holmes, and his kiln was behind the store on Iberville Street.

    I so appreciate your dedication and passion to provide this blog for so many of us.

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    1. Thank you so much Judy...it really means a lot. Yes, my grandpa was Dr. Mallory. My mom can tell you exactly what floor he worked on. I'm going to ask her if the name Crane sounds familiar.

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    2. I started going to an orthodontist in the MB building when I was 13 in 1953 and his name was Dr. Robert Smythe. When I was 17 I worked in the Federal Land Bank building at 860 St Charles Ave near Lee Circle. Also worked in the Hancock Building at 1055 St. Charles Ave. on Lee Circle. Building names have been changed. Love the In the 60's I lived at 2 different places on Esplanade Ave. and one of the pictures looks like the house I lived in that was set up with several apartments. I remember the right side of the house on the 2nd floor was an extended part which was our kitchen.

      Love your pictures.

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  27. Love these pictures. We been to New Orleans and fell in love with it. Also love pictures of the past. I had a co-worker that found pictures from the 60's in a dumpster in Indianapolis, In. She had them made into posters. She study graphic art. They turned out great. Thank you for sharing.

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  28. This is so great! Thanks for sharing. : )

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  29. I was thrilled to see Belle Grove as your very first picture! I remember going to see the ruins with my family in about 1954 - there was not much left, but my mother found some square head nails that she treasured. So many people love this fair city, and wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to experience her as she was then? Thanks for these photos. sandy

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    1. I'm jealous...I love to document old abandoned buildings, if nothing more than to preserve them before they disappear forever. I would have died and gone to heaven if I could have seen this place before it burned down. Truly sad. That architecture and craftsmanship is just impossible to replicate these days.

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  30. I find the railing above the sign "Furnished Rooms" in the View down Chartres pretty dang funny. It looks like huge male organs. Lol. The ghost coming out of the place is a real person though. Amazing how much my beloved Quarter has changed and stayed the same.

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  31. I was born & raised in New Orleans but I have been living in Connecticut, I refer to as Yankee land these last 14 years. I've been in need of a NO fix & this came along @ the right time, a friend of mine sent me your link. You can bet your bottom dollar I'll be checking out Shorpy.com, thanks for a pleasant Sunday afternoon.

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    1. Fantastic! Be prepared to spend hours!

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  32. Question about your grandfather, teh dentist. Was his name Charles Bartels?

    Jules Lagarde

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  33. Born in N.O. in 1942 and lived in lower ninth ward. Worn white gloves (cotton) to go "uptown" to shop and for movies at Loew's and Saenger theatres. As I remember, interior of theatres were luxurious with "stars" in the ceilings. Let's meet under the clock at D.H.Holmes. Thanks so much for sharing!!

    Maureen Soulant McKenzie Lovell

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    1. Yes, our beautiful theatres are slowly making a comeback! I can only hope and dream that the Orpheum is next! It's so beautiful...

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  34. Absolutely Beautiful!

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  35. James, thanks so much for sharing these photos. I was born in New Orleans in 1962, left in 1990 to pursue a career in New England, and have been trying to get back ever since. These photos will help spur me on!

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  36. Thank you for your generosity in sharing these amazing photographs of New Orleans. I grew up on the MS Gulf Coast and New Orleans has always been a favorite city to visit for me, and continues to be!

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  37. Amazing photos!! I work on Tchoupitoulas St., one block off of Poydras. I love the history in the Warehouse District/CBD/French Quarter! I work in an old coffee warehouse that is over 150 years old.

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  38. It is so nice to look back to the past and see what and where has happened to all the buildings in New Orleans. I have read a few of Buddy Stahl's books quick and easy read but so informative. I thank you so much for all that you have shared for all to see. I so miss all the stores that I remember when I was a child. Thank you.

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  39. photo 75 is also Tujaques on the right

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  40. Thank you for the pictures. My Grandfather drove a streetcar way back in the day in New Orleans. These pictures bring back good memories!

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  41. These are just great pictures. I don't know all the buildings because I was born in Napoleonville, but my grandfather, Henry Delaune, used to take us kids to "the city". We'd go to Solari's for lunch and to bring back some wonderful cheeses, ham, desserts, etc. I loved our trips. I live in Fort Worth, which has a wonderful history as well, but the food doesn't compare. Helen

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  42. Thank you for sharing. This put a smile on my face. Reminds me of the Fats Domino song -- "I don't why I love you like I do" BUT WE DO. Wish we could bring some of it back. Debby

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  43. Good and the bad and the ugly, it's a city I have loved all my life. Thanks for the photos

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  44. Born and raised and never want to leave New Orleans, Lee

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  45. Hello, Bravo for your site. I knew a few of these pics. They are all stupendous. You can write to me directly at jazzedit@sfr.fr
    and see my work on www.jazzedit.org (excerpts, reviews, etc.). I may need some of these pics for my next book. Cordially, Dan Vernhettes, Paris, France

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    1. Thanks! I'll send you an email... Are you from Paris, or do you just live there? I'll be living in Rouen in a few months!

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    2. John September 1, 2013September 1, 2013 at 9:17 PM

      Thanks for sharing. I lived there 60 years and then came Katrina! We moved to Baton Rouge. I've been to the "Joy Theatre" and the Saenger across the street many times. Great photos and clarity is awesome. Thanks again!

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  46. Thank you for posting photos of New Orleans, makes me homesick so it's time to revisit, here is no there place in the world like New Orleans.

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  47. I'm thrilled to see these photos. I cried from Lee Circle to Canal Street on the St. Charles Ave. streetcar when I first saw they had demolshed the library. When I finished all the books on at the library at Napoleon and Magazine I spent hours and hours there. As a teenager I road the Westend streetcar all summer to the beach. I live in California now but go to New Orleans almost every year. I graduated from St. Mary's Dominican Academy in 1947 when it was at Broadway and St. Charles and K&B was across the street. Growing up there was wonderful.

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    1. Thanks for the info...that is so sad. I just don't get it. Our main library branch (built in the 1960's of course) is hideous. What were they thinking back then?!

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  48. Thanks for the great old photos. We live in Vancouver Canada but love to visit New Orleans and have been there about 5 times in the last 10 years (both before and after Katrina). It is a fun and lively place.

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    1. Thanks...we love people like you!

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  49. Dear James. I enjoyed the photos and would like to add some information. As Archivist of the New Orleans Opera I was immediately struck by the photo of the Clay Monument with the streetcar advertising a performance at the French Opera House. I can provide the date of that performance of Il Trovatore. Paul Ceste was the leading baritone at the Opera House in the 1890/91 season. He sang in the performance which took place on Saturday evening, 25 October 1890, the only time that season that Trovatore was sung on a Saturday evening with Ceste as the Count di Luna. Ceste was a member of the 1890/91 troupe from opening night that season (14 October), but for some reason left (ca. 18 Jan 1891) before season end, to be replaced by another singer. Thanks for sharing the wonderful photos.

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    1. Thanks Jack! Awesome info! I'm going to add it beneath the picture up top...

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  50. If the captions were as good as the pictures, this collection would really be something. In any case, it proves that New Orleans once had a civilization.

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    1. Care to elaborate? You must be from Atlanta...

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    2. Well, I think the owner of this blog who posted these pictures was probably working with very limited information about each photograph... so how on earth could the captions be "as good" as the pictures??
      If you look at any of the other posts about New Orleans on this blog, I think you would realize that this city CONTINUES to have a culturally unique, beautiful, thriving civilization. So, what did you mean by, "it proves that New Orleans once had a civilization."? I would also very much like for you to elaborate on that statement.

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    3. If you think that what New Orleans has now is a civilization, you don't know what civilization is.

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  51. My father was born,raised and died in New Orleans. Born in 1901 and my mother in 1909. I can just imagine them visiting and viewing these places. I was born in New Orleans in 1942 and can remember some of these places. I remember the ice house on South Claiborne which is not pictured here and going in there on hot New Orleans' days. Going to the movies at the Joy theater and the dentist in the Mason Blanch building. Those were the good days. Those are good memories.

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  52. These are priceless. Grew up in New Orleans on the WestBank and just love this old city. So much of the city is truly timeless but these photos help see how things have changed. Thanks for your collection. Not sure who owns the photos but they would be great in a book.

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    1. From what I understand, a lot of these photos were commissioned by the US government, so they are actually the property of the US taxpayer, to be used however you want! And you're right...someone needs to make a giant book of these. Bestseller.

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  53. What wonderful pictures and memories. Thanks for sharing. I went to a dentist, Dr. Francis Huete in the M.B. building in the 60s.

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  54. Invaluable. Many, many thanks. My grandson is majoring in Historic Preservation in Charleston. What a treasure of photos.

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  55. I've lived in N.O. now for 48yrs.Comparing then & now I can't help noticing how clean the streets were back then & the people all in dress cloths, also the common workers has long sleeve, vests, hats in spite of the hot & high humidity we have here, AMAZING.

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    1. It was a different time for sure. Sad to think that they had better streets back then, but you're right, they look exquisite.

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  56. Jacquelynn Hendershott

    Loved the photos. I took the West End streetcar from the Polk Street stop many times when I was young and living in Lakeview. My great grandfather had a business on Chartres St. so that was of special interest to me also. My parents, born in 1900 and 1905 would have loved these photos, expecially my father who spend time at his grandfather's store, Million Article Kline's on Chartres Street and was a true History buff.

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    1. Thanks for the info. Were you familiar with the "Haunted House" in Lakeview? Something about a couple of crazy old sisters?

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    2. I lived just a couple of blocks from the Haunted House which was on Milne St. in Lakeview. There were three sibling living there, two sisters and a brother. Their father was a ship captain and built the home from very large stones, which were used as ballast when the ship was empty. He would then pick up his freight in New Orleans and return to whichever country he came from. At some point in time, he kidnapped his children and they lived in this home. Born in 1941, I remember them riding the West End bus, the women dressed in black hooded cloaks and the man in a heavy dark wool jacket. Of course, we just knew they were witches and the cloaks were our proof!! It was rumored that they were mentally limited, but I'll never know. Eventually, one died, the other two lived alone until one found the other dead and officers found the body in the bed, eaten by rats (or so I was told). At Halloween, the Police Dept. had officers standing outside with candy for the kids so they wouldn't go poking around the property. After the last one died, the neighbors were so nosy, that police were having to guard the home - but one day, something was up and I took my 4 year old daughter and went to join the neighbors. When the policeman drove off, a small group of us went up the crooked stone steps and the door was open. We entered (yes, we did) and got a view of the dining area which had a massive wooden table and chairs, a fireplace and rooms off of that. I didn't go any further (I did have a 4 year old with me) and left as quickly as I came. My daughter picked up a small stone from the property, which she may still have to this day.
      FOR MORE INFO: Go to Facebook, "I grew up in Lakeview, did you? What do you remember?" I also have a photo of the Mother and the three young kids when she found them in New Orleans. Don't know how to get them to you.
      Absolutely LOVE your photos. My grandfather was a photographer of New Orleans and its people - John Scordill - he had a studio on Canal Street and I find many of his photos in these old photo sites!

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    3. WOW Pat...thanks so much for that awesome story. I can't even imagine. And yes, I am a part of that group on facebook, that's how I first learned about the house! Such a creepy and fascinating story. Do you still have any photographs of your grandfathers?

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    4. Grew up in Legion Oaks = Oak park in Gentilly. Still on (rebuilt post, "the thing") my family lot, 63 years. I remember how the children and idiot teens from all over would have a big laugh going over to the sisters (Witches ? HA !!) home to scream and curse at them, invade them for their FUN. Poor darlings. Who can blame them for being terrified, petrified to step into the light of day? Who then were EVIL? SHAME, HILLS

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  57. Simply amazing. As I child I remember going to town gloves, hats the works. Had to go to charm school at DH Holmes the summer I was 12 to learn to be a proper lady if ever called out to a ball. Always met parents under the clock!
    I too feel it a tragedy that so many wonderful places were destroyed in the name of progress.

    Thanks for sharing

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    1. Yes Beth, and my shoes, hat and gloves always matched when I went Downtown with my mother. But for a quarter, we youngsters would take the 7 cent streetcar from Mid-City after school and get a transfer. We would get off at the Newer Woolworth on Canal St. and buy a glass of Custard Ice Cream (cost a dime), with Chocolate Syrup was 15 cents. We then would walk 2-3 blocks to another bus stop (I forget which one) and use the top of the transfer. Then, using the rest of the transfers to get to the streetcar we would arrive home. The whole afternoon cost us 22 cents, so we still had three cents left to buy some candy at the corner store before getting home. Both the freedom to ride alone and the ability to buy our treats were so exciting to us. Oh yes, and sometimes my mother would give me a quarter to go to Maranella's (?) Beauty School for a haircut!

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  58. I was born and raised in New Orleans. I left in 1970 when I married into the US Air Force. We were stationed all over the country and in Japan and Argentina. I would always make a trip to New Orleans whenever I got the chance. I remember, in the 50's, living on Lowerline St and hearing a black lady walking through the neighborhood with a huge basket on her head and calling out "Blackberries, Strawberries." It's a memory I cherish, and your photos brought back all those wonderful childhood memories. I attended St Rita grammar school and Holy Name of Jesus, Mercy Academy (which no longer exists. And, as with you, Napoleon House was one of our favorite haunts when I was at Tulane. Thanks for the great walk down memory lane.

    Jackie Tarleton Woolshlager, Fort Walton Beach FL

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    1. Thanks for sharing that Jackie. It's those little details that make me appreciate this place even more!

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  59. Thank you SO much for this glimpse into the past. I wonder what people 100 years from now will think when they see photos of New Orleans taken today? What will New Orleans look like then? The app that was mentioned in a previous reply is from The New Orleans Historic Collection (www.hnoc.org). Current photos can be superimposed over old photographs. Also, I agree with you. The Napoleon House is THE best place to get a Pimm's Cup.

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  60. WOW! How wonderful to have such a beautiful collection of New Orleans photos. I enjoyed each of them so much--Thank You for sharing!
    HCM

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  61. Thank you so much for as has been said, "a walk down memory lane". I lived on Touro and Claiborne in the 30's, 40's and 50's and there are so many memories. The wagons mentioned above were given a good description, the rag man, the ice man giving a chip of ice to each of us as we gathered around. The rag man weighing Mom's old rags and giving a few pennies according to weight, etc. Where have all those days gone? I now live across the country, but New Orleans will always be 'home'. It is a very special magical place for all who have lived there. So thanks!

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    1. Thanks for the info! I love hearing about things like the "ice man"...such a fascinating time.

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  62. August 19, 2013 at 10:45 AM These pictures are amazing. They made me think of my parents born in 1913 and 1919 and my grandparents and how their lives were during that time in New Orleans. The pic's make me truly appreciate my deep New Orleans roots and make me understand my real love and devotion to our beautiful New Orleans. Thanks for sharing such treasures! Patti Mullen Milner a real nola yat girl!!!

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  63. Thanks for sharing... a terrific visit to my roots. Loved seeing these.

    David Trufant

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  64. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for me and my family. The Mt. Airy plantation photo you have is my family's plantation. It was torn down before my dad and his brother's and sister's ever have seen it. It was where my grandmother and her family grew up. Anyway we have never been able to find pictures of it and after looking through all of your other amazing photos and to only find a picture my family has looked for 2 generations is spectacular.

    Nothing will match what you have given us, since my grandmother Elise Cerniglia who talked of this place with such reverence passed away last Thanksgiving, we have able to finally see what she loved so much!!

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    1. Kristine! Thank you so much! I'm so sorry I'm just seeing all these new comments. If you send me your email I will send you a much higher resolution version of that pic! Just let me know!

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  65. James, I want to thank you so very much for sharing these fantastic photographs with us. I was born and reared in Napoleonville, LA. My grandfather, Alphonse Blanchard owned the Joy Theatre here and when he passed away in 1941, my dad, Harold, inherited the Joy. I am the local historian and for the past 22 years, have been doing an article called "From Bygone Years," in our local paper, The Assumption Pioneer. The article covers 100, 75 and 50 years ago. I have been looking for a particular photograph for many, many years. In the year 1898, Louis Corde, a local business man, built The Corde Opera House. It was located on the corner of Franklin St. and Congress St. here in Napoleonville. I can't begin to tell you how many events took place in this building. . . graduations, weddings, plays, etc. No one has an idea of what this building looked like because there are no photographs. This picture is the most elusive ever. Could you help in any way? I would deeply appreciate it.
    Donald

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    1. Hey Donald, unfortunately I can't find anything on the internet...sorry about that. Someone has to have a picture somewhere! I just visited Donaldsonville for the first time this month and fell in love...I love small historic towns. Napoleonville is next on my list! I would love to talk to you about it! Send me an email at: james@thenoladaily.com!

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  66. Thanks so much. My parents grew up on several plantations on the River Road, so i enjoyed seeing the past history of N.O.and La. My mother tole me of Belle Grove and it's beauty and how it had a race track that went in the back of this majestic work of art. It was near where she grew up in Donaldsonville on Modest Plantation. Some of the buildings they tore down was almost criminal to lose such beauty. Why was Uncle Same demolished? Thank you again for sharing history, I know this took much time. Carole Of Louisiana

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    1. Hey Carole, funny story...I actually went to Donaldsonville the other day for no particular reason, just to take pictures really. I'll put them on the blog soon. As for the Uncle Sam, apparently it was demolished because the Mississippi was rising and they needed to build a levee. You can find out some great info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncle_Sam_Plantation

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  67. This website is such a win. Not only are you yourself an amazing photographer, but your knowledge and respect for history through photography is admirable to say the least.

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  68. Has there been any developments with the Touro-Shakespeare home since 2010?

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    1. None. I was actually on the Westbank about a month ago and decided to stop by. It's condition is getting worse...lot of water damage. It's amazing though, despite the water leaks in the beautiful chapel, there is still ZERO vandalism or graffiti. As someone who has been in a lot of abandoned places, this is simply amazing. Sadly, I just can't see much of a future for this place, but I REALLY hope I'm wrong.

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  69. Thank you for the beautiful pictures and for all the time and caring you invested in putting this together. My daddy's side of the family has been in New Orleans since Iberville and Bienville. His ancestor, Pierre Trepagnier, built Ormond Plantation. I noticed the name of the first comment's writer is Natalie Trepagnier. I'd love to find out if there is some family connection between us. (ekelly16@yahoo.com) Also, my mama was born in the French Quarter(1916) in their home above their upholstery shop on 809 Royal St. Her mother's father was a blacksmith whose building was later owned by Lindy Boggs and was recently bought by a family member of ours. We have often gone for "tours" of our ancestor's homes/businesses including what is now called Ormond Plantation. Thank you again for such a wonderful collection.

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  70. Do you have a book of these photos - I'd love to have it! Jody Curran jody@bibcom.org

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  71. These are great! The photo labeled "somewhere on Esplande" is St Aloysius High School on Rampart & Esplande.

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  72. Simply AMAZING. I felt like I was taking a walk through time. Thank you so much for sharing with the world!

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  73. Thank you so much for posting all of these and telling us about Shorpy.com. It's possible that the 11,000 hits during one week in December is a result of your blog being posted on these Facebook pages and shared by the members with other groups to which we belong. Many more pictures of old New Orleans on those pages.
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/probfromstbif/
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/48187490637/
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/438394896235056/
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/SBMemories/
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/stbernardphotos/
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/19372768843/

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    1. Thanks so much...I'll have to check out all of those!

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  74. A friend sent me this link and I am so happy to see all of these pictures. New Orleans is my soul city!

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  75. This is so cool. As I was looking at the pictures, I was wishing there was one of the President Ferry. My mom was born in 32 and worked on it for years in her late teens and 20's. She is probably on the ferry in that very picture. I was born in 54 on Republic St. My dad was from Mandeville and lived on St Bernard. Wow. So many memories. Thanks so much, Lydia Balanciere

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  76. Funny how you say you want to destroy the buildings that were built in the 1950's and 60's (50-60 year old buildings). In the 50's and 60's they said and thought the same thing! I want to destroy the buildings that were built in 1890 and 1900, they are so old and ugly. Funny how nostalgia works right? There is a small portion of architecture worthy of preservation from most every generation, most of that small portion will be destroyed in 50-60 years, not because it isn't a high quality piece of architecture, but because our culture lets buildings rot into the ground (we've never built a building that lasts forever without continued maintenance). That combined with the heavy consumer demand for buildings to be built as cheaply and quickly as possible has led to the urban environment we have today.

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  77. I may have already posted this. Re: Belle Grove. My mother and I visited the ruins in the mid-50's. She always had a blown up picture of it in her bedroom. I remember that visit so well, and several snapshots of it remain, with me as a little ten or eleven year old, my mom, her brother, and a friend. Last time I saw your site, I captured the pic of the declining Belle Grove as a screen saver. Thank you for bringing it all back again.

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  78. Actually the oldest building in LA isn't the Ursuline Convent, it's the Lafitte blacksmith shop built sometime between 1722 and 1732.

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  79. Hello. So many of these comments MUST BE FROM PEOPLE who are older than I !! I was born 26 May 1937. As you say, so much is still here, even after Katrina. Too much has left us !!! I grew up in Lakeview from about 1944 through the late 1950's.
    I rode on the West End streetcar line, standing beside the streetcar conductor, in the open front window. I walked through the old Union Train Station. I saw movies at the Joy. I use to walk past the then Desoto hotel, going to the main post office. I use to meet my Mother under the clock when she would get off from work at D.H. Holmes. My first dentist was in the M.B building., as well as my first flight surgeon.
    Since my stroke in 10/06, I no longer get to see what we still have in NOLA. I now live up River Road, in Destrehan, a few houses north of the Ormond Plantation and a mile or so from the Destrehan Plantation. After 54 years of living in my Metairie home and after 42 years as an Air Traffic Controller, last employed in the tower & RAPCON at MSY for over 35 of them, I was forced from my flooded home to relocate in '05! I would love to see where I was born, in the old French Hospital. It is no longer standing. My Gran-Father, Father & brother had a stall (business) down French Market Place from those early pictures you show two shots of. Show more beautiful photos, please. I can be reached at fef37@hotmail.com and I'm sorry I do not remember what URL stands for. AND I USE TO BE A DATA SYSTEMS GUY IN ATC !!!!

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  80. The photos are wonderful. I'm doing some research at the moment, stumbled upon your site, and am happy I did. I'm interested in mules and their part of this town's history. I'm the author of "The Original Tuxedo Jazz Band, More than a Century of a New Orleans Legend". Would you by any chance have any more mule pictures? I'm at s.e.newhart@hotmail.com

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