This is the third of three self-guided walking tours of New Orleans developed by Susan Tucker for the CoSA/SAA 2013 local host blog. The first and second can be found here. To do these tours, I recommend grabbing a neighborhood street map, or a fully-charged smartphone with a good maps app. As New Orleans is a big city, please use common sense safety measures when exploring neighborhoods.
According to Susan, these are “three adventures that take into consideration both the beauty of vernacular architecture and the August heat in New Orleans.” Susan Tucker is Curator of Books and Records at the Newcomb College Institute, Tulane University. She is the author and editor of a number of books on women, material culture, and archives. -Eira Tansey, local host blogger
Outing Number Three – Through the Warehouse District to the Garden District
This is the easiest of all routes. Take the Magazine Street Bus (bus number 11) from Canal and Magazine Street. You will pass by part of the now gone St. Mary’s Market, (a portion still standing and is labeled high above a building you can see from the bus but normally cannot see: look to your left). You will be in New Orleans’ first faubourg (Faubourg St. Marie, later called, sometimes still called, the American Sector), and now in the Warehouse district. (For more on the markets see here)
Take the bus to the corner of Jackson and Magazine. Exit here and go back towards town if you want to window shop. There are a number of antique shops here. You can also decide to walk towards St. Charles on Jackson, (you will turn to your right as you exit bus). Take Jackson for one block and then turn left onto Camp Street.
You are now in the Garden District and houses will appear both affluent and modest. Continue seven blocks, passing at the sixth block, Washington Avenue.
If you turn right here you will go towards the famous Commander’s Palace restaurant, and Lafayette cemetery, towards St. Charles. Just before the cemetery, take Coliseum Street. This is a wonderful shady street, and gives a feeling of bricks exuding cool dampness. The architecture is typically uptown with pristine Victorian homes of modest sizes.
Continue two blocks up and then turn right and walk about four blocks up to St. Charles. You can take the streetcar back downtown here.
However, if not too tired, instead of turning right, turn left and loop back on Sixth Street to Camp Street in the other direction (from whence you just came). You will turn left onto Camp and continue one block. On the right you will see the Pottery Building where once world famous Newcomb pottery was made and sold at 2828 Camp Street. For more about this area and about Newcomb College history see this interactive map.
You can also here go one block back to Magazine. This section of Magazine has a mix of antique and clothing stores, restaurants and cafés, and two of the city’s best ice cream parlors (Sucré and La Divina Gelateria). Purists swear by the smaller, more modest La Divina Gelateria but Sucré is so beautiful it is hard to resist. I have family who, when visiting only for a weekend, go to both places in the same night. Also there is a beautiful silver shop, As You Like It, at 3033 Magazine Street.
Walk along until tired and then take the Magazine Street bus back. Besides the shops, you can also always wander on either side of Magazine, where you will find parallel streets with interesting residential architecture. More modest houses are closer to the river (to your left if you are walking away from the city), and on this side, as well as the other, remember you are in a big city and be careful of your surroundings.
This overall outing and bus ride give you as sense too of what New Orleanians consider one of their most expensive neighborhoods, the size of our lots, and the vibrancy of community life.