The Old and the New
A look at some old buildings
and their current incarnations.
In most cases, I was able to discover the purpose these buildings
serve today. However, there’s always a possibility that a property may
have changed hands since the last available information.
— Nancy, May, 2023
Magazine and Gen. Pershing Streets: Originally, this building served as
the old Jefferson Market, but it’s shown above in the 1940’s, when it was an
H. G. Hill supermarket. It’s now a part of St. George’s Episcopal School.
900 block of Poydras Street: In the 1940’s, the first floor of this building was
Amanda’s Restaurant, while the top floors were used by the Public Health Institute.
Today, it’s home to a Jimmy John’s sandwich shop.
N. Rampart and Conti Streets: Maison Blanche Tire Center, shown in
the early 1960’s. It currently serves as St. Jude Community Center.
100 block of St. Charles Avenue: 1940’s photo shows Adams/Trimble Hats on
the left, Meyer the Hatter next door and, to the right, Midway Amusement. Meyer the
Hatter is in a different building now, but still on the 100 block of St. Charles. The
oldest family-owned hat store in America, it’s been on this block for over 123 years.
4100 block S. Carrollton Avenue: One of several long-time shopping centers on S.
Carrollton Avenue, this center lasted with little change until the levee failures following
Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The vintage photo above was taken in the 1940’s and shows
a Walgreen’s Drugstore, A&P Supermarket, Morgan and Lindsey and Mid-City Bowling
(later to become the famous Rock’n’Bowl bowling and music venue). A shopping center
still occupies the site.
The iconic neon bowling pin that lit up the night sky for so long is still in service.
Rock’n’Bowl moved a bit further down Carrollton Avenue, next to the venerable Ye
Olde College Inn (which, by the way, the owner of Rock’n’Bowl has brought back to life).
My mother was a devoted Blue Plate customer. I’m not sure how old I was when I
realized that other companies also produced mayonnaise, but it must have come as a
surprise. I’m happy to say that the Blue Plate building, which is listed on the National
Register of Historic Places, has been given another life. Today, it’s Blue Plate Artist
Lofts, offering apartments with a leasing preference to artists.
900 block Canal Street: This 1940’s photo shows Baker’s Shoe Store, Miller-Wohl Shop
(sign above reads, ‘Women’s Apparel of Character’), DeLis Children’s Shop, Betty
Maid, Ellan Hats, entrance to the Audubon Building and Princess Hosiery Shop. The next
building, unseen in this image, was S. H. Kress 5 & 10 cent store. I mention it because in
the current photo below, you can see that the Ritz Carlton Hotel now occupies this site
and the hotel opted to keep the engraved Kress signs on the building.
600 block Carondelet Street: The First Methodist Church (top photo above) was
constructed in 1853. In 1905, it was sold to the New Orleans Scottish Rite Consistory
and declared a Cathedral of the Scottish Rite. It remained under their ownership for
over 100 years. Photo directly above was taken in 1910, the cupola is missing and a
street level entrance has been added. The building’s been placed on the National
Register of Historic Places. As far as I know, it’s now a venue for art exhibitions.
3600 block S. Carrollton Avenue: 1940’s picture of this little strip mall shows the
occupants to be Kogos Bros. Sea Food, Barry’s Shoes, Tip Top Shoe Service, Self
Service Laundry and McKenzie’s Bakery. The McKenzie’s above remained open
until 2000, when all of the McKenzie’s stores closed their doors. I spent a lot of time
in this particular store, trying to decide between turtles, petit fours, buttermilk drops,
orange dainties and Napoleons. What I wouldn’t give for a buttermilk drop right
now. Today, Five Happiness Chinese Restaurant replaces all of the old shops.
300 block Magazine Street: I have two names for the office in
this building during the 1940’s and ’50’s. One is F. W. Wilcox,
Coffee Importers and the other is Otis McAllister & Company,
Coffee Importers. Photo above looks to have been taken in the
1940’s. Currently, the popular steakhouse, Chophouse,
occupies the building.
N. Rampart Street and Ursulines Avenue: Puglia’s Quality Foods was open from 1948
to 1984. The store was known for its Pisa Brand Italian sausage and specialty foods.
The vintage photo was probably taken in the late 1950’s or early 1960’s. Today, the
building looks to be a private residence.
201 Camp Street: When this building was constructed in 1890, it
was known as the Barnes Building. Later, it was a part of the
Whitney Bank complex. You can see one of the iconic Whitney
clocks further down the block in this picture. Recently, the
building has been used as the site of one of the ministries of the
Archdiocese of New Orleans.
401 Royal Street: This historic building was constructed in 1820 for use as
the Louisiana State Bank. For many years it housed Manheim Galleries, a
world renowned antique store. It was declared a National Historic Landmark
in 1983. The photo above is from 1937. Today, it’s occupied by Latrobe’s, an
S. Carrollton Avenue and Oak Street: The Marine Bank and Trust
served its customers at this location for many years. Photo’s date is
unknown. The building is now home to a coffee shop.
1711 St. Charles Avenue: A Western Auto Store occupied this building for a long
time. This photo was taken in the 1940’s. I’m not sure what purpose the structure
now serves, but it may be part of a hospital complex that’s on this block.
2300 block St. Claude Avenue: In the 1940’s, businesses in this building included
Lion Brand Milk, Merlin’s Dry Goods Store, Delort Hardware and Best Ice Cream. It
currently houses a lounge and a fitness center.
8100 block Hampson Street: In this 1950’s photo, Clothes A La Carte
occupied this building. Today, it’s home to a day spa.
900 block Gov. Nicholls: This building served as Esposito’s
Grocery when the picture above was taken in the 1940’s. It’s now
home to Comedy West, a talent booking agency.
Barracks Street and French Market Place: 1940’s photo shows this building to have
been the home of Monteleone Bros. Wholesale Fruit and Produce Company. Today,
it houses the Louisiana Pizza Kitchen.
913 Alvar Street: The Alvar Street Public Library was built by the WPA in
1940, the year this photo was taken. The building is not only still in place,
but is still the Alvar Street Library.
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