Central City, New Orleans

Central City, New Orleans

Geobox Neighborhood
name = Central City
native_name =
other_name =
other_name1 =
category = New Orleans Neighborhood

image_caption = Café Reconcile on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard

flag_size =
symbol =
symbol_size =
etymology_type =
etymology =
nickname =
motto =
country = United States
state = Louisiana
region_type = City
region = New Orleans
district_type = Planning District
district = District 2, Central City/Garden District
area_imperial = 1.41
area_land_imperial = 1.41
area_water_imperial = 0.00
area_water_percentage = auto
area_percentage_round = 2
area_round = 1
location =
lat_d = 29
lat_m = 56
lat_s = 29
lat_NS = N
long_d = 90
long_m = 05
long_s = 13
long_EW = W
elevation_imperial = 0
elevation_round = 1
population_as_of = 2000
population = 19072
population_density_imperial = auto
established_type =
established =
mayor =
timezone = CST
utc_offset = -6
timezone_DST = CDT
utc_offset_DST = -5
postal_code =
postal_code_type = ZIP Codes
area_code = 504
area_code_type =
code2_type =
code2 =
free_type =
free =
free1_type =
free1 =

map_size =
map_caption =
map_locator =
map_locator_x =
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website =

Central City is a neighborhood of the city of New Orleans. It is located at the lower end of Uptown , just above the New Orleans Central Business District, on the "lakeside" of St. Charles Avenue. A subdistrict of the Central City/Garden District Area, its boundaries as defined by the City Planning Commission are: MLK Boulevard, South Claiborne Avenue and the Pontchartrain Expressway to the north, Magazine, Thalia, Prytania and Felicity Streets and St. Charles Avenue to the south and Toledano Street, Louisiana Avenue and Washington Avenue to the west.

This old predominantly African American neighborhood has been important in the city's brass band and Mardi Gras Indian traditions and includes three of the housing projects of New Orleans.


Central City is located at coor dms|29|56|29|N|90|05|13|W|city GR|1 and has an elevation of convert|0|ft|1GR|3. According to the United States Census Bureau, the district has a total area of convert|1.41|sqmi|1. convert|1.41|sqmi|1 of which is land and convert|0.00|sqmi|1 (0.0%) of which is water.

Adjacent Neighborhoods

* Gert Town (north)
* B.W. Cooper (north)
* Central Business District (north)
* Lower Garden District (south)
* Garden District (south)
* Milan (west)
* Broadmoor (west)


The City Planning Commission defines the boundaries of Central City as these streets: MLK Boulevard, South Claiborne Avenue, Pontchartrain Expressway, Magazine Street, Thalia Street, Prytania Street, Felicity Street, St. Charles Avenue, Toledano Street, Louisiana Avenue and Washington Avenue. [cite web|url=http://gnocdc.org/orleans/2/61/index.html|title=Central City Neighborhood|author=Greater New Orleans Community Data Center|accessdate=2008-06-21]


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 19,072 people, 8,147 households, and 4,016 families residing in the neighborhood. The population density was 13,526 /mi² (5,155 /km²).


Major streets include Barrone, Oretha Castle Haley, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, and Simon Bolivar. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (formerly Melpomene Avenue) is near a Martin Luther King statue and memorial on Claiborne Avenue, and the boulevard is part of the route of New Orleans's annual Martin Luther King Day parade. Several murals of King are painted along the boulevard.

Neighborhood businesses include Brown's Velvet Dairy and Leidenheimer Bakery, which have furnished the city with milk and Louisiana french bread for po'boy sandwiches respectively for generations. Café Reconcile is both a restaurant and a non-profit educational institution. The neighborhood is also home to New Orleans Croatian seafood restaurant Uglesich's.

The Ashe Cultural Center and various art galleries are also located in Central City.


The area closest to Saint Charles Avenue developed first, in the first half of the 19th Century, booming with the opening of the New Orleans & Carrollton Railway, which became the St. Charles Avenue Streetcar line. The opening of the New Basin Canal at the neighborhood's lower end contributed to the area's development as a center of commerce and a working class residential area, attracting many Irish, Italian, and German immigrants. After the American Civil War many African Americans from rural areas settled in this part of the city. By the 1870s, the urbanized area extended back to Claiborne Avenue.

Dryades Street in this area was a neighborhood commercial district by the 1830s, but gained greater importance in the first half of the 20th century, becoming the city's largest African American commercial district during the Jim Crow law era and a major hub for the Uptown African American community, overtaking the older South Rampart Street area in importance. At its height in the years after World War II, the Dryades Street district boasted over 200 businesses.

Dryades Street began a decline in the 1960s, which became a steep nose-dive by the 1980s. At the low point somewhere around 1990, blighted and vacant buildings predominated. The blighted area got city attention, and the old commercial section of Dryades Street was renamed after local civil rights activist Oretha Castle Haley. Projects to improve the neighborhood gradually saw fruit by the start of the 2000s.

A large part of Central City was above the flooding which devastated the majority of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 (see: Effect of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans). As there were many vacant buildings and vacant lots in this rare piece of high dry ground, greater attention has been drawn to Central City in plans for post-Katrina redevelopment of the city.

The Melpomene Projects & Calliope Projects are located in Central City, along Martin Luther King Blvd. The area's recent history is deep rooted in violence and is notorious for its high murder rate. The area is where New Orleans rap labels Cash Money Records & No Limit Records started.

As of mid-2006, the area is considered the most dangerous part of the city, in terms of murders and crime activity. It was the major reason for the June decision to deploy the Louisiana National Guard to the city so that NOPD officers could focus on the 'crime hotspots', such as this area.

Notable residents

* Buddy Bolden, jazz pioneer
* C-Murder, rapper
* Juvenile, rapper
* Master P, rapper
* Larry Shields, jazz pioneer
* Soulja Slim, rapper
* Turk, rapper
* Bryan "Baby" Williams, rapper

ee also

* New Orleans neighborhoods


External links

* [http://www.storymapping.org/i10witness.html Central City Storymapping Project] Central City Storymapping Project
* [http://video-voice.org/novvc.html Central City Participatory Documentary Project] Central City Participatory Documentary Project, New Orleans videovoice

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