If you’re looking for a neighborhood that takes old school New Orleans and energizes it with the buzz of a modern, progressive lifestyle, the Warehouse District is just that. Situated between the bustling Central Business District and historic Central City, the Warehouse District is within walking distance from the French Quarter and the Garden District. Called the Soho of the South, the hip converted brick warehouses are home to restaurants, art galleries, museums, and the best condo-living in the city.
The boundaries for this compact neighborhood include Julia Street to the south and Calliope/Pontchartrain Expressway to the north. Convention Center Boulevard is to the east and St. Charles Avenue is west. The zip code for this neighborhood is 70130.
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History of the Warehouse District
In the 19th century, the Port of New Orleans was the epicenter for commerce in New Orleans and the country. As coffee, cotton, and grain were brought in, manufacturers took up residence in the surrounding area. Over time, trade changed and the hulking, brick manufacturing sites were no longer in demand. Vacant sites led to the decay of the Warehouse District. Over time, wear and tear occurred, and the Warehouse District began to crumble.
However, in the mid 1970’s and 80’s, commerce, trade, and industry evolved again, given a boost by two events. The Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) became one of the first new tenants to embrace inner-city regeneration. And Louisiana World Exposition, better known as the World’s Fair, was heading to New Orleans. In order to prepare for the 1984 World’s Fair, the Warehouse District went through a major transformation from an aging industrial zone to a platform for the fair and eventually to the chic, residential neighborhood that exists now. Though the World’s Fair was not considered successful, it has been credited as the catalyst that transformed the dilapidated warehouses into the lofts, condominiums, and hotels that make up much of the Warehouse District today.
Architecture Then and Now
Imagine a modern neighborhood with an eclectic mix of older brick buildings, some with faded murals from decades ago, bright new loft apartment complexes, and multi-story office buildings. That’s the architectural landscape of the Warehouse District, and it’s truly a one-of-a-kind neighborhood in the city.
Named a historic district in 1978, the structure of many of these 19th century era brick buildings has been preserved. Since it is located next to the CBD, the Warehouse District also has a downtown, commercial vibe, with a mix of artists lofts, galleries, trendy upscale boutiques, making it appealing to both young professionals and empty nesters.
Features of the Neighborhood
Galleries and museums
If you love art, the Warehouse District, also known as the New Orleans Arts District, is the place for you. In addition to several wonderful small art galleries, the Contemporary Arts Center and the Ogden Museum of Southern Arts are here and contain robust collections of exciting art and multimedia works.
The Contemporary Arts Center, a modern open space with the distinctive Warehouse District architecture is a 100,000 square foot multidisciplinary arts center. This nationally recognized arts center is dedicated to the presentation, production, and promotion of contemporary art. It is also home to the annual New Orleans Film Festival.
Right across from the CAC, the Ogden Museum of Southern Arts holds the most extensive collection of southern art in the country. Artists in the permanent collection include Richard Clague, John McCrady, Clementine Hunter, and Elemore Morgan Jr. Not only does this museum offer representative works from the region, the Ogden also holds concerts by up and coming musicians and interesting events for the community. The building and the space are beautiful, and the range of offerings makes this museum an integral part of the neighborhood.
On Andrew Higgins Drive between Camp Street and Magazine Street is the National World War II Museum, the top visited attraction in New Orleans (and #2 in the country). The WWII museum shares the story of the war through state-of-the-art multimedia exhibits, personal accounts, and memorabilia from the war that changed the world. With its own cafe, stage, and movie theater, it is an ideal place to learn about an important time in American history.
The best thing to do if you live in the Warehouse District is stroll. The lively streets are the perfect venue for visiting eclectic art galleries, cafes, and shops. One of the premiere events of the summer, White Linen Night invites art lovers to wear white and take over the streets. On the first Saturday of every month, the galleries of the Warehouse District open their doors to the public for self-guided tours of the arts district. Here’s a partial list of some of the intriguing places the Warehouse District has to offer:
The Warehouse District offers an array of national retail outlets and small, unique boutiques. So in addition to having a cozy conversation about perfume at Avery Fine Perfumery, you can also dip into the Outlet Collection at the River Walk to make a quick purchase at stores like Gap, American Eagle Outfitters, or the Loft Outlet. Here are a few additional shops:
You’ll find some of New Orleans’ most exciting restaurants in the Warehouse District. This neighborhood is ideal for having a meal at an award winning restaurant like Nina Compton’s Compere Lapin. It’s also pleasant to spend the evening having drinks and small bites at one of the many restaurants and bars here. This walkable neighborhood invites you to spend time exploring all of the cafes, bars, and restaurants it has to offer. Here are some of the restaurants in the Warehouse District:
On the east edge of the neighborhood is the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The 1.1 million square feet of contiguous exhibit space is the sixth largest convention facility in America, hosting conventions, trade shows, and events like the Food & Wine Experience.
The Warehouse District is home to a unique school: the International High School of New Orleans. This school has a bilingual education program and also enables students to earn an international baccalaureate degree.
The Warehouse District is a high energy hub of art, culture, and restaurants, designed for people interested in streamlined housing with maximal living. Young professionals or empty nesters choosing lofts and condominiums in this neighborhood have access to key parts of the city like the Garden District, the CBD, and the French Quarter. Contact us today to talk to our team for more about the most recent listings in the Warehouse District.