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The Central Business District is a neighborhood of the city of New Orleansmarker. A subdistrict of the French Quarter/CBD Area, its boundaries as defined by the City Planning Commission are: Iberville, Decatur and Canal Street to the north, the Mississippi River to the east, the New Orleans Morial Convention Centermarker, Julia and Magazine Streets and the Pontchartrain Expressway to the south and South Claiborne Avenue, Cleveland and South and North Derbigny Streets to the west. It is the equivalent of what many cities call their "downtown," although in New Orleans "downtown" or "down town" is often used to mean portions of the city downriver from Canal Street in the direction of flow of the Mississippi River.


The Central Business District is located at and has an elevation of . According to the United States Census Bureau, the district has a total area of . of which is land and (10.17%) of which is water.

Adjacent Neighborhoods


The City Planning Commission defines the boundaries of the Central Business District as these streets: Iberville Street, Decatur Street,Canal Street, the Mississippi River, the New Orleans Morial Convention Centermarker, Julia Street, Magazine Street, the Pontchartrain Expressway, South Claiborne Avenue, Cleveland Street, South Derbigny Street and North Derbigny Street.


As of the census of 2000, there were 1,794 people, 921 households, and 174 families residing in the neighborhood. The population density was 1,692 /mi² (664 /km²).


This part of town was first built up in the early 19th century after the Louisiana Purchase as many people from other parts of the United Statesmarker moved into the city. It was historically called "The American Sector". In its early days it also was known as "Faubourg St. Mary".

While traditionally Canal Street was the dividing line between the French Quarter and the American Sector, legally both sides of Canal Street are considered part of the Central Business District for zoning and regulation.

The portion of the CBD closer to the Mississippi River and upriver from Poydras Street is known as the Warehouse District, because it was heavily devoted to warehousing and manufacturing before shipping became containerized. The 1984 World's Fair drew attention to the then semi-derelict district, resulting in steady investment and redevelopment from the mid-1980s onwards. Many of the old 19th century warehouses have been converted into hotels, restaurants, condominiums, and art galleries.

Notable structures in the CBD include the Greek Revival Gallier Hall,marker the city's former city hall, the Louisiana Superdomemarker, the New Orleans Arenamarker, the city's present-day, International style city hall, and One Shell Squaremarker, the city's tallest building and Royal Dutch Shell's headquarters for Gulf of Mexico Exploration and Production. Other significant attractions include the post-modern Piazza d'Italia, Harrah's Casino, the World Trade Center New Orleans, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Hibernia Bank Building and the former New Orleans Cotton Exchangemarker.

The principal public park in the CBD is Lafayette Square, upon which face both Gallier Hall and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Other public spaces include Duncan Plaza, Elks Place, the Piazza d'Italia, Lee Circle, Mississippi River Heritage Park, Spanish Plaza and the Richard and Annette Bloch Cancer Survivor's Plaza.

Museums include the National World War II Museummarker, the Ogden Museum of Southern Artmarker, the Louisiana Children's Museum, the New Orleans Contemporary Arts Center and Confederate Memorial Hall.

New Orleans CBD was one of the few areas of New Orleans that escaped the catastrophic flooding of Hurricane Katrina.

Government and infrastructure

The New Orleans City Hall and surrounding structures, including the circa-1960, architecturally award-winning Main Branch of the New Orleans Public Library face Duncan Plaza, an exercise in 1950s-style urban renewal embodying then-mayor Chep Morrison's desire to create a modern civic center. The New Orleans Civic Center is today much diminished, with the Louisiana Supreme Courtmarker building having been torn down in the wake of the court's departure for the French Quartermarker, the Louisiana State office building having suffered the same fate, and Duncan Plaza itself having been fenced off.

The United States Postal Service operates the New Orleans Main Post Office at 701 Loyola Avenue in the CBD.

The Union Passenger Terminalmarker is the terminus for three of Amtrak's long-distance trains, the City of New Orleans, the Crescent and, since 2005, the Sunset Limited and also offers inter-city bus service via Greyhound Lines.

Interstate Highway access is provided by I-10, via the Claiborne and Pontchartrain Expressways. When I-10 curves to the east by the Louisiana Superdome and becomes the Claiborne Expressway, elevated above N. Claiborne Avenue, the Pontchartrain Expressway continues as U.S. Route 90 Business and crosses the Mississippi River on the twin-bridge Crescent City Connectionmarker.

Significant thoroughfares in the CBD include St. Charles Avenue, Camp Street, Carondelet Street, Gravier Street, Poydras Street, Tchoupitoulas Street, Howard Avenue and Canal Street. Prior to the 1980s, the intersection of Gravier and Carondelet streets was the de facto heart of the city's financial district. Though still a vibrant area, that part of the CBD witnessed the migration of much business slightly upriver to Poydras Street, as many modern high-rise office towers were constructed there in the 1970s and 1980s. Poydras Street was widened in the 1960s to accommodate this sort of development. Loyola Avenue and O'Keefe Avenue were also widened in the 1950s and 60s to both make room for large-scale redevelopment (e.g., Duncan Plaza) and create an effective downtown circulator high capacity road network for automobile traffic. Many of the development sites created in the wake of these improvements were never built upon, leaving a noticeable and unfortunate quantity of surface parking lots along these widened streets.

The New Orleans Downtown Development District was created by the Louisiana Legislature in 1974 as the first assessment-based business improvement district in the United States. Currently, the DDD is promoting its Canal Street redevelopment strategy, supporting the growth of an entrepreneurial, creative industries sector in the CBD, advocating on behalf of the regeneration strategy planned for the city's medical district, and reaching out to engage stakeholders and coordinate with other governmental bodies in crafting the city's new comprehensive zoning ordinance and master plan, the 21st Century Plan for New Orleans.

See also


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