Department stores and train stations on Basin Street on NOLA History Guy Podcast 27-July-2019
NOLA History Guy Podcast 27-July-2019
Two segments on NOLA History Guy Podcast 27-July-2019. First, our “Today In New Orleans History” for 20-July, and then we’ll unpack a photo from 1955. Both focus on Canal and Basin Streets.
This week’s pick from Today in New Orleans History goes back to 20-July-1954. The city demolished Terminal Station on Canal and Basin Streets. Union Passenger Terminal opened in April, 1954. The Southerner, Southern Railway’s passenger service from New Orleans to New York City, departed from Canal and Basin Streets on 16-April-1954. Then-mayor “Chep” Morrison implemented a scorched-earth policy with respect to the passenger railroad stations. He ordered the four remaining stations demolished. (The IC Union Station was already partially demolished, to make way for Union Passenger Terminal.)
Trains ran on Basin Street since the late 1870s. The excursion train to Fort St. John (Spanish Fort) on Lake Pontchartrain terminated at Canal and Basin. The Spanish Fort train (which was steam-powered) departed from that station, turned onto Bienville Street, traveling out to the lake.
Leon Fellman bought the property right next to that small station in 1899. Clearly he knew that New Orleans Terminal Company planned to build a grand passenger station in its place. Fellman tore down the buildings in the 1201 block of Canal Street in 1902. In their place, he built the two-story, block-long building that became Krauss Department Store.
Canal and Basin, 1955
Un-packing a photo from almost a year later, 17-April-1955. The demolition exposed all of Krauss to folks walking down the street. The size of the original building (Canal to Iberville Streets), combined with the warehouse building, stunned many folks. Terminal Station obscured the full view of the store since 1908.
The Terminal Cafe, 1911. Here’s Todd’s entry on his page, Food Krewe:
The men look like conductors. The hand-written note on the photo says Terminal Cafe, and — in smudged letters — May 11, 1911. The address written in the margin puts the bar between Basin and Crozat streets, on the edge of Storyville and near the Kraus Building. Searching the archives, I could find nothing more. #tbt
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