Girod Cemetery – no, it’s not cursing the Saints

Girod Cemetery

Girod Cemetery 1885. Illustration in book “Souvenir of New Orleans and the Exposition”

Girod Cemetery was the first Protestant cemetery in New Orleans

Since this comes up every football season. I wrote an article about this in 2007. Let’s update it a bit.

The original citation and introduction:

Wednesday Cemetery Blogging and NOLA Kossacks Open Thread
Sep 26, 2007 10:12am Central Daylight Time by YatPundit

Thing is, Da Dome wasn’t built on the cemetery. Girod Street Cemetery was built between Girod, LaSalle, and Liberty Streets, roughly on the area now occupied by the parking garage for the New Orleans Centre shopping mall. I got one piece wrong in the original article: The stadium was built on land occupied by a bunch of warehouses and other commercial buildings. The engine terminal was on the other side of Union Passenger Terminal.

Before the Superdome

Girod Cemetery

Girod Cemetery and Poydras Street, 1883

This is a section of the Robinson Atlas of 1883. The cemetery extends to Freret Street.

Girod Cemetery

New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal (left), Girod Cemetery (right)

Here is an aerial shot from 1954, after the completion of Union Passenger Terminal. So, Girod Cemetery is to the right. The Chapter of Christ built Girod in 1822. Prior to 1822, Protestants buried their dead in the back of St. Louis Cemetery Number One.  ,

Girod was a grand cemetery for almost a century. Unfortunately, Christ Episcopal did not establish a “perpetual care” fund. So, the cemetery deteriorated.  The Chapter lacked the funds to maintain it. By 1957, the cemetery was a jungle.. Therefore, the diocese deconsecrated Girod. They demolished the cemetery in late 1957.

The Superdome and UPT Today

Girod Cemetery

Map of area around Da Dome

So, here’s a map of the area around the Superdome today. Notice Freret Street.

Girod Cemetery

Google Earth view of Da Dome

Here’s a Google Earth view of the same area The train sheds mark the stadium’s position. Compare that and Freret Street. The earlier photo puts the cemetery below the stadium. So, Champions Square occupies the top end of the cemetery. New Orleans Centre occupied the site of Champions Square before 2010.

The curse isn’t real

While the curse isn’t real, it would explain a lot about the Saints! .

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