Jesuit High School first opened on Baronne Street, next to the church.
Jesuit High School
Photo from the 1913 edition of The Picayune’s Guide to New Orleans, published by The New Orleans Picayune newspaper. The Church of the Immaculate Conception stands next to the College of the Immaculate Conception, in the 100 block of Baronne Street. The Society of Jesus, better known as the Jesuits, ran the parish and the college. Additionally, they ran a high school program in the same building. In 1926, the Jesuits moved the high school to a new building in Mid-City. Jesuit High School, New Orleans, occupies the lake side of the corner of S. Carrollton Avenue and Banks Street.
The Society of Jesus in New Orleans
While the Capuchins ran the original parish of St. Louis in the Vieux Carré, the Jesuits purchased a tract of land in Faubourg Ste. Marie, in 1727. They administered the parish in that neighborhood. The Anglo-Irish referred to the neighborhood as “The American Sector.” The order constructed the church seen in this photo in the 1840s. It opened in 1850. The school was founded in 1847, and began operation in 1849.
College and High School
The Jesuits taught both high school and college classes on Baronne Street in the 19th Century. In 1911, they moved the college further Uptown, on St. Charles Avenue. The order re-organized the college. It became Loyola University of the South, now Loyola University of New Orleans. They changed the name of the high school when the college left Baronne Street.
With neither college nor high school occupying the building at Baronne and Common, the order demolished the school building seen here. They leased the corner to developers. An 18-story office building replaced the school. Unfortunately, construction of the Pere Marquette Building severely damaged the foundation of the church. Driving piles for the building shook the block. The Jesuits dis-assembled the church. They dedicated a new church, built in the same architectural style of the original, in 1930.
The office building is now the Renaissance New Orleans Pere Marquette Hotel.
The 1929 transit strike in New Orleans snarled downtown traffic for over four months.
1929 Transit Strike
Photo of Canal Street, looking towards the river, July, 1929. The photographer stands at Canal and Rampart Streets, at the lake end of the 1000 block. The Audubon Building and Maison Blanche Department Store loom over the 901 block, on the left. A jitney bus, the light-colored vehicle in traffic on the right, offers what little service New Orleans Public Service, Incorporated (NOPSI) could offer, with all the streetcars locked up in their barns. The antenna tower above MB is the transmitter for WSMB Radio.
Empty neutral ground
Streetcars remained off the streets from July 1 to July 4th, 1929. NOPSI tried to run streetcars using strikebreakers on Saturday, July 5th, but picketers and their supporters wouldn’t allow the cars to exit the barns, after the first streetcar departed Canal Station. That streetcar rolled this route, down Canal Street, followed by a massive crowd. The strikers burned that streetcar when it reached the ferry terminal.
Maison Blanche 1929
The MB building was twenty-one years old at the time of the 1929 transit strike. This photographer captured two signs on the building. The store’s name runs vertically on the lake side of the building. The roof displays the store’s name and its tagline, “Greatest Store South” on the roof.
The MB building is about ten years old in this photo. Doctors, dentists, and other professionals occupied the office building. The transit strike created problems for those tenants. Without public transit, it was difficult to get to the doctor. While grandma would hop on the Desire line or the St. Charles-Tulane belt, no streetcars meant someone had to drive her to Maison Blanche. Look at that traffic on either side of the “Canal Street Zone.”
On the retail side, the lack of public transit put the hurt on the Canal Street stores. Marks Isaacs, D. H. Holmes, Maison Blanche, all the way up to Krauss Department Store. Again, look at that traffic. In that first week of July, 1929, the retailers were furious. That the strike continued for four months did permanent damage to NOPSI and public transit in New Orleans.
The L&A Railroad Station serviced the Kansas City Southern Railroad.
L&A Railroad Station
Leon Trice photo of the Louisiana and Arkansas (L&A) station, 705 S. Rampart Street. The station opened in 1923. It stood on the corner of S. Rampart and Girod Streets. The city consolidated passenger rail operations in 1954, at Union Passenger Terminal, on Loyola Avenue. The city retained ownership of the L&A railroad station. Since the building was still in good shape, it became a fire station, . The corner of S. Rampart and Girod is now a parking lot.
Kansas City Southern
From the dedication program for New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal, May 1, 1954:
The Kansas City Southern Lines, which connect New Orleans with Dallas, and with Kansas City, via Alexandria and Shreveport, were formed from the merger of three different railroads: the Kansas City Southern, the Louisiana Railway and Navigation Company, and the Louisiana & Arkansas. The LR&N between New Orleans and Shreveport was completed in 1907 by William Edenborn. And, in 1923, the LR&N acquired a line between Shreveport and Dallas. These two lines, which were merged by the late-Harvey Couch, were acquired by the Kansas City Southern in 1939-thus providing a thru route from New Orleans to Kansas City.
The city and the railroads did a great deal of analysis and planning for consolidating operations at a single station. The city commissioned a full survey of all grade crossings in Orleans Parish. The L&A railroad station’s operations involved two tracks coming into the station and connecting with the railroad’s yard, off Jefferson Davis Parkway (now Norman C. Francis Parkway):
The passenger service of the Louisiana & Arkansas-Kansas City Southern consists of two trains each way daily. One of these is the streamliner, “Southern Belle,” and the other is a conventional steam train. The “Southern Belle” is handled around the wye at Shrewsbury and is backed into the station [at Rampart and Girod]. It is then moved to Jefferson Davis Yard where it is cleaned and serviced.
It is backed into the station in the evening for departure. The other train heads into the station. All passenger equipment is cleaned and serviced at the Jefferson Davis Yard. The total number of cars each way daily on these two trains varies from 18 to 24. The train arriving in the morning and departing in the evening carries three cars of l. c. l. freight in addition to the regular passenger equipment. Mail and express cars are worked directly from trucks on the station tracks. Trains are handled from the station to Jefferson Davis Yard by a switch engine which also spots the head-end cars carrying l. c. l. freight.
The removal of the L&A railroad station, along with the L&A/KCS tracks, along with the closure of the New Canal, dramatically changed the neighborhood. So, the construction of the Superdome in the 1970s all but erased most of what remained.
The Canal Lakeshore bus took over for the West End line.
Canal Lakeshore bus
Photo of Canal Street, showing Flxible buses operating on the various “Canal Street” lines, after the conversion of the Canal line to buses in 1964. NOPSI cut back streetcar operations on Canal Street to a single block, on what was the inbound outside track. Arch roof streetcars on the St. Charles line, like the one in the photo. I can’t make out which of the 35 remaining 1923-vintage streetcars makes the turn on the left side. If you can sort it out, let me know. The photographer stands in the “Canal Street Zone,” just on the river side of St. Charles Avenue.
Post-streetcar Canal buses
The official name for the line NOPSI 314 rolls on in this photo is, “Canal – Lakeshore via Pontchartrain Boulevard.” Here’s the route.
- Canal Street and the river
- “Canal Street Zone” lakebound to Claiborne Avenue
- Merge into auto lanes at Claiborne, continue outbound to City Park Avenue
- Left turn at City Park Avenue
- Right Turn at West End Blvd.
- Left turn under the Pontchartrain Expressway (later I-10) overpass at Metairie Road.
- Right turn onto Pontchartrain Boulevard
- Continue outbound on Pontchartrain Boulevard
- Right-turn on Fleur-de-lis Avenue (prior to I-10)
- Curve around on Pontchartrain Blvd, go under I-10, continue to Fleur-de-Lis. Left turn onto Fleur-de-Lis. (after I-10)
- Lakebound on Fleur-de-Lis to Veterans
- Right on Veterans to West End Blvd.
- Left on West End to Robert E. Lee Blvd. (Now Allen Toussant Blvd.)
- Right on Toussaint to Canal Blvd.
- Left on Canal Blvd to bus terminal at the lake.
- Depart Canal Blvd terminal, riverbound.
- Right turn on Toussaint to Pontchartrain Blvd.
- Pontchartrain Blvd to Veterans, right turn on Veterans
- Left turn on Fleur-de-Lis
- Fleur-de-Lis back to Pontchartrain Blvd.
- Pontchartrain Blvd to City Park Avenue
- Left on City Park Avenue, the right onto Canal Street
- Canal Street, riverbound to the river.
This route, was one of the main killers of the Canal streetcars. Air-conditioning all the way into town. No change from West End to the streetcar at City Park Avenue.
Canal buses in the 1970s
By the time I rode the Canal buses in the 1970s, on my way to and from Brother Martin, I could hop on any of the three Canal lines, to get to City Park Avenue. Canal Cemeteries ended at City Park Avenue. Canal-Lake Vista and Canal-Lakeshore split there, but all I needed was to get to the outbound Veterans bus.
Shop Talk was the employee monthly magazine for Maison Blanche Department Stores.
The June, 1970, edition of “Shop Talk,” the Maison Blanche employee magazine, featured a page of new fashions for the Fall and Winter. The idea was to offer some advance looks at the styles coming in. The buyers planned out merchandise a year in advance. So, by Summer, they presented new styles to employees. Then, folks working in all departments talked up the new stuff.
Shop Talk was more than just a marketing tool. The newsletter/magazine updated the MB community on many comings and goings. While much of the news and features were what one would expect from a company communication, there were personal stories and other items.
The newsletter described the Fall/Winter fashions for women as, “Do your own thing” —
Many new looks are seen for fashion this fall. At upper left, note the mixed length being used in skirts. Lower left is the gaucho pants outfit to be worn with boots. At right, note the new wide-brim hat and slit skirt. The wide belt with big buckle is important, too, this year.
This page offers sales associates talking points that even a college student like your humble NOLA History Guy could work with. And I did, when I worked at MB Clearview a few years later. Skirt lengths were all over the place in the late-60s/early 70s. The store, like the wider world, didn’t have a definitive statement on skirts:
No subject has come in for more discussion in years. Every woman (and man) keeps asking: Are they going down or staying up? The answer is yes. Misses hemlines will be mid-knee, one or two inches below the knee, or slightly longer than mid-calf. Juniors may be up to three inches above the knee to three inches below. That should be something to suit everybody. The real mini seems to be out, but legs are still very much alive. They will be seen in still-short skirts, in mixed lengths — garments combining medium and long hems — and in the new slit skirts, sometimes slit clear to the hip.
Fall/Winter 1970 promised to be exciting at MB!
Tulane Trackless Trolley, a trolley bus operating on the Tulane line in 1963.
Tulane Trackless Trolley
A trolley bus (also known as a trolley coach or trackless trolley) from the St. Louis Car Company. Photo is of New Orleans Public Service, Incorporated (NOPSI) 1190, operating on the Tulane line. The bus rolls inbound on Canal Street, approaching S. Saratoga Street. Hotel New Orleans stands just behind the bus. An ad for American General Insurance (now AIG) occupies the space on the front of the bus. American General’s office was at 222 Carondelet.
NOPSI trolley buses
NOPSI purchased trolley buses from both the St. Louis Car Company and Marmon-Herrington of Indianapolis, Indiana. They operated the electric buses on transit routes formerly running streetcars. So, when the company discontinued streetcar “belt” service on the St. Charles and Tulane lines, St. Charles continued operating streetcars. Tulane trackless trolleys operated until 1965. At that time, all trolley bus lines converted to standard buses.
The Hotel New Orleans
This photo caught my eye because of the sign behind the trolley bus. The Hotel New Orleans stood at 1300 Canal Street. The building dates to the 1930s. The hotel sported a huge neon sign proclaiming “HOTEL NEW ORLEANS.” That neon sign is visible in the background of so many photos of Canal Street. While the rooftop sign is ubiquitous, the street-level sign is a neat catch.
My friend Aaron posted this photo on Facebook. He catches stuff from everywhere. Looking for more info on NOPSI 1190, I turned to Streetcar Mike. This is his copy of the photo, with the credits. Here’s his entry for 1190:
St. Louis 1190 on the Tulane line at Canal and S. Saratoga Sts. on an unknown date. I presume it’s after 1957, when the Canal neutral ground was rebuilt to eliminate the unused outer streetcar tracks. Hotels and bars dominate this section of Canal just out from the Joy Theatre (out of picture to the left). Photo comes from the collection of Gerald Squier courtesy of Scott Richards and was added 03/22/14.
Thanks to Mike and the photo sources!