Faubourg St. Roch
The neighborhood known as Faubourg St. Roch has a proud history as home to one of the country’s largest populations of free people of color before the civil war. It was settled by a mix of European immigrants, Creoles and African-Americans early in the 19th century.
It was originally called Faubourg Franklin and was bounded by Elysian Fields Avenue on the west, St Claude Avenue to the south and Franklin Avenue to the east. Its “back of town” boundary was less clearly defined. Today, Florida Avenue is considered its northern boundary.
The neighborhood got its current name in 1867 with the dedication of the St. Roch Chapel and cemetery. At the height of the yellow fever epidemic of 1867, a German priest named Rev. Peter Leonard Thevis arrived in New Orleans after the death of his predecessor. He petitioned St. Roch for protection against the epidemic and not a single member of his congregation died that year. Out of gratitude, he established the Chapel and Cemetery of St. Roch. To this day, you can find the cast off crutches and prosthesis of pilgrims who’ve come seeking the shrine’s healing power.
In the early 20th century, St. Roch grew considerably, with St. Roch Park, the beautiful cross-timbered St. Roch firehouse and the St. Roch Market all becoming established at this time.
The neighborhood saw hard times in the 1980’s and steadily declined, with many houses becoming rental units with absentee land-lords. This began to change in the 1990’s, as housing prices in trendy near-by neighborhoods, such as Faubourg Marigny began to soar.
During Katrina, the neighborhood experienced widespread flooding, though many of the raised houses between Claiborne Avenue and St. Claude escaped serious damage. Sadly, the Historic Firehouse and St. Roch Market both suffered considerable damage.
Today, St. Roch is still a vibrant community of primarily African American residents. Many people are returning home and organizations like the Faubourg St. Roch Improvement Association are working hard to help bring their historic neighborhood back to life.
Please use the interactive Google Map below to view the boundaries of Faubourg St. Roch or see if your home is in our target neighborhood.
You can usually find the following architectural styles in this neighborhood.
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