Founded in 1972, our motto is 'Helping to make the Marigny a better place to live, work, and play.'
Located across Esplanade Avenue, adjacent to the French Quarter, our neighborhood follows the southward flow along the Mississippi River, for about sixteen blocks. (map)
The primary goal of FMIA is to preserve the unique architectural and cultural heritage of our historic district. Our membership, which includes residential and business property owners and renters, are committed to improving the quality of life in our diverse community.
If you are a neighbor, we hope you will explore this site with an eye towards participating with us, or perhaps just stay in touch with social events such as our potluck suppers or Meet the Neighbors events, or at one of our annual events. (Spring Home Tour, Fall Walking Tour, Christmas Caroling)
If you are a visitor, we hope you will explore beyond the usual tourist areas of New Orleans, and experience the charm, friendliness, and more local flavor of the Marigny. Great food, unique coffee houses and local music await you.
Faubourg Marigny's history began in 1805 when the young Bernard Xavier Philippe de Marigny de Mandeville subdivided his plantation and sold the first plot of ground. The nineteenth century housing stock continues to beckon those persons who appreciate something a bit different. What began as a French-speaking suburb soon overflowed with Caribbean free people of color, German immigrants fleeing political oppression, and Irish folks looking for a better way of life. By the early twentieth century Spanish and Italian immigrants were flocking into this downtown neighborhood. The lots remain small; usually 30’ x 100’, and the houses sit close to the sidewalk.
Housing styles included simple cottages such as this home on St. Claude, built in the 1840’s, but here shown in an 1851 drawing (pictured left. click to enlarge). A more elaborate style can be seen in the 1840’s two-story Greek Revival house with a two-level gallery that once graced Port street (pictured below. click to enlarge). Again, note the setback and garden in front of the property as also shown in the St. Claude property drawing.
A proliferation of Creole cottages, shotgun houses, Eastlake cottages and smaller townhouses — many with several units to accommodate renters —suggests a predominantly working class neighborhood. Early city directories show the majority of people living in the area working as clerks, railroad workers, teachers, carpenters, dray drivers, laborers, or small business owners.
The post WWII years and integration in the 1960’s found many residents fleeing to newer housing stock in the city and surrounding parishes. Elderly residents remained, but increasingly houses were rented and absentee landlords took fewer pains to maintain their property. The1970’s brought a group of young professionals who began steps to preserve the area. Soon there was an active neighborhood organization, the Faubourg Marigny Improvement Association (FMIA), the development of the Historic Marigny Zoning, and eventual inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.
Crime, inattentive landlords and poor municipal planning haven’t disappeared yet, but progress is being made. These hard working “faubourgundians” continue to welcome newcomers to this lovely suburb filled with lovingly restored homes.