TwHP Lessons

Vieux Carré:
A Creole Neighborhood in New Orleans

[Cover photo] Courtyard in Vieux Carré, New Orleans.
(National Historic Landmarks photograph)


ugging the bank of the huge, swiftly moving Mississippi River and lying barely above sea level is the Vieux Carré [view-ka-ray], or French Quarter, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Buildings crowd each other and the narrow streets. Cast-iron and wrought-iron balconies overhang the sidewalks, providing shelter from hot summer sun or sudden downpours. Cool, inviting courtyards can be glimpsed down narrow alleys or carriageways, and the smells of shrimp remoulades and seafood gumbos waft from hidden kitchens. Cathedral bells, jazz trumpets, and ship horns serenade residents and visitors. The Quarter is the heart and soul of modern New Orleans and serves as a continuous reminder of the city’s Creole, colonial past.


About This Lesson

Getting Started: Inquiry Question

Setting the Stage: Historical Context

Locating the Site: Maps
 1a. The French Claim to North America, 1754
 1b. Spanish Claims, 1763
 1c. The Louisiana Purchase, 1803
 2. The Mississippi Delta, 1720
 3. Plan of New Orleans, 1720

Determining the Facts: Readings
 1. The History of Settlement in Louisiana
 2. Creoles and Creoles of Color

Visual Evidence: Images
 1. Vieux Carré street scene
 2. Vieux Carré street scene
 3. Aerial view of a typical block
 4. Dependency structure and outbuildings
 5. Facade of a Creole townhouse
 6. Facade of a Porte-Corchere Creole townhouse
 7. Facade of an American townhouse
 8. Floor plan of a Creole townhouse
 9. Floor plan of a Porte-Corchere
 Creole townhouse

Putting It All Together: Activities
 1. Architectural Change
 2. Researching Creole Culture
 3. The Local Community
 4. Cultural Interaction

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Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve

This lesson is based on Vieux Carré Historic District, one of the thousands of properties and districts listed in the National Register of Historic Places. This property has been designated a National Historic Landmark.



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