1. Travel

Algiers Point - A New Orleans Neighborhood Profile


Algiers Point - A New Orleans Neighborhood Profile

A home in historic Algiers Point.

Photo © N. Ann Nungesser

History in Algiers Point:

Algiers is the only part of New Orleans that is on the Mississippi River's west bank, and Algiers Point, the historic New Orleans neighborhood, is its crown jewel. Only the French Quarter is older than the Point, which still has the atmosphere of a 19th century village. A devastating fire destroyed just about everything in 1895, so most of the current structures date from around the turn of that century.

Hurricane Katrina did relatively less damage to Algiers Point than to many east bank neighborhoods which were in the flood "bowl". There was mostly some wind damage. Roof damage led to the ruin of some houses which couldn't be tended during the long evacuation.

Algiers Point has a history of sugar plantations, shipyards, and railroads. Now it’s a unique place – a historic village/bedroom community/local music Mecca.

This is a neighborhood in the old-fashioned sense – just about everyone knows everyone. There’s a unique atmosphere that is both traditional and bohemian. The shady streets encourage walking. But be a bit careful. Those beautiful trees also create uneven, bumpy walkways.

Homes in Algiers Point:

Most of the homes are historic and vary greatly in size and condition in Algiers Point. Houses range from Greek revival homes to Creole cottages to traditional doubles and small shotgun houses. Many are renovated but there are fixer-upper opportunities here. Some owners have researched the history of their house and have wonderful stories to tell.

Algiers Point rentals include all types of houses as well as tiny flats, decorated apartments in historic buildings, and thoroughly modern condos. A single high-rise condo on the river is an unusual modern development in this neighborhood. The condos offer a great view of the river and downtown New Orleans. Some of the older buildings on the river are also going condo.

The population is varied. Some residents are in inherited family homes, but the neighborhood welcomes newcomers that include singles and young families. Artistic types are attracted to the Point as are people who want easy access to downtown without paying downtown prices.

Life in Algiers Point:

At the point of Algiers Point, the Algiers/Canal Street ferry offers a ride to downtown New Orleans and the French Quarter every half hour from 6 am – midnight. The ferries have been running from Algiers Point since the early 19th century. There was even a train ferry at one time.

Near the ferry landing are a several restaurants and bars, as well as the historic Algiers Courthouse, which now houses a traffic court and several government offices. The area between the Courthouse and the ferry landing is often the site of a festival or concert.

Behind the courthouse is a carriage house that has also served as a stable and a jail. It was renovated a few years ago with plans for a museum, but right now it’s serving as a temporary public library. The library often hosts literary and author events. The cozy and historic Hubbell Library, built in 1907 courtesy of Andrew Carnegie, is closed due to structural problems. The Hubbell was closed for over a decade after damage from Hurricane Betsy and again due to Hurricane Katrina. Neighborhood supporters are working to have the beloved local library repaired and reopened.

There are a variety of locally owned restaurants, cafes, and bars in Algiers Point. Many are gathering places for the residents, and also attract patrons from other locales. There are several places with live music, including the Old Point Bar where bands usually play every night of the week.

No fast food or chain restaurants exist in Algiers Point, but you can get a pizza or burger from the local establishments. And those chain franchises, along with supermarkets and shopping malls, are within easy driving distance. And don’t forget, downtown is just minutes away by ferry.

Parks in Algiers Point include Delcazal Park and Confetti Park, a playground surrounded by an artistic cut-out white fence. The most popular green space is the levee, a favorite place for dog walking, jogging, and just enjoying the spectacular view of downtown.

Events in Algiers Point include art festivals, weekly summer concerts, a ferry festival, an annual home tour, the Mississippi River Fest, Oktoberfest, and Algiers Friendship Day, the Algiers version of a St. Patrick's celebration.

Essentials in Algiers Point:

The oldest structure in Algiers Point is reportedly the tiny Mount Olivet Episcopal Church, which was built in 1854. Other churches include Algiers United Methodist Church (Its antique pipe organ is played on special occasions.) and Trinity Lutheran Church, which lost its steeple in Hurricane Katrina. A neighborhood landmark, Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church features a bright white chapel with 75 beautiful stained glass windows.

The Algiers Courthouse houses a local court and several local government offices. It's an absentee voting site. Couples can get their marriage license here and take their vows in the courtroom. The "love judge" goes out of her way to make Valentine Day weddings especially special.

As mentioned above, the Courthouse Carriage House is the present site of the neighborhood library. Currently there are no schools operating within the Point boundaries, but there are many public, private, and parochial schools in other parts of Algiers. The Fourth District Police Station and a U.S. Post Office are also a quick drive from the Point.

Basic Information:
The Mississippi River on two sides, Atlantic Street, Newton Street
Zip Code: 70114
Area Code: 504

  1. About.com
  2. Travel
  3. New Orleans
  4. Neighborhoods
  5. Algiers Point - A New Orleans Neighborhood Profile

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.