Lautenschlaeger Market Exterior
Located in the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood, downriver from the French Quarter, Lautenschlaeger Market was constructed in 1901 as a public open air market. In the late 1930s, the City of New Orleans owned 19 public markets, many of which had fallen into disrepair and were threatened by demolition. The city turned to the WPA, which financed the improvement of eight of them under the Market Rehabilitation program, spearheaded by Mayor Robert Maestri. Maestri, a New Dealer elected to office in 1936, used work relief programs, according to historian Anthony J. Stanonis, “to change the physical appearance of the cityscape as well as to preserve the city’s history, often with tourists in mind.” The WPA improved the Lautenschlaeger Market by removing sidewalk sheds, enclosing the building with 3’ brick walls and installing a slate tile roof. Improvements to the interior included building new woodwork and plastering and painting walls. Completed in 1939, the renovated market had a modern, sanitary look. The building went out of public ownership in 1946, but continued to be used as fish market until 2003, when it was converted into condominiums. The conversion created more windows along the east façade and widened the south entry, but otherwise the exterior improvements made by the WPA remain visible.
“Lautenschlaeger Market,” Orleans Parish Landmarks Commission plaque, 2003. “Makin’ Groceries in New Orleans” New Orleans Public Library, WPA Photograph Collection. Stanonis, Anthony J. “Creating the Big Easy: New Orleans and the Emergence of Modern Tourism, 1918-1945.” Athens, Ga.: University of Georgia Press, 2006.
Project originally submitted by John Murphey on December 31, 2015.
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