St. Roch Market Front Facade
Established in 1875, in a Creole neighborhood northeast of the French Quarter, St. Roch Market is one of several public markets improved by the WPA in New Orleans in the late 1930s. By that time, the city supported 19 public grocery 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 public markets under the Market Rehabilitation program. This included making interior and exterior upgrades to six neighborhood markets and building two new ones. For the St. Roch Market, the WPA gutted the interior, replacing walls, pouring concrete floors and installing new
plumbing. The reworked interior included new stalls and refrigerated food display cases, a much-appreciated modernization. The WPA added ventilators on the roof and revised the front entry. The WPA turned the market from cramped dark stalls to an airy, hygienic space signifying progress. The building stayed in use as a fresh fish market until Hurricane Katrina struck. It reopened in 2015, as a cooperative culinary market, offering local produce, artisanal foods, coffee and oysters. It is one of the main landmarks of the St. Claude Corridor revitalization, and the only building improved by the WPA which still sells groceries.
WPA Photographs, Building, Public. Photo taken 10/01/1937. Series numbers 11.62, 11.63, and 11.64. Project date 10/12/1937. Retrieved from http://nutrias.org/photos/wpa/wpa11.htm Webster, R. A. (September 13, 2013). City transfers control of St. Roch Market to New Orleans Building Corp. NOLA.com. Retrieved from http://www.nola.com Federal Writers Project. The WPA Guide to New Orleans. New York: Pantheon; 1st Pantheon ed edition (October 12, 1983). "Makin' Groceries in New Orleans" New Orleans Public Library, WPA Photographs Collection. Further information provided by John Murphey.
Project originally submitted by Susan C. Allen on December 7, 2014.
We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.SUBMIT MORE INFORMATION OR PHOTOGRAPHS FOR THIS SITE