Neighborhood Spotlight: A Brief History of Algiers

A row of French architectural homes in New Orleans.

As New Orleans’ second-largest neighborhood, Algiers has a wild history and a bit of a reputation as New Orleans “red-headed step-sister!”

Originally established in 1719, Algiers has seen and experienced the growth of New Orleans first-hand. At one point in time from 1840 to 1870, it was an entity independent of NOLA!

Let’s take a quick trip back in time for a look at Algiers’s vibrant history.

12 Miles of Riverfront

Before settlement, this land was mostly made up of cypress swamp with some prairie lands.

In the mid 1700s, it was cleared off and a number of large homes were built along the river. The first people to call Algiers home were the French, followed by the Spanish.

Development Along the River

Beginning in 1819, shipbuilding and ship repair industries began to take notice of Algiers. Development quickly sprung up, with plenty of ship infrastructure being added to the riverfront real estate.

Other commercial industries that flourished in Algiers included lumber, wax, and sugar.

The Railroad Comes to Town

Close up shot of three sets of railroad tracks.

When the railroad arrived in Algiers, it brought around 4,000 jobs with it as well as increased commercial, and economic, activity.

As more people, and more money, poured into Algiers it had a definite impact on the community. At one point, there was a grocery store or a bar around every block!

Post Civil War Algiers

After the events of the Civil War in Algiers, when the whole of New Orleans was taken over by Union Troops, big changes began throughout its communities.

Some of those changes include a new community, Freetown, forming under the watch of John McDonogh. Freetown was a community for freed slaves and other free people of color.

The Naval Station

In 1848, plans were made for a naval station to come to Algiers. By 1894, work really began and the station brought significant employment opportunities to Algier residents.

The naval station would prove invaluable during WWII. Today, it is Federal City.

The Fire

In 1895, the Great Fire of Algiers destroyed some 200 homes and properties throughout Algiers.

20th Century Algiers is the Place to Be!

Black and white photo of a man playing the saxophone.

The early twentieth century was a great time to be in Algiers, as this is around the time when brass bands and jazz bands began to flock to the community.

Entertainment was a significant part of the area, with popular theaters like Philip FOTO’s Market Theatre and the Folly Theatre rising to prominence.

Eager to Explore 21st Century Algiers?

We can help with that. If you’re looking for a gorgeous community with vibrant culture, fascinating history, and friendly residents, Algiers is the place for you.

To see homes for sale in Algiers or learn a little more about Algiers real estate, please reach out to us!

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