The Avenue Pub is located in the historic Lower Garden District of New Orleans – a short streetcar ride from the Central Business District and the French Quarter. Though we have no records as to the exact date the Pub was originally built (it may have been a shop originally with the owner residing upstairs), it’s architecture and construction place it somewhere about 1845. Many of the original features have been retained including the tin ceiling in the main bar and the classic fireplaces on the second floor. Of course, like all classic New Orleans buildings, it has large shuttered windows that occasionally pass for doors – and one of the largest balconies overlooking St. Charles Avenue; perfect for parade watching during Mardi Gras!
The Garden District area was originally developed between 1832 to 1900. It may be one of the best preserved collection of historic southern mansions in the United States. The 19th century origins of the Garden District illustrate wealthy newcomers building opulent structures based upon the prosperity of New Orleans in that era. (National Trust, 2006).
This whole area was once a number of plantations. It was sold off in parcels to mainly wealthy Americans who did not want to live in the French Quarter with the Creoles. The district was laid out by New Orleans architect, planner and surveyor Barthelemy Lafon (Lafon was also a Pyrate & associate of Jean & Pierre Lafitte – many of his ancestors still live in Barataria).
Originally the area was developed with only a couple of houses per block, each surrounded by a large garden, giving the district its name. In the late 19th century some of these large lots were subdivided as Uptown New Orleans became more urban. This has produced a pattern for much of the neighborhood of any given block having a couple of early 19th century mansions surrounded by “gingerbread” decorated late Victorian houses. Thus the “Garden District” is known for its architecture more than gardens per se.
A slightly larger district (one block further west to Louisiana, one block farther north to Carondelet and three blocks farther east to Josephine) was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1974.
The George Washington Cable House, at 1313 8th St., is a National Historic Landmark.
Commander’s Palace is one of the city’s most famous restaurants.
Other neighborhood landmarks include numerous Antebellum mansions, historic Lafayette Cemetery, and “The Rink”, a 19th century skating rink building that has been converted into a small shopping mall.