Reconstruction of the French Market -- New Orleans LA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz
N 29° 57.540 W 090° 03.646
15R E 783661 N 3317877
Quick Description: First built in 1782, by the 1930s the French market has crumbled into disrepair. The WPA project to restore it saved this historic area for future generations to enjoy.
Location: Louisiana, United States
Date Posted: 2/11/2015 8:05:53 AM
Waymark Code: WMNC58
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member thebeav69
Views: 0

Long Description:
The waymark coordinates are for the Place De France, where three plaques commemorating the WPA project to reconstruct the French Market are placed near the statue of Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orleans.

In 1799, the Spanish Governor of New Spain (modern Louisiana) ordered a new enclosed market to be built in New Orleans, to replace the long-established open-air market along the river. This is what we now think of as the French Market. The market opened in 1782, but was destroyed by fire in 1788 and rebuilt three years later.

When Spain returned Louisiana and other lands in North America to France in 1800, the Market was already a busy and disgusting place.

Several iterations of the market came and went, some destroyed by fires, some by hurricanes. But always the market was rebuilt and expanded, even if was not very clean or hygienic.

By the 1930s, the market buildings had fallen into disrepair. The WPA project of 1936 removed hazardous buildings, installed new electricity and water infrastructure, and essentially changed the French Market into a food shopping and tourist amenity that continues to enhance the French Quarter today.

See the May 1991 issue of Preservation in Print for a very good article in the 200 year history of the French market: (visit link)

The waymarked plaques at the French Market reads as follows:

"THE FRENCH MARKET
Federal Emergency Administration Of Public Works
Project Number 5914 (LA)

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, President of the United States

Harold L. Ickes, Secretary Of The Interior, Administration Of Public Works

[list of names of various other local and state officals and titles, not connected to the WPA]"

"THE FRENCH MARKET
Rebuilt 1936 to 1938

Ancient French market dates its legal birth from September 10, 1784, when the “Authorities of Justice and Administration” decided that all retailers in the city should conduct their businesses on this spot.
In 1791 the first market structure was completed. Destroyed by a hurricane in 1812, it was replaced in 1813 by the building now housing the meat and retail fish markets. Although the interior was modernized in 1936 – 1938, the walls and supporting columns are just as erected in 1813. Other market structures were built at various times between 1813 in 1872.

Millions of feet have trod this bartering spot in centuries of trading, for Indians traded here long before the French came. May yours tread pleasantly here and bring you happiness."

"REHABILITATED FRENCH MARKET
Dedicated March 19, 1938

French Market was rehabilitated in 1936 - 1938 under direction of the French Market Corporation, composed of businessmen from this market neighborhood, and by authority of a franchise granted by the Commission Council of New Orleans. Financing of the reconstruction was the result of cooperative efforts by the Corporation, Public Works Administration of the United States, the City of New Orleans, the State of Louisiana, Orleans Levee Board, and a businessmen of this market area.

The architectural integrity of the historic market structures has been retained throughout, the interiors have been modernized to conform to refrigeration and sanitary trends of 1938. But the French market showplace of New Orleans the most ancient mart in the Mississippi Valley remains the same."
Project type: Other

Date built or created: 1936

Location: French Quarter, New Orleans

City: New Orleans Louisiana

Condition: Good upkeep with a little wear and tear

Website for additional information: [Web Link]

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Benchmark Blasterz visited Reconstruction of the French Market -- New Orleans LA 12/28/2014 Benchmark Blasterz visited it