View analytic
Thursday, October 15 • 12:30pm - 2:15pm
Tour of New Orleans Public Spaces FULL

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule and see who's attending!

Limited Capacity seats available

Please meet at the NOMA Registration Desk 5min before scheduled time.

The tour focuses on three urban spaces in New Orleans: Jackson Square, Congo Square
and Lafayette Square, the significant buildings in their environs and their contributions to 
New Orleans’s architectural and cultural history. Each of these spaces is of profound 
historical importance to the city. Although they are of identical size, each arose from and 
has contributed to, a completely different historic culture.
We will begin with the short walk from the lobby of the Sheraton Hotel (1) to Lafayette 
Square (2), the seat of government in the American Sector from the mid nineteenth to the 
mid twentieth century. Anchored by James Gallier’s City Hall (3), that now bears his 
name, the square is surrounded by building of institutional importance, the Fifth Circuit 
US Court of Appeals (4) and several other building of the US federal government. Also 
of note are the Lafayette Hotel (5) and recent office and mixed use buildings. From there 
we will pass by other nearby CBD places and buildings of significance, the remains of 
South Rampart St., the recent 930 Poydras (7) residential building, the Civic Center 
complex (6) including City Hall (8) and the Public Library (9), the Roosevelt Hotel (11) 
and the Orpheum Theater (10). 
The second urban public space of focus is Congo Square. Crossing Canal St. on Rampart 
we will see the rejuvenated theatres at the intersection, most notably the Saenger (12). 
Along North Rampart we will note the juxtaposition of the Modernist parking structure 
and its neoclassical neighbor, the New Orleans Athletic Club (13). A block away, we will 
discuss the only remaining twentieth century housing project, Iberville (14) and its 
proposed transformation. Crossing Rampart, we will enter Congo Square (15), a place of 
seminal importance to the history and development of African American music and 
culture. We will discuss the transformation of Congo Square over time and its current 
condition being subsumed within Louis Armstrong Park (16). 
Crossing from the Treme (17) side of Rampart into the Vieux Carre, we engage our third 
place of focus, Jackson Square (21). On the way we will proceed riverward on Dumaine 
St. (18) stopping at Madame John’s Legacy (19) one of the oldest residential buildings in 
the quarter, now open to the public by the Historic New Orleans Collection. We will 
enter the Square and discuss its vast prospect enfronting the Mississippi River. We’ll 
assess the cultural significance of the Cabildo, the Presbytere and St Louis Cathedral 
(20), from the original French settlement of the eighteenth century. We will also consider 
the role of the Pontalba buildings (22) in the urban, cultural and architectural contexts. A 
stroll up Chartres St. to the historic Napoleon House (23) completes the tour. 


John Klingman

John P. Klingman currently holds a Favrot Professorship in Architecture at Tulane University where he has been a faculty member since 1983. He has long been interested in issues of infrastructure in relation to architecture. In conjunction with the post-katrina international Dutch... Read More →

  • CEU Hours 1