Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard: Past, Present, and Future

Tulane City Center


Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, formerly Dryades Street, has witnessed over two centuries of change.

By the 1850s, a thriving commercial district had developed around the Dryades Market. Irish and German newcomers, followed by Eastern-European Jewish immigrants and African Americans, established a wide variety of businesses along the corridor, with each group making an imprint on the urban landscape. 

For the next century, Dryades Street was a bustling alternative to Canal Street and, in the 1960s, served as a hub of Civil Rights activism. By the late twentieth century, however, it had fallen victim to depopulation and disinvestment.

Today, a long-anticipated renewal is well underway. Given the neighborhood’s proximity to the Central Business District, sizable inventory of historic building stock, and rich cultural heritage, it is not surprising that the area is attracting investment. The question at hand is: what impact will this revitalization have on the corridor’s social, cultural, and physical character?

This exhibit is intended to frame the discussion of “where we go from here” by exploring Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard’s layered and complex history, and by uncovering stories of people and places as told through its built landscape. Understanding the past of this multifaceted street can foster a deeper appreciation of its present, and in turn lead to thoughtful and effective planning for the future.

Drawing from the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority’s Façade RENEW program, and curated by Beth Jacob and Gabrielle Begue of Clio Associates LLC, with assistance from students Allison Price and Ashley Ricketson. Tulane City Center will host an exhibit of historic photographs, architectural plans, and documents exploring the physical and social history of Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard.

Opening reception Wednesday, September 23, at 6pm. On display through December 5, 2015.

Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design
Prospective Students, Current Students
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