Long before Mid-City, Gentilly, Lakeview and eastern New Orleans became New Orleans neighborhoods, the Faubourg Marigny sprang up downriver from the Vieux Carre. Named for colorful figure Antoine Xavier Bernard Phillipe de Marigny de Mandeville, the faubourg was carved from his family plantation in the early 1800s.
After 20th-century suburbs drew residents farther away from the heart of town, Faubourg Marigny became the focus of preservation efforts in the 1970s. The fight to protect the old neighborhood’s rich culture and architecture continues today.
The public is invited to continue to support those efforts by taking part in the 43rd annual Faubourg Marigny home tour from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, beginning at Washington Square Park, 700 Frenchmen St. The Faubourg Marigny Improvement Association created a map and self-guided walking tour providing entry to seven historic buildings and another under renovation.
Tickets are $20, or $15 for FMIA members. They will be available beginning at 11 a.m. at Washington Square Park, where refreshments and Marigny T-shirts and mugs will be sold to benefit FMIA, a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization.
The group is under “extraordinary pressure” from developers and city hall, said Lisa Suarez, FMIA president. The group is striving to maintain “the human scale” of the neighborhood, which she said has “stood the test of time.”
The tour includes residences at 1445 and 1604-06 Pauger St. and 1838 and 2020 Burgundy St.; the original place of business of Marie Laveau’s father at 1801 Dauphine St.; Ecole Polaire Masonic Temple at 1433 N. Rampart St.; the former McDonough 16, adapted for senior housing, at 1815 St. Claude Ave.; and a building under renovation at 2000 Burgundy St. at the corner of Touro Street.
Suarez said FMIA is fighting to preserve Faubourg Marigny’s way of life. It is an urban neighborhood that wants to remain a testament to a “joie de vivre” that appreciates “everyday endeavors,” Suarez said, including “raising families, going to work, going to school, making groceries, going to church and sharing our efforts not only with all New Orleanians but those who have the good fortune to visit us, as well.”
This year’s tour celebrates the enduring force of FMIA founder and Tulane professor Eugene Cizek, Suarez said. The tour booklet also is dedicated to Cizek’s longtime partner Lloyd Sensat and Debbie Richmond, who are deceased, and to Don Richmond and the “preservation army that has rebuilt and conserved New Orleans and the River Region for the past 50 years to make it what we are all fighting for today,” she said.
Dine out for LPO
To celebrate the end of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra season, local restaurants are participating in Dine Out for the LPO on Tuesday. Each eatery will contribute a portion of its evening revenue to the orchestra as it looks ahead to celebrating its 25th anniversary.
Participating restaurants include Apoline, Café B, K.Gee’s, Little Gem, Mat and Naddies, Maya’s, Mizado, Pizza NOLA, Ralph’s on the Park and Twelve Mile Limit. Louisiana Pizza Kitchen participated on May 12. For information, visit lpomusic.com or symphony volunteers.org.
Trees offer protection
April’s task of planting 10,000 trees to help restore Louisiana’s coast and protect the New Orleans area is complete. The trees are taking root on land owned by Stinking Bayou LLC on the Maurepas land bridge near Middle Bayou.
The project is the result of a collaborative partnership among Restore the Earth Foundation, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation and Resource Environmental Solutions to enhance storm surge protection. Each tree is protected to ensure it will not be disturbed by wildlife as it grows. For information, visit www.saveourlake.org, www.restoretheearth.org and res.us.
Fields of flowers
Time to enjoy swaths of spring flowers as you enter City Park from Marconi Drive. This year’s colors include lovely shades of lilac.
Lynne Jensen writes about New Orleans community events and people. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.