Bywater has become one of the hottest neighborhoods in the city these days. The artists and writers are still in residence, but houses have been renovated and new, hip people are moving in – to houses like this one.

“This is a beautifully renovated property just a half block off of St. Claude Avenue and the best of the scorching hot Bywater,” said Michael Styles, the listing agent with Engel and Völkers Realtors. “This gorgeous home is fully equipped with New Orleans finishes including hardwood floors, tall ceilings, and crown molding throughout.”

This house is absolutely precious. It’s a beautiful blue with white trim, gingerbread and wrought iron railings. The inside has an open floor plan, ceiling fans, neutral walls, white trim and those gorgeous wooden floors that have been refinished.

The open kitchen has an island with a sink and granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, a restaurant stove and plenty of cabinets for storage. The bath has a marble floor and shower, double sinks, a huge tub and lots of storage. There’s also a walk-in closet with plenty of shelves.

There’s a most interesting shed in the back yard with natural wooden walls and a brick floor. Wide steps across the back lead to a nice-sized yard. There’s also off-street parking on a new driveway which leads to a side entrance.

Bywater’s boundaries are Florida Avenue, the Industrial Canal, the Mississippi River and Press Street. Bywater is along the natural levee of the Mississippi River, sparing the area from significant flooding. It includes part or all of Bywater Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

During New Orleans Mardi Gras, the Society of Saint Anne marching krewe starts their procession on Mardi Gras morning in Bywater and gathers marchers as it travels through the French Quarter, ending at Canal Street. This walking parade of local residents, artists, and performers is preceded by the Bywater Bone Boys Social Aid and Pleasure Club (founded 2005), an early-rising skeleton krewe made up of writers, tattoo artists, painters, set designers and musicians.

 WikiMiniAtlas

Bywater was mostly plantation land in the colonial era, with significant residential development beginning the first decade of the 19th century as part of what was known as Faubourg Washington. Many people from France, Spain, and the French Caribbean settled here. During the century, it grew with Creoles of French and Spanish descent, as well as people of French, Spanish, African, and Native American descent. They were joined by immigrants from Germany, Italy, and Ireland.

Bywater is home to the site at which Homer Plessy was removed from an East Louisiana Railroad car for violating the separate car act, an event that resulted in the Plessy v. Ferguson case and the legal doctrine of "separate but equal." Today, a historical marker stands at the intersection of Press Street and Royal Street to commemorate the event.

Real estate development and speculation surrounding the 1984 Louisiana World Exposition prompted many long-term French Quarter residents to move down river. By the late 1990s the bohemian, artistic type of communities such as were found in the French Quarter mid-20th century had spread to Bywater, and many long-neglected 19th-century houses began to be refurbished.

Bywater is one of the most colorful neighborhoods in the city. The architectural styles borrow heavily from the colonial French and Spanish and have elements of the Caribbean. This blending over the last three centuries has resulted in an architectural style unique to the city of New Orleans.

As the section of Bywater on the River side of St. Claude Avenue was one of the few portions of the 9th Ward to escape major flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, it has made steady progress toward recovery.

Angela Carll may be reached at angcarll@gmail.com

About this House

Address: 1118 Congress St. in Bywater

Living area: 1,602 square feet

Bedrooms: Three

Baths: Two

Extras: Equipped with New Orleans finishes including hardwood floors, tall ceilings, and crown molding throughout

Price: $384,900

Marketing agent:

Michael Styles

Engel & Völkers New Orleans | Metairie

722 Martin Behrman Avenue

Metairie, LA 70005

Tel: +1 504-875-3555

Fax: +1 504-875-3550

Mobile: + 1 504-777-1773

Mailto: Michael@nolastyles.com

Webpage: http://www.nolastyles.com