Date of Award
The evolutionary process of the gardens of New Orleans' Vieux Carre from 1861 to 1982 has been influenced by cultural, economic, governmental and social forces within and without the Vieux Carre. Their interworkings combined to shape and style these gardens. No single force or era is seen as clearly dominant in this perceived pattern of evolution. Rather, in this study these gardens are viewed as reflections of various times and, more specifically, the culture, economics, politics and social aspirations of such times. The tracing of the history of these gardens reveals that during the past 122 years they have continually responded to the vastly changing means, needs and stylistic preferences of successive Vieux Carre residents. After the Civil War, the residual gardens of the Antebellum period largely succumbed to deterioration and waves of immigration that overwhelmed the Vieux Carre. Ironically preserved through inertia and neglect, the Vieux Carre was to be romantically rediscovered in the 1920s and subsequently and actively preserved. During this process of rediscovery, a new Vieux Carre garden style was forged from a unique blending of various garden traditions. The elements of this new style have endured into the Vieux Carre's present period of prosperity. This study shows that while such elements of Vieux Carre gardens often vary in detail, their essence is shared. With few exceptions, they are nineteenth century spaces with twentieth century treatments. This study chronicles the history of these gardens in the context of the development of the Vieux Carre and the City of New Orleans. The cultural, economic, governmental and social forces significant to this development are related to the changes in the Vieux Carre gardens. The causes and effects are linked to reveal a pattern of evolution that makes these gardens more understandable.
Hand, Stephen Burdick, "The Courtyard and Patio Gardens of the Vieux Carre (1861-1982)" (1982). LSU Historical Dissertations and Theses. 8347.