Modern Day Magazine

November 9, 1918: The Vibrancy of a New Orleans Past Captured 100 Years Later

What do Peaches Records, La Boulangerie, and The Funky Monkey have in common with the 1918 Jefferson Market? They all fell on the iconic New Orleans street that is Magazine. The market culture that reigned supreme in 1918 defines the current landscape of Magazine Street.

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“Hibernia Will Open Another Branch” Times-Picayune, Nov 9, 1918

On November 9th 1918, Hibernia Bank announced plans to build a second location Uptown on Magazine and Napoleon Avenue. Today, we know this building as the Mignon Faget jewelry store at 4300 Magazine Street. Hibernia, which was originally founded in 1870, chose the location because of its proximity to the Jefferson Market, a major commercial hub of the time located on Magazine and General Pershing Street. The market was rebuilt in 1918 after a storm in 1918 and was said to promote cleanliness and lessen the flies on food because of its outdoor airiness (Makin’ Groceries). Market style shopping was especially significant in New Orleans where there were more open-air markets than anywhere else in the U.S. This was because of the heat of the New Orleans climate as well as the prevalence of disease that could be spread by flies and other pests. Additionally, market style shopping was popular among the French, who founded the city, and the Spanish government which followed (Bristers).

 

 

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Ivy Fitzgerald, Oct 19, 2018 The current Hibernia building, now a Mignon Faget Jewelry

Since the construction of the second Hibernia one hundred years ago, the street has fallen on times of upward mobility as well as stagnation, with its popularity changing with the times. As business flooded to the Street in the forties, efforts to make the street more accessible were made, like the removal of the streetcar tracks in 1948 (Kraemer). This transformed Magazine Street from somewhere locals walked and shopped to a retail mecca that  New Orleans saw as a destination.

The transition of Magazine from a neighborhood street to a shopping destination can be observed in its current landscape. The street’s popularity could have begun with the market culture initiated by the Jefferson Market in 1918. These markets attracted people from all over New Orleans by allowing many different goods to be sold close together. The openness of the markets also promoted community and solidified Magazine as a meeting spot and community center. The market culture of Magazine Street was ultimately taken over by supermarkets and small family groceries like Von Der Haar’s, an upscale grocery that started as a stand in the Jefferson Market. In 1948, Von Der Haar’s moved to a stand alone space when the Jefferson Market was bought out by the large grocery chain, H.G. Hill. Von Der Haar’s remained in business despite its proximity to the flashy new chain because of the family’s relationship to the community as well as the luxury of having your groceries delivered, a service offered by the Von Der Haar family. Von Der Haar’s grocery closed its doors in the 1980s and the Jefferson Market is now the gymnasium of Saint George’s school (Nystrom).

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New Orleans Historic Collection, ca. 1941

Although Magazine has fallen on hard times in the past, its modern landscape is reminiscent of the “Golden Era” Magazine of 1918. The street seamlessly fuses its neighborly old school charm with modern innovations and business. For example, the old streetcar barn on Arabella and Magazine is now a Whole Foods Market (Love and Belsome). After a period of less business and popularity Magazine bounced back after Katrina, possibly because it was one of the first places in the city to reopen (Kraemer). Since the storm, Magazine Street has been a booming place of commerce and tourism because of its old style New Orleans feel, mixed with the modern boutique look. Although much of the street’s iconic stores and restaurants “ain’t dere no more”, Magazine in 2018 is reminiscent of New Orleans’s past. Today, Magazine is a tourist hub filled with boutique style shops and trendy restaurants. Where Hibernia stood in 1819 is now a Mignon Faget Jewelry.

Further down the block is Peaches Records, Nirvana, an Indian restaurant, and several vintage and antique shops. Despite the new developments, much of Magazine has stayed the same. On the same block as the old Hibernia building is Casamentos Oyster Bar, which has stood on Magazine since 1919. What used to be Von Der Haar’s is now Le Petite Grocery, which, despite only being on Magazine since 2004, provides the same old school specialty grocery feel that Von Der Haar’s did in 1918. Another reason for Magazine’s popularity is the many stretches of mixed residential and business buildings, creating an inviting and neighborly feel (Magill). Much of what made Magazine appealing in 1918 remains today. The street is simultaneously upscale and homey making it inviting to locals and tourists alike.

Bibliography

Brasted, Chelsea. “See Vintage Photos of Magazine Street in New Orleans.” NOLA.com, 9 Mar. 2017,

Bristers, Nancy. “The Old Public Markets.” Old New Orleans, old-new orleans.com/NO_Markets.

“Hibernia Will Open Another Branch.” Times Picayune, 11 Oct 1918

Kraemer, Craig. “Origins of Magazine Street as a Retail Mecca.” New Orleans Voices, 13 Feb. 2017

Love, Terri F, and J Belsome. “ARABELLA BUS BARN v. WHOLE FOODS MARKET INC.” Findlaw, 22 Mar. 2006,

Magill, John. “John Magill Magazine Street 2017.” Audio: 10 Feb. 2017,

Nystrom, Justin A. “Creole Italian: Sicilian Immigrants and the Shaping of New Orleans Food

Culture.” The University of Georgia Press, 2018.

Sauder, Robert. “The Origin and Spread of the Public Market System in New Orleans.” Journal of the Louisiana Historical Association, Mon, 21 Apr 2014

 

 

 

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