Navigating the Maps

THE FIVE MAPS below have been annotated to highlight key features of Sanborn maps and Black businesses and institutions that were active prior to the construction of I-10. The businesses addressed educational, financial, pharmaceutical needs and more for the New Orleanian Black community. Some such businesses are still active today. While the items highlighted below were not necessarily eradicated due to the construction of the overpass (e.g., Straight College was merged with New Orleans University to form Dillard U. in 1930), these annotations are meant to signify the many critical community operations could be found along the North Claiborne corridor during the early and mid-twentieth century.

  • Double-click or use the button in the top-left corners of the maps to zoom in and out (scrolling is disabled).
  • Click a polygon to learn more information about the item it contains.
  • Click the 'X,' or anywhere else on the map, to close a popup after opening.
  • See the key for understanding Sanborn map abbreviations.
  • See the legend for interpreting Sanborn map colors.

Exhibit 1: Vol. 1, Sheet 16 (1950)

The 1500 blocks of Claiborne, abutting St. Bernard Circle. Explore Circle Food Store, Beck's Restaurant, and the neutral ground of Claiborne Avenue. Learn about some conventions of Sanborn maps.

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Exhibit 2: Vol. 1, Sheet 25 (1950)

The lakeside 1400 block of North Claiborne, intersecting Esplanade. Explore the former Straight University Boarding House and Dining Hall, as well as funerary services along North Claiborne. Learn about the cartographic practice of Sanborn map palimpsests.

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Exhibit 3: Vol. 2, Sheet 107 (1940)

The 900 and 1000 blocks of North Claiborne, the boundaries of this map land in the heart of the Treme neighborhood. Explore the Charbonnet Funeral Home, the Economy Society, and a residential block of Treme. Learn about how urban renewal projects affected the Treme neighborhood in the 1960s and 1970s.

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Exhibit 4: Vol. 2, Sheet 125 (1940)

The lakeside blocks of North Claiborne between Orleans and St. Philip (note the map is rotated 90° counterclockwise). Explore People's Benevolent Life Insurance and see how the space looks today.

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Exhibit 5: Vol. 2, Sheet 106 (1940)

The intersection of North Claiborne and Orleans Avenues. Explore the Treme Market, LaBranche's Pharmacy, and the Treme Market Branch Bank.

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