Living in New Orleans is a challenge for new people when it comes to pronouncing our street names. Wandering the streets of the Crescent City makes many people pause and ask “Where did these street names come from?”
In an effort to help New Orleans residents learn some of the histories of the street names, Be New Orleans is providing you with a condensed lesson. Generals, battles, and family names make up the Touro neighborhood landscape.
This New Orleans neighborhood was made up of a few different plantations that were subdivided into different Faubourgs. When these Faubourgs were subdivided and street naming commenced, each person in charge of naming them chose whatever fancied them at the time.
Louis Bouligny acquired a plantation that ran from Upperline to Gen. Taylor. Bouligny had zero intention of operating a plantation and immediately had Charles Zimpel, an engineer and cartographer, develop the land into a neighborhood. Bouligny did not name the streets though – as he allowed Pierre-Benjamin Buisson to do so. Buisson was an artillery officer in Napoleon Bonaparte’s army. To pay tribute, he named the main street in Faubourg Bouliny Napoleon Avenue. Buisson then named other streets after great victories in Napoleon’s career. Hence, the streets Marengo, Milan, Austerlitz, Constantinople, and Berlin were named.
Berlin Street was later renamed General Pershing during WWI when the country was flush with patriotism.
Faubourg Delachaise made up another portion of the Touro neighborhood. When Auguste Delcahsie died, his widow Marie Antonine Foucher Delachaise subdivided the faubourg and named four of the streets for herself and other family members.
Delachaise was in honor of her late husband. Aline was named for her daughter.
Antonine and Foucher were named for herself.
In the neighboring Faubourg St. Joseph, Madame Louis Robert Avart was subdividing her plantation. While she never had children of her own, a girl named Amelia Duplantier was in her guardianship. Amelia married a name Dr. Tom Peniston and those two streets were named for them.
General Taylor was named for a Civil War general whose allegiance was with the Confederate States of America. After the war, he lived in New Orleans until 1875. Taylor later died in New York but was buried in Metairie Cemetary in New Orleans.
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