As you wander the streets of New Orleans, many people wonder where the street names derive from. The Touro street names are derived from generals, battles, and even just family names. While the Touro neighborhood itself was named after a doctor who founded the hospital in the area, the street names tell us more about the past.
First, the Touro neighborhood was made up of different plantations that were subdivided into different Faubourgs. (Faubourgs = neighborhoods) When these Faubourgs were subdivided and street naming commenced, each person in charge of naming the streets chose whatever fancied them at the time.
How Touro started
Louis Bouligny acquired a plantation that ran from the streets Upperline to Gen. Taylor. However, Bouligny had zero intention of operating a plantation and almost 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 thoroughfare “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 filled with patriotism.
How other Touro streets got their names
Faubourg Delachaise made up another portion of the Touro neighborhood. When Auguste Delchaise died, his widow Marie Antonine Foucher Delachaise subdivided the faubourg and named four of the streets for herself and other family members.
Delachaise was named in honor of her late husband. Then Aline Street was named for her daughter.
Lastly, Antonine and Foucher were named for herself. (Good for you, Marie!)
The remainder of the street names
In the neighboring Faubourg St. Joseph, Madame Louis Robert Avart was busy subdividing her plantation. While she never had children of her own, in her guardianship was a girl named Amelia Duplantier, whom she cared for greatly. Amelia later married a man named Dr. Tom Peniston. Hence, she named the streets after the couple.
General Taylor street was named for a Civil War general whose allegiance was with the Confederate States of America. Furthermore, 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. While keeping the name of this street is controversial today, it remains.
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