Louisiana Division/City Archives
New Orleans Public Library

Sources for Researching the History of Your House (Or Other Building) in New Orleans

Street Name & Number Changes

New Orleans street numbers were converted to the present "hundred block" system in 1893-1894. Prior to that time there was no standardization to the numbering process, and house numbers found on documents before 1895 reflect the "old" numbering system. In addition, many New Orleans streets have changed their names over time. The earliest set of the Sanborn Maps (1885-1893) and the Robinson Atlas (1893) both use "old" street numbers.

The Louisiana Division has several sources that can solve the puzzles created by these street number and name changes:

Amos, Gray B. Corrected Index, Alphabetical and numerical, of changes in street names and numbers old and new, 1852 to current date, April 8, 1938. New Orleans: City Archives, 1938.
This volume was originally compiled in 1938 by Gray B. Amos, under the supervision of Mrs. E. D. Friedrichs, Custodian of the City Hall Archives, and under the auspices of the Works Progress Administration (WPA).

The index does not provide exact address conversions for individual buildings, but it does indicate the present "hundred block" that a given old address corresponds to. The index also identifies the cross streets between which old addresses were located. It indicates, for example, that old number 23 Felicity St. lay between Rousseau and St. Thomas Sts. and is now in the 500 block.

The original volume (HV100 1938) is available at the Louisiana Division reference desk. An online version is available at neworleanspubliclibrary.org/info/louinfo/numberchanges/numberchanges.htm.

New Orleans (La.) City Engineer. Streets of New Orleans showing number changes in 1894.
This volume was prepared by the City Engineer in 1894 to record the street number conversion. Arranged alphabetically by street name, shows the old and new number for each block. Numbers actually assigned to buildings that existed in 1894 are circled. Also given is the distance between lot lines and, for some blocks the type of building on the property is indicated (S.H. = Single House; D.H = Double House; C.H. = Commercial House). The volume was was edited and revised in 1954 by members of the City Archives staff, who added street name changes and other useful annotations. (KJ600 1893 mf))

Amos, Gray B. Alphabetical Index of Changes in Street Names, Old and New Period 1852 to Current Date, Dec. 1st 1938. New Orleans: City Archives, 1938.
This "companion index" to the above volume, shows the changes in street names made between 1852-1938. The index also notes the relevant municipal district(s) for each individual name change, as well as the ordinance number and series that effected the change and the date the ordinance was passed. Notations to "see Number List" refer to another WPA-sponsored City Archives product, "Corrected--Index, Alphabetical and Numerical, of Changes in Street Names and Numbers, Old and New, 1852 to Current Date" (1938), also compiled by Gray B. Amos.

The original volume (HV100 1938a) is available at the Louisiana Division reference desk. An online version is available at neworleanspubliclibrary.org/facts/streetnames/namesa.htm.

Underwriter's Inspection Bureau of New Orleans. Street Rate Slips, 1897.
This source consists of printed sheets apparently revised periodically for the use of insurance companies writing fire insurance policies in New Orleans. Each slip is for an individual street and includes the following information: new and old street address, brief description of each building (number of stories, building/roofing material), name of owner/occupant, nature of occupancy, and rates for both building and contents, and a column marked El. Lt. (possibly "electric lighting"). A final column, headed "for revision see D.R.S. No." has handwritten entries thereunder.

Each sheet is also cross-referenced to the corresponding page in the Sanborn Fire Insurance Map for the street in question. The slips also indicate cross streets, sometimes indicating the exact addresses of structures located on the cross streets at intersections with the street in question.

Unfortunately, this source does not cover the entire city, but is limited to certain streets in the Vieux Carre and the Central Business District, along with the continuations of those streets beyond the central area. It is equally unfortunate that no volumes exist for any other years. The streets represented in the volume are: Annunciation, Bourbon, Burgundy, Chestnut, Cleveland, Commercial Alley, Common, Constance, Cypress, Dauphine, Girod, Gravier, Jackson, Julia, Natchez Alley,Notre Dame, Palmyra, Perdido, Perilliat, Poydras (and Poydras neutral ground), Prytania, Rampart (North and South), Royal (lake side only), St. Joseph, Tulane Ave., and Union. A list of streets and corresponding slip numbers is at the front of the volume.

An online version is available at neworleanspubliclibrary.org/info/louinfo/1897/1897.htm. The online version presents most of the data included in the original publication. It does not include references to cross streets, data on addresses located at cross streets, data on some fire hazards located at most addresses, or any notations relative to insurance rates. The original volume (X605 1897 OVF) is available in the Louisiana Division.

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