Master of Arts (MA)
Geography and Anthropology
Buildings are a materialization of culture at a particular point in time. Subsequent modifications and new buildings express the culture at that time. The buildings of one city block, Squares 39 and 40, are examined at various points in time over the past three hundred years to document changes in the material expression of culture, and thereby, modification in the culture itself. The history of the city is viewed from the perspective of the people and the buildings of this single city block. Some historic events only peripherally affected the block and are discussed for background. A significant portion of the history of New Orleans occurred in and around this block. The three hundred years of history is divided into eight historic eras: Pioneering Period, French Colonial, Spanish Dominion, Early American Period, Economic Expansion, Antebellum and War Years, Reconstruction, and the Twentieth Century. Each era had a distinct effect on the buildings of Squares 39 and 40. The social, economic and political forces active in each historic era caused modifications in the buildings. These modifications can be read as the history of the block. Squares 39 and 40 are iconic of the city of New Orleans.
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Mince, Sylvia Starns, "New Orleans' Squares 39 and 40: three centuries of change: an anthropological look at the social, economic and political effects on architecture" (2002). LSU Master's Theses. 662.
Jay D. Edwards