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Curbed Cup Round 1: (3) Bywater vs. (6) Garden District

Which neighborhood will advance to the final four?

Steps in the Bywater neighborhood
Photo by Infrogmation, via Wikimedia Commons

The Curbed Cup, our annual award for the New Orleans neighborhood of the year, is kicking off with 8 areas vying for the prestigious (fake) trophy. This week we'll have two matchups per day, and all the results and the full tournament bracket will be reviewed on Friday. Voting for each pairing ends 24 hours after it begins. Let the eliminations commence!

Today’s neighborhood match is Bywater versus Garden District: An eclectic neighborhood against a historic one.


Sunset last night. #bywaternola #mural #art

A photo posted by Fred Harper (@deadredfred) on

On top of this bracket is the 2014 Curbed Cup winner, the Bywater. Beyond having some of the city’s most eclectic and bold house designs to hit the market, the neighborhood has seen several distinctive developments and additions in 2016. To begin, the neighborhood association was front and center during September’s jazz funeral demonstration, which was a visual neighborhood movement against whole-home rentals.

Additionally, the neighborhood has been host to several murals in 2016, including Henry Lipkins St. Claude Avenue Second Line Mural, which measures in at over 150 feet long and 35 feet tall, and Brandon “Bmike” Odums Bywater warehouse mural. In terms of new buildings, New Orleans City Council approved a conditional permit for developer Ted Kelso to build a hostel on Chartres St. While its counts as a development, it has been met with resistance from the Neighbors First Bywater organization.

Garden District

#gardendistrictnola #neworleans #neworleansstyle #nola #cornstalkfence

A photo posted by Hal Williamson (@halwilliamson) on

This round’s underdog is the Garden District, which is known for its historic homes, beautiful garden spaces and elaborate walking tours. This year, the neighborhood has populated news and beautiful house listing on Curbed NOLA. To start, this past summer, during the Pokemon Go craze, a mysterious pikachu monument appeared in a Lower Garden District pocket park. After being vandalized and soon repaired, the statue was auctioned off to raise funds for the Lower Garden District Parks.

Moreover, the Garden District has expanded its infrastructure. In particular, Jackson Avenue, a main artery of the district, will be repaved and include a bike lane, larger vehicle lanes and a parking lane from St. Charles Avenue to Tchopitoulas street. Construction for the new street is expected to be completed in Spring of 2017. As the year comes to a close, the Preservation Resource Center concluded its 41st annual self-guided holiday tour, featuring 7 beautiful Garden District homes.