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Curbed Cup Elite Eight: (3) Bywater vs. (6) Garden District

Two great neighborhoods, but only one can advance

The Bywater won Curbed Cup back-to-back in 2013 and 2014.

The Curbed Cup, our annual award for the neighborhood of the year, is kicking off with 16 neighborhoods vying for the prestigious (fake) trophy. We’ll reveal each of the neighborhoods this week, and polls will be open for 24 hours so you can cast your vote as to which ones should advance. Let the eliminations commence!


After winning Curbed Cup back-to-back in 2013 and 2014, this hip and quirky neighborhood will try its luck for 2017.

For starters, many developers have planned new condominiums in the Bywater. While only one is under construction this year, developers estimate that units will sell for at least $300,000 each.

Earlier this summer, the City of New Orleans and Port of New Orleans closed a deal for a riverfront expansion. The Port will hand over the Esplanade and Governor Nicholls wharves, allowing the city to turn it into public park space. In total, the acquired area would add an additional 2.6 miles of riverfront access, continued from the 1.4-mile Crescent Park.

In November, the Bywater’s Green Project expanded its creative reuse facility under a new partnership with the Preservation Resource Center.

This past November, residents of New Orleans paraded though the Bywater into the Lower 9th Ward to honor the late Fats Domino. While the residents took the streets, the trek was fairly easy, considering the Bywater ranks among the 10 neighborhoods with the highest Bike and Walk Scores.

Garden District

This rectangular neighborhood is often known for its gorgeous mansions, tree-lined streets, Magazine Street shops, and Mardi Gras vantage points on St. Charles Avenue.

If you’re looking for some of the best cemeteries to visit in New Orleans, this neighborhood holds the iconic Lafayette Cemetery. The Garden District also holds Buckner’s mansion—one of New Orleans’s many haunted buildings.

In early December, The Preservation Resource Center hosted its annual Holiday Home Tour, showcasing the neighborhood’s phenomenal abodes. In Curbed NOLA’s most recent analysis, the Garden District holds four of New Orleans’s most expensive homes.

Last year, the Garden District made it to the final four in the annual Curbed Cup, ultimately losing to the Curbed Cup-champion Algiers Point.

On transportation, the Garden District will hold two bike-share stations within the next year, and it ranks among the five most walkable neighborhoods in New Orleans.