As Julia Street approaches its 25th White Linen Night, the street couldn’t look any less like it did during its time as Skid Row in the 1970s.
Anchored by the 13 Sisters row houses, the street emerged as an affluent address within a bustling commercial district in the mid-19th century. As wealthier residents fled the Warehouse District for the neighboring Garden District and other suburbs, the industrial corridor endured a depression until the 1984 World’s Fair, when the city and developers targeted the area for a convention area and hotels. The street is now part of an Arts District that’s loaded with galleries and home to an annual street party that toasts to the arts scene—a party that has inspired several parodies, including the French Quarter’s Dirty Linen Night held the following weekend.
As new developments and luxury apartments continue to build around the neighborhood, there have been some casualties. Louisiana Products, a beloved neighborhood deli that first opened in 1985, survived the Warehouse District’s tony transformation in the 1990s and continued selling affordable plate lunches and sandwiches from its blink-and-you-miss-it storefront with a cigar box register, only to close in 2018.
The street also recently said goodbye to the Louisiana’s Children’s Museum, which closed its iconic big blue doors on July 27 as it prepares to move to a new campus in City Park.
Then there are new arrivals, like the Auction House Market food hall, an incoming Oprah-led restaurant anchoring the Julia apartments, and Two Saints, the city’s first co-living apartment building.
White Linen Night returns Saturday, August 3, at 5:30 p.m. Area galleries will open their doors, and the city’s party crowd, dressed to impress, will descend to squint at art. Here’s a guide to the art happenings and gallery shows to help navigate the sweaty masses.Read More