In the last two decades, a family of Black New Orleanians with longtime connections to the area stepped forward with the intent of preserving the properties and reversing the conditions now engulfing the once thriving neighborhood. Joined by aspiring business owners with an interest in preserving, celebrating, and showcasing the heritage of Bayou Road, they began purchasing blighted, rundown buildings on this corridor to bring them back to life in a way that intentionally preserved the cultural integrity of Bayou Road for the benefit of the entire community, especially for people of color who had long settled in the area.
On the heels of Hurricane Katrina, a small group of African-American property and businesses owners along the corridor came together with a like-minded vision that still holds strong today. In fact, the 2400 and 2500 blocks of Bayou Road, along with the 2300 block of Esplanade Avenue and the 1400 and 1500 blocks of Broad Street, are now home to several Black-owned businesses and cultural centers whose presence and energy help to define the Bayou Road district while serving as a source of pride in the history and culture of the area and as an example of the spirit of cooperative entrepreneurship.
Looking to the future, the visionaries behind Bayou Road’s development see the neighborhood emerging as a viable and much sought-after tourist destination where visitors can experience New Orleans’ inimitable culture and heritage from the point of view of the locals whose history and spirit have made New Orleans such a distinctive city.