The Vieux Carré

Figure Ground

[Figure Ground Map]

Vieux Carre literally means "old square" in english. This figure ground diagram shows the initial layout of the old historic district designed by Pierre Le Blond de la Tour, drawn by Adrien De Pauger in 1722. The squares with measured streets running in a grided symmetrical pattern around the main square, show full use of the Laws of the Indies. The indicated fortifications never existed, however a moat was partially constructed in its place.

The Plan of 1764

[Vieux Carre]

In the year 1762, Louisiana fell under Spanish rule. Even with the change in power there was a consistent need felt to preserve this core of the city.

The Vieux Carré In 1815

[Vieux Carre 1815]

After the fire of 1788, the city was to be rebuilt in the French plan. Between 1803 and1835 New Orleans went back and forth between the hands of Spain, America and France, as the land became a source of wealth and power. On December 20, 1803 the city was declared American, and has remained American ever since. This plan, drawn in 1815, shows the continuation of a planned gridded system of streets, struggling to be symmetrical along the water with new public squares locating centers of "suburbs" outside of the initial Vieux Carre.