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About the Photos

Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

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Toulouse Street: 1937

Toulouse Street: 1937

New Orleans circa 1937. "813-815 Toulouse Street." Watch out for the neighbors. 8x10 inch acetate negative by Frances Benjamin Johnston. View full size.


Bricks now

Street view shows all brick exposed --- and looking in excellent condition.

The Eternal City of the US

New Orleans looks pretty much the same now as it does in all these images on Shorpy.

Bricks R US

The stucco was applied over the locally made orange, rather soft "creole bricks" to protect them from the elements. Removal of stucco from bricks is strictly prohibited in the Quarter by the Vieux Carre Commission. A few older buildings had patches removed to "look more authentic" (gack!) but it has not been allowed for many years.

Bricks Beneath Stucco

The building appears to be made of block, except that that it is cracking off to reveal brick beneath. I guess they scored the stucco to make it look like limestone or sandstone. Now we appreciate the old brick and I doubt a restoration would include covering it back up for historical accuracy.

Wreckers incorporated

Samuel House Wrecking Company, Incorporated, 1934

House Wrecking Co.

Was that a polite term for bordello?

FBJ's Compositions

Just realized that many of Johnston's photographs include a person in what has to be carefully posed compositions. In this photo there's a person in the left doorway. Also, this is a duplex; notice the mailboxes on the alley doors.

Good bones

I'm amazed that building is still standing. It looks like it was ready for "Samuel House wrecking Co." 74 years ago!


I was afraid it would be long gone. Nice to see it's still there and pretty close to original!

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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