|Tremé / Lafitte|
|New Orleans Neighborhood|
Typical street scene.
|Planning District||District 4, Mid-City District|
|Elevation||0 ft (0.0 m)|
|Area||0.69 sq mi (1.8 km2)|
|- land||0.69 sq mi (2 km2)|
|- water||0.00 sq mi (0 km2), 0%|
|Density||6,022/sq mi (2,325/km2)|
|- summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
Tremé ( tr?-MAY) is a neighborhood of the city of New Orleans, in the U.S. state of Louisiana. "Tremé" is often rendered as Treme, historically the neighborhood is sometimes called by its more formal French names of Faubourg Tremé; it is listed in the New Orleans City Planning Districts as Tremé / Lafitte when including the Lafitte Projects. Originally known as "Back of Town," urban planners renamed the neighborhood "Faubourg Tremé" in an effort to revitalize the historic area[when?]. A subdistrict of the Mid-City District Area, its boundaries as defined by the City Planning Commission are Esplanade Avenue to the east, North Rampart Street to the south, St. Louis Street to the west and North Broad Street to the north. It is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city, and early in the city's history was the main neighborhood of free people of color. Historically a racially mixed neighborhood, it remains an important center of the city's African-American and Créole culture, especially the modern brass band tradition.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the district has a total area of 0.69 square miles (1.8 km2), all of which is land.
The City Planning Commission defines the boundaries of Tremé as these streets: Esplanade Avenue, North Rampart Street, St. Louis Street, North Broad Street.
The modern Tremé neighborhood began as the Morand Plantation and two forts--St. Ferdinand and St. John. Near the end of the 18th century, Claude Tremé purchased the land from the original plantation owner. By 1794 the Carondelet Canal was built from the French Quarter to Bayou St. John, splitting the land. Developers began building subdivisions throughout the area to house a diverse population that included Caucasians, Haitian Creoles, and free persons of color.
Tremé abuts the north, or lake, side of the French Quarter, away from the Mississippi River--"back of town" as earlier generations of New Orleanians used to say. Its traditional borders were Rampart Street on the south, Canal Street on the west, Esplanade Avenue on the east, and Broad Street on the north. Claiborne Avenue is a primary thoroughfare through the neighborhood. At the end of the 19th century, the Storyville red-light district was carved out of the upper part of Tremé; in the 1940s this was torn down and made into a public housing project. This area is no longer considered part of the neighborhood. The "town square" of Tremé was Congo Square--originally known as "Place des Nègres"--where slaves gathered on Sundays to dance. This tradition flourished until the United States took control, and officials grew more anxious about unsupervised gatherings of slaves in the years before the Civil War.
The square was also an important place of business for slaves, enabling some to purchase their freedom from sales of crafts and goods there. For much of the rest of the 19th century, the square was an open-air market. "Creoles of Color" brass and symphonic bands gave concerts, providing the foundation for a more improvisational style that would come to be known as "Jazz". At the end of the 19th century, the city officially renamed the square "Beauregard Square" after Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard, but the neighborhood people seldom used that name. Late in the 20th century, the city restored the traditional name of "Congo Square".
In the early 1960s, in an urban renewal project later considered a mistake by most analysts, a large portion of central Tremé was torn down. The land stood vacant for some time, then in the 1970s the city created Louis Armstrong Park in the area and named Congo Square within Armstrong Park. In 1994, the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park was established here.
Musicians from Tremé include Alphonse Picou, Kermit Ruffins, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, Lucien Barbarin, and "The King of Treme" Shannon Powell. While predominantly African-American, the population has been mixed from the 19th century through to the 21st. Jazz musicians of European ancestry such as Henry Ragas and Louis Prima also lived in Tremé. Also, Joe's Cozy Corner in Tremé is often considered the birthplace of Rebirth Brass Band, one of the most notable current New Orleans bands. Alex Chilton, who led the rock groups Big Star and The Box Tops, lived in Tremé from the early 1990s until his death in 2010.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Tremé neighborhood received minor to moderate flooding. In the portion of the neighborhood in from I-10, the water was generally not high enough to damage many of the old raised homes.
Located in Tremé, the New Orleans African American Museum is dedicated to protecting, preserving, and promoting through education the history, art, and communities of African Americans in New Orleans and the African diaspora. It is listed on the Louisiana African American Heritage Trail, as is the community's St. Augustine Church -- the oldest African-American Catholic parish in the U.S.