The Faubourg St. Roch Improvement Association was founded in 1995. It has a full board and has been a registered 501(c)(3) since 1998. Our mission is to promote a safe community of engaged residents and businesses in the Faubourg Saint Roch neighborhood.
Our vision is to utilize community partnerships to advocate for businesses and residents, promote housing rental and homeownership that is affordable for all income levels, and facilitate adequate recreational opportunities in the neighborhood through green space for all adults and children. The goals of the neighborhood organization are to:
Assist with redevelopment of housing stock
Create affordable home ownership opportunities
Act as a clearing house of information relevant to the community
Act as a catalyst for economic development
St. Roch had the largest populations of free people of color before the civil war.
The neighborhood, originally called Faubourg Franklin, began to be developed when in 1830 the Pontchartrain Railroad connected the Faubourg Marigny with the settlement of Milneburg on the lake. At that time the large boulevard now called St. Claude Avenue was called “Good Children” and St. Roch Avenue was called “Washington Walk.”
By the beginning of the 20th century, the St. Roch neighborhood had grown considerably, especially since sewerage and water service had been extended into the entire area by 1900. By the late 1920s, the St. Roch neighborhood was mostly settled.
During this time, the St. Roch neighborhood was described as a “low-key,” serene, racially-mixed residential section of New Orleans. There was huge baseball field located between Galvez and Miro and Marigny and Mandeville and the area is remembered for its numerous baseball enthusiasts, such as Moses Phillip, George Davis, Black Diamond and Emile Anderson. Blacksmith shops, dairies and small farms once characterized the neighborhood. Many of the private schools founded for Black and Creole children were originally located in the St. Roch neighborhood. Many jazz musicians lived in this area, as well as Creole and German families.