In New Orleans, the Central Business District (CBD) is the city's downtown. The boundaries for the CBD fall roughly between Canal Street to Poydras and from Claiborne Avenue to Tchoupitoulas Street. Due to its close proximity to the French Quarter many of the city's hotels reside within the CBD. The neighborhood is also home to some of New Orleans favorite cocktail bars and many fabulous restaurants. The adjacent neighborhood, the Warehouse District, begins at Poydras Street and ends at Calliope at the I-10 overpass, and is known as the city's arts district. Young professionals, empty nesters and even families who desire to be close to numerous dining and entertainment options and the action of the French Quarter call these neighborhoods home.
After the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, American residents settling in the city sought to establish neighborhoods and a culture distinct from those New Orleanians of European descent. While the French Quarter and Jackson Square acted as the hub for Creole life, just above Canal Street residents created what became known as "The American Sector". Over the years the neighborhood established itself as the center for city business and visitors. The neighborhood's businesses, bars and clubs feature a variety of architectural styles from modern high-rise office buildings to quaint 19th century row homes to renovated warehouses.
The heart of this new neighborhood was Lafayette Square. Designed in 1788, Lafayette Square was the American response to Jackson Square and is flanked by interesting architecture such as Gallier Hall and St. Patrick's Church. Built in 1845, the Neoclassical Gallier Hall served as New Orleans City Hall from 1853-1956, and its fluted ionic columns make for a great photo opportunity. St. Patrick's Church, built in 1840, was named a National Historic Landmark in 1975 and retains many of its original finish, including an impressive mural at the main altar. Lafayette Square is now home to the popular Wednesdays in the Square, a free concert series showcasing top New Orleans talent on Wednesday evenings in the spring and fall.
Just a few blocks uptown, the Warehouse District is alive with activities celebrating the arts. Museums such as the Contemporary Arts Center (900 Camp Street) and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art (925 Camp Street) can be found in the Warehouse District as well as dozens of art galleries, many clustered on Camp and Julia. An Art Walk is held the first Saturday of each month from 6-9 pm with galleries in the neighborhood opening their doors to showcase their wares. And as a designated Louisiana Cultural District, there is no sales tax charged on any original works of art sold in the Arts District!