Scale model of 1915 French Quarter
In conjunction with The Historic New Orleans Collection’s 2007 exhibition Four Hundred Years of French Presence in Louisiana, the Minister of Culture and Communication of France presented a model of the French Quarter as it would have appeared in about 1915 to the people of New Orleans. Built in 1962 by French artists and jazz enthusiasts Pierre Atlan and Pierre Merlin, the large model depicts the look and character of the French Quarter when it was still a thriving residential area, as well as Storyville and the city’s rail lines. Although the original model covered the entire city, the only surviving portion is the French Quarter.
In 1977, the model was featured in the opening credits of Louis Malle’s film Pretty Baby. And after Katrina, the Atlan family donated the model to the French government, to be presented to the city of New Orleans. After an extensive restoration in Paris, the model was entrusted to The Historic New Orleans Collection in 2007.
The model, was recently relocated and is currently on display at the Basin Street Station, 501 Basin Street. It is free and open to the public daily from 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., except major holidays.