By 1917 Storyville was feeling pressure from an array of groups. A new generation of progressives and a rising middle class sought to eradicate rather than merely control prostitution, and segregationists hoped to impose their agenda upon one of the last integrated areas in the South. When it was proposed early in 1917 that the District be formally segregated, which would have forced the many women of color working in Storyville to relocate to the so-called Black Storyville, several prominent madams of color, led by the madam and plaintiff Willie V. Piazza, filed suit to retain their properties and won. The case was one of the first legal victories in the decades-long fight against the injustices of Jim Crow, but before anything could be made of the victory, the District was closed for good.

Even before the 1917 recording of the first jazz record, musicians who had played in Storyville and contributed to the development of New Orleans jazz were performing across the country. Jelly Roll Morton began his itinerant musical career in 1907, traveling the Gulf Coast and up to Memphis, New York, and Chicago. Scores of other New Orleans musicians followed suit. The success of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band’s 1917 recording of “Livery Stable Blues”  and “The Original Dixieland Jass Band One-Step” helped drive the nation’s craving for more of this new style of music from New Orleans. Through the 1920s, jazz continued to gain popularity and evolve.

Following the official closure of Storyville, the District slowly began to wither away. Many women and madams, such as Lulu White, attempted to continue practicing their trade in spite of growing legal troubles. The music clubs, once bustling, became less popular without the nearby allure of the sex trade. A number of the once grand buildings were demolished in the 1930s to make way for the public-housing development called the Iberville Housing Project that was constructed over much of the site in the 1940s. Despite its demolition, Storyville remains a part of New Orleans’s complex identity.