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Fodor's New Orleans 2014
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The busy red-light district that lasted from 1897 to 1917 has been destroyed, and in its place stands the Iberville Projects, an infamous public-housing project now undergoing a major renovation. Storyville spawned splendid Victorian homes that served as brothels and provided a venue for the raw sounds of ragtime and early jazz; an extremely young Louis Armstrong cut his teeth in some of the clubs here. The world's first electrically lighted saloon, Tom Anderson's House of Diamonds, was at the corner of Basin and Bienville streets, and the whole area has been the subject of many novels, songs, and films. In 1917, after several incidents involving naval officers, the government ordered the district shut down. Some buildings were razed almost overnight; the housing project was built in the 1930s. Only three structures from the Storyville area remain, the former sites of three saloons: Lulu White's Saloon (237 Basin St.), Joe Victor's Saloon (St. Louis and Villere sts.), and "My Place" Saloon (1214 Bienville St.). Currently, a historical marker on the "neutral ground" (median) of Basin Street is the only visible connection to Alderman Sidney Story's experiment in legalized prostitution.
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