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Lafayette Square, New Orleans

4.1
#28 of 48 in Sightseeing in New Orleans
Landmark Tourist Spot
Lafayette Square is the second-oldest park in New Orleans, Louisiana, located in the present-day Central Business District. In the late 18th century, this was a residential area called Faubourg Sainte Marie (English: St. Mary Suburb).The park was designed in 1788 by Charles Laveau Trudeau aka Don Carlos Trudeau (1743–1816), Surveyor General of Louisiana under the Spanish government; who later served as New Orleans' acting mayor in 1812, after Louisiana statehood. The Square was named after Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, a French aristocrat and general who fought on the American side in the American Revolutionary War. The park has a bronze statue of Henry Clay in the center of the park, and statues of John McDonogh and Benjamin Franklin on St. Charles Avenue and Camp Street.Gallier Hall, the former City Hall of New Orleans faces the square on St. Charles Avenue. Although the city government has moved elsewhere, the square is still used for inaugurations and civic events. The square also often hosts live music.From 1834 to 1938 First Presbyterian Church of New Orleans occupied much of the Western side of the square and was the tallest steeple in the city. It was from this steeple that General Benjamin Butler used the bell to ring curfew during the occupation of New Orleans (1862-1865) during the American Civil War. Most of the architectural elements (including the bell) were moved to First Presbyterian's subsequent location at the corner of South Claiborne and Jefferson Avenues in New Orleans.
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Where to stay in New Orleans

Though you can walk to most tourist attractions in New Orleans from a hotel in the central business district, remember that many other parts of town feature less expensive and equally comfortable accommodations. Smaller hotels and private guesthouses in quiet residential neighborhoods offer not only good local food and spacious rooms, but can also allow you to explore the city's culture away from overwhelming tourist crowds. To reduce your carbon footprint during your stay, consider one of French Quarter's many green or eco-friendly hotels.
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118 reviews
Google
4.4
  • My family and I visited here while in N.O. We stopped here and stayed for quite some time. Like a breath of peace in a very hectic city. Across the street the activity is back at full swing, but here ...  more »
  • Love the location of this place. Lots of grass if you have pets. It's a good distance from the French Quarter if you want to step out of that scene for a bit. Be wary of homeless people.  more »
  • This is an idyllic oasis in the city. There is art work scattered throughout, stayed and flora and fauna. Birds are calling. Gorgeous trees.  more »
Google
  • There is some interesting architecture to observe. The monuments here are apparently not offensive enough to remove yet. Benjamin Franklin purportedly harbored dark secrets so maybe his statue can be removed before long.
  • Really nice park. The Wednesday at the Square sponsored by the Young Leadership Council of New Orleans is an amazing event! So many good eats and a great free concert too! Excellent job!
  • Noisy, trashy, touristy. What not to love! And it changes by the minute. Stroll, eat, people watch, enjoy the street performers. And surrounded by historical buildings.
  • The square is nice and generally well kept. There are usually a few homeless people hanging around, but for the most part it's nice.
  • Quaint cozy park....until someone finds something offensive to Ben Franklin's statue!