A Rich History
What is now Holy Cross originated as plantations in the early 1800s, with sugar as the main crop. Truck gardening was a source of employment for many in the area, and products were sold to the restaurants in the French Quarter and at the French Market. After the early part of the 19th century, the population grew quickly, and shops, churches and small businesses began to pop up in the area.
In 1859, the Brothers of the Holy Cross purchased the Reynes plantation and founded educational programs for boys, which eventually led to Holy Cross School, for which the neighborhood is named. In 1912 the levee along the river was built and in 1923, the Industrial Canal was built to provide passage from the Mississippi to Lake Pontchartrain. Holy Cross was listed on the National Register in 1986 and was named a Local Historic District in 1990.
Due to the vast amounts of greenspace along the Mississippi River and Industrial Canal, the Holy Cross has a peaceful, and almost rural character to it. The yards are a little larger, the traffic is a little lighter. It contains all of the same historic architecture found throughout the downtown neighborhoods, but in a more relaxed setting.
A New Beginning
In 2005 Hurricane Katrina tore through New Orleans and uprooted many long standing traditions. Holy Cross High School decided to relocate to the Gentilly neighborhood and rebuild there. As a result, the former High School campus was eventually put for sale. In 2015, the former baseball field at Holy Cross was purchased by developers, and the beginnings of a new neighborhood in Holy Cross were formed.
The Ball Field at Holy Cross is a 3 acre site, located on 1.5 square blocks of land in between Burgundy and N Rampart streets, and bounded by Reynes and Deslonde, just a few blocks from the Industrial Canal, and 2 blocks to St Claude Avenue. The vision for neighborhood is a walkable community of up to 36 single family homes, and 6 mixed use commercial/residential buildings.
All of the homes are fully approved by the Historic District Landmarks Commission and are built to the highest standards. The houses all contain off street parking and sizable yards. The commercial buildings bring a true neighborhood feel and help create a sense of community, with local shops and businesses run by local residents.