Former red-light district of New Orleans from 1897-1917. It was bounded by Iberville St., Basin St., St. Louis St., and N. Robertson St. Most of this former district is now occupied by the Iberville Projects, a dangerous housing development located right on top of the French Quarter. Storyville was closed down by the federal government (specifically Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels) as a "bad influence" during World War I in 1917. The closure was over the strong objections of the New Orleans city government; New Orleans Mayor Martin Behrman pronounced that, "you can make prostitution illegal, but you cant make it unpopular." After 1917, when Storyville was shut down, separate black and white underground dens of prostitution emerged around the city. Storyville continued in a more subdued state as an entertainment center through the 1920s, with various dance halls, cabarets, and restaurants. Speakeasies, gambling joints, and prostitution were also regularly found in the area despite repeated police raids. Almost all the buildings in Storyville were demolished in the 1930s to clear the land for the building of the Iberville Projects. While much of the area contained old and decayed buildings, the old mansions along Basin Street, some of the finest structures in the city, were also leveled.
Tourist - Hey, I hear there is a red-light district on Basin St., maybe I should go check it out!
Local - You talking 'bout Storyville? That been closed since before my time. I wouldn't go there if I were you anyway.
Tourist - Why?
Local - It's a housing project now...you could get rob or shot at.
Tourist - That sucks.
Local - Hey, for $10 i'll tell you where you got yo shoes.
Tourist - Oh yeah!! Go ahead and try.
Local - You got them on yo feet...now give me my d*** money!!