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Image by Michael Held


The story starts in the mid to late 1800s. Oak Street, known then as Fourth Street, was a mostly residential roadway in the city of Carrollton. At that time, Levee Street (roughly today's Leake Avenue near the Carrollton and St. Charles intersection) served as the main street. After the annexation of Carrollton, Oak Street became the clear center for shopping, music, food, and more. 


Carrollton's Annexation

On March 23, 1874, the city of Carrollton in Jefferson Parish became the neighborhood of Carrollton in the city of New Orleans. The area would provide the city with the rail-accessed riverfront land, necessary to fit the growing population of New Orleans. 

The Orleans Parish Levee Board Realigns the Levee 

The Orleans Parish Levee Board decided to realign the levee that fronts Carrollton Avenue. Consequently, Levee Street was eliminated. The area no longer had a "main street." 

Carrollton Becomes More Accessible From Downtown New Orleans

The New Orleans and Carrollton Railroad (now the St. Charles Streetcar Line) was electrified in 1893, finally connecting both sides of the new city of New Orleans with convenient and quick transportation. 

Fourth Street Becomes Oak or Oaks(?) Street

The city of New Orleans passed an ordinance in 1894 to rename dozens of streets following the annexation of Carrollton. Fourth Street was renamed Oaks Street to fit with the surrounding streets named after trees. It is unknown whether the "s" on the end of Oak was intentional or a typo, but it swiftly became known as Oak Street. 

Oak Street is the Obvious Choice

Many factors were taken into account when choosing the new "main street" for the Carrollton neighborhood. With cars becoming more popular, the street had to be wide enough for two-way traffic and parking, easily accessible, and centrally located within the area. Oak Street was well-accessed. One end of the street had the river and rail-line access while the other had the electric streetcar.  Additionally, Oak Street was wider than its parallel streets. 

A Unique Mix of Residential and Commercial

Oak Street originally started as a residential street, however with the new accessibility and transportation, there was immense commercial growth. Stores and bars began popping up along the eight blocks. The street became an unseen mix of family homes and new businesses, remnants of which you can still see today. 

Six Generations 

Speaking of remnants of the past you can still see today, Haase's Shoe Store has been an Oak Street Staple since 1921. Boris and Della Haase opened the store and over a century later, the Haase family still owns and operates the store at 8119 Oak Street.  

Oak Street Revitalized

Following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Oak Street sought to bring life back to the eight blocks between Carrollton and Leake. In 2007, The Oak Street Po-Boy Festival was born. Although it may have started out small, today our November festival brings in as many as 60,000 people and dozens of vendors.  

Our Story Just Keeps Going

Today we have businesses on every block, fun events, great food, and of course a rich history to look back on. Help us continue the epic saga of Oak Street by checking out our amazing merchants, joining us for Po-Boy Fest, or just taking a stroll around.  

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