Then and Now: The Evolution of Canal Street

Here's a historic look back at Canal Street.

During the 19th century and early 20th century, Canal Street was considered the city’s heart of retail. Families headed downtown for shopping, dining, entertainment and socializing dressed in their best outfits and white gloves.

Historic department stores with legendary names like D.H. Homes, Maison Blanche, Krauss’ and Godchaux’s were the destinations for the latest designs for women and their daughters, while many men visited Rubensteins and Meyer the Hatter.

Even though most of these businesses shuttered by the end of the 20th century, Canal Street has moved toward a resurgence in downtown shopping in its recent years. Replacing some of the older department stores are The Shops at Canal Place, the renovated Outlet Collection at Riverwalk and new merchants like MAC Cosmetics and True Religion. Even some historic retailers like Rubensteins and Meyer the Hatter still thrive along the Canal Street area.

Downtown Development District president and CEO Kurt Weigle takes a nostalgic look back at historic Canal Street and talks about how the area is evolving into a shopping destination once again.


Created in partnership with the Downtown Development District

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