Girod Cemetery

Description

The Girod Cemetery was the city's oldest Protestant cemetery, opened by the wardens of Christ Church in 1822. The cemetery had fallen into disrepair by the time most of these photographs were taken. It was deconsecrated and then demolished in 1957. The remains of whites and blacks were relocated to racially segregated cemeteries.

The cemetery stood roughly where the New Orleans Centre shopping mall -- shuttered since the 2005 flood -- exists, between the Superdome and the Hyatt Hotel.

One longstanding myth suggested that the New Orleans Saints football team had been cursed because the field was supposed to have been built on the cemetery grounds. The parking garages of the closed shopping mall and part of an adjacent Superdome garage most likely occupy the former site of the burial grounds.

Photos Show

Wall Vaults, Girod Cemetery, circa early 1900s

George Francois Mugnier's photograph reveals some of the 2300 wall vaults that surrounded more than one thousand family tombs. The cemetery also contained more than one hundred benevolent society tombs. According to late historian Leonard Huber, "Girod was the yellow fever and cholera cemetery" because it contained thousands of the people killed by epidemics in the mid-1800s.








Courtesy of the Louisiana Division/City Archives, New Orleans Public Library

Girod Cemetery, circa early 1900s

George Francois Mugnier's photograph demonstrates how close residential and commercial properties were to the cemetery, whose entrance fronted on South Liberty Street. The New Basin Canal was only one block away. For a long period, the city jail was adjacent to the cemetery's rear wall.












Courtesy of the Louisiana Division/City Archives, New Orleans Public Library

Girod Cemetery, 1949

Alexander Allison photo













Courtesy of the Louisiana Division/City Archives, New Orleans Public Library

Girod Cemetery entrance, 1953

Alexander Allison took this photograph only 4 years before the cemetery was dismantled. Parts of Charity Hospital and the Veterans Administration Hospital are visible in the background.

The Special Collections Division of Tulane University Libraries houses the Girod Cemetery records.



Image courtesy of the Louisiana Division/City Archives, New Orleans Public Library

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Louisiana Division/City Archives, New Orleans Public Library , “Girod Cemetery,” New Orleans Historical, accessed July 25, 2014, http:/​/​neworleanshistorical.​org/​items/​show/​262.​
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