I just moved into the tiny triangular neighborhood once known as the Black Pearl just west of Audubon Park. Can you tell me what you know about the history of this neighborhood?
In 1973, city planners started using the term "neighborhood" for planning and gathering socio-economic data. They divided the city into 72 official neighborhoods, and one of the tiniest was named Black Pearl in 1974.
Black Pearl is a rather isolated, quiet neighborhood. Its boundaries are the Mississippi River, St. Charles Avenue and Lowerline Street. The neighborhood is very diverse, and it doesn't flood. Lately, I've heard folks refer to this neighborhood as the Uptown Triangle, although I'm still fond of its original name.
Laurent Millaudon, a wealthy investor who has a street in the neighborhood named for him, was one of the first residents of the area, which was once part of a sugar plantation and later part of the village of Carrollton. Carrollton grew rapidly and was incorporated into a town in 1845, but it wasn't until after the Civil War that the Black Pearl area began to fill with residents. Many of the folks who settled there were poor. Needing inexpensive housing, some came to live in newly built tenements that were located on the higher, drier ground provided by the natural levee in the area.
At 147 Millaudon St. in the Black Pearl neighborhood is the Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church where Mahalia Jackson used to sing. Her gospel singing introduced Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when he gave his "I Have a Dream" speech in Washington, D.C.