MY WIFE AND I WERE WALKING ALONG BAYOU ST. JOHN AND CAME UPON A STREET NAMED ST. JOHN'S COURT. WHAT'S THE STORY ON THIS? WAS IT SET UP AS A PRIVATE ENCLAVE THAT IS NOW PUBLIC?
St. John's Court was established in 1917 when real estate developer J.F. Lafont acquired the property and built the quaint subdivision of houses on a cul-de-sac to rent to workers at the nearby American Can Company. Lafont numbered the houses A through P.
In 1923, a person could buy one of the 15 cottages for $4,000 or $4,500. That's right; for a down payment of $750 in cash and mortgage of $32.50 to $37.50 every four weeks, you could stop paying rent and live in a five-room cottage with a living room, dining room, two bedrooms, kitchen and bathroom. When the cottages went up for sale, they were being completely renovated and painted inside and out.
The real estate agents described St. John's Court as "one of the beauty spots of New Orleans ... conveniently located along Bayou St. John. It's the only one of its kind in the city. It has a beautiful garden and lawn with shade trees forming a central park with 15 cottages around it."
And it still is.