Sreetcar and Ferry Library Excursions
Exploring New Orleans Public Library Locations by Rail and Water
Getting Started: Streetcar fare is $1.25 for each ride using exact change. 1-day, 3-day, and 7-day Jazzy Passes are also available in advance online or from the RTA Le Pass app. A ferry ride is $2.00 each way or you can use the Jazzy Pass. A Jazzy Pass can be used for streetcars, ferries, and buses.
Lagniappe: A New Orleans term pronounced LAN-yap that means “a little something extra.” We’ve provided some local insight into where to get a bite or beverage along the way.
The first regular ferry service between the end of Canal Street and Algiers began in 1827. Ferry transportation was so important to the City that, by the 1930s, six ferries transported citizens from one side of the river to the other. For a look at an often unexplored part of the City, we recommend taking a ride on the Algiers Ferry.
The St. Charles Streetcar line travels from the edge of the French Quarter all the way down beautiful St. Charles Avenue, then onto South Carrollton Avenue. Along the way, these vintage cars travel beneath the shade of live oaks. The signature green cars first appeared on the line in 1923 and are classified as National Historic Landmarks.
The Canal Streetcar line reopened in 2004 after having been dormant for forty years in favor of a bus line. While the red cars sport modern amenities, they are modeled after the cars used on the St. Charles line.
Library Excursion 1: Take the Algiers Point Ferry to the Cita Dennis Hubbell Library
Cita Dennis Hubbell Library, 725 Pelican Avenue
A Carnegie library built in 1907, Hubbell Library is one of two Carnegie library buildings still used by the New Orleans Public Library. It closed in the mid-1960s due to building conditions; but, thanks to community action campaigns led by Cita Dennis Hubbell, this beloved Library was renovated and reopened by 1975. It underwent further renovations in 2013.
Getting There: Head to the ferry terminal at the very end of Canal Street on the Mississippi River. At the Algiers Point Ferry Terminal, take Morgan Street up one block. Turn right onto Seguin Street for two blocks. Turn left onto Pelican Avenue. The library is about 4.5 blocks away.
Lagniappe: While in Algiers Point, explore the beautifully painted shotgun houses and take in the view of Jackson Square just across the river. Stop at Congregation Coffee for a cup, or at Tout de Suite Cafe for pastries and lunch. For the ride back, visit Tavolino Pizza and Lounge and have The Ferry Companion or a slice of pizza.
Library Excursion 2: Visit three libraries along the St. Charles Streetcar Line
Children’s Resource Center Library, 913 Napoleon Avenue
Open since 1908, the Children’s Resource Center Library is our second operating Carnegie library. This Library caters to children and teens but also has adult collections and offers adult programming. This location was a part of the ALA’s volunteer event, “Librarians Build Communities,” at ALA’s 2006 Annual Conference in New Orleans.
Getting There: Take the St. Charles Streetcar to the Napoleon Avenue stop. Head down Napoleon Avenue toward the river about 6.5 blocks to arrive at the Library, between Camp and Magazine Streets.
Lagniappe: On the walk, see the historic Sophie B. Wright School built in 1912, the first public girls high school, and St. Stephen’s Catholic Church, completed in 1887. Interested in doing a little shopping or eating? Magazine Street is just a half block away.
Milton H. Latter Memorial Library, 5120 St. Charles Avenue
Milton H. Latter Memorial Library once served as a stately mansion for a noted turn-of-the century family, an elegant retreat for a silent screen star, and a festive center for weeklong parties. The original residence was built in 1907; and, in addition to the grounds, it occupies a city square. The building was dedicated as a library in 1948 by the Latter family in memory of their son. The Library features murals on the walls, frescoed ceilings, and a mahogany staircase.
Getting There: Take the St. Charles Streetcar to the stop at Dufossat. Latter Library will be across the street.
Lagniappe: Visit Creole Creamery just a few blocks away, where they serve nectar cream sodas, a traditional New Orleans treat. In the mood for something more savory? Eat at St. James Cheese Co., which is a great lunch spot, or drop by Gracious Bakery for a caffeine pick-me-up. Or take a rest from all the fun by relaxing on Latter’s lawn and watching the streetcars roll by.
Meet Our Friends: While at Latter, visit the Friends of the New Orleans Public Library, located in the carriage house. The Friends host a book sale Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 10am – 2pm at this location. All proceeds directly benefit the Library. Bring an extra bag so as to not miss out on all the amazing finds.
Nix Library, 1401 S. Carrollton Avenue
Nix Library, which opened in 1930, was built in response to the requests of Carrollton residents. This location remains a small neighborhood Library that is important to its community. Nix was the sixth Library in the system to open, and the building was made possible due to a donation from the Nix family.
Getting There: Eventually, the St. Charles Streetcar takes a turn onto Carrollton Avenue. Get off at the Willow Street stop. Nix Library is right there.
Lagniappe: Visit Camellia Grill. This diner opened in 1946 and retains its original atmosphere. Sit at the counter and enjoy favorites such as a cheeseburger, fries, chocolate freeze, and hot apple pie with ice cream. The former Canal Bank and Trust building now houses Rue de la Course, a coffee shop offering indoor and outdoor seating.
Library Excursion 3: Take one of the Canal Street Streetcars to Mid-City Library
Mid-City Library, 4140 Canal Street
Located in a mid-century modern building designed by the same architecture firm that designed the Superdome and Main Library, this neighborhood Library’s large windows offer great views of the streetcar line. This is the third home for the Mid-City location, originally opened as a temporary location in 2007. Due to popularity, it remained open after renovations to Katrina-damaged locations were completed.
Getting There: There are two streetcar lines on Canal Street. Either take the Canal – City Park / Museum line or the Canal – Cemeteries line to the Carrollton stop. Cross Carrolton and walk 1.5 blocks to the library on the left hand side of the street.
Lagniappe: For something sweet to eat, visit the historic Angelo Brocato, located a few blocks away. This Italian ice cream shop has operated in New Orleans since 1905. Try their gelato, made-to-order cannolis, and, a local favorite, lemon Italian ice. Continue on the Canal – Cemeteries line until the end to visit Greenwood Cemetery or Metairie Cemetery. These cemeteries have many examples of New Orleans’ elaborate above-ground tombs. Stay on the Canal – City Park / Museum line until the end to visit City Park, the city’s 1,300-acre outdoor park established in 1854. At the park, visit the New Orleans Museum of Art and sculpture garden, the Botanical Garden, view WPA architecture, and explore the world’s largest stand of live oaks.
Library Excursion 4: Visit one library on the Riverfront / Union Passenger Terminal Streetcar line
Main Library, 219 Loyola Avenue
The Main Library, a beautiful example of mid-century modern architecture, opened in 1958. In addition to providing a full range of library services, the Main Library is home to the Best Buy Teen Tech Center and the City Archives & Special Collections. This Library is located in the Central Business District and is in close proximity to City Hall and the Civil Court Building, which was built in the same time period as the library.
Getting There: Take a UPT – Riverfront Streetcar to the Tulane stop. When you get off the streetcar, the Library is located on the corner. This line will take you to the riverfront as well.
Lagniappe: For a rooftop view of the city, visit the Above the Grid rooftop bar in the NOPSI Hotel and enjoy an adult beverage. The hotel was built in 1927 as the headquarters of the New Orleans Public Service Inc., which operated utilities and streetcar service in New Orleans. Also stop by the historic Roosevelt Hotel. It was built in 1893, and underwent a restoration in 2009. The hotel’s beautiful lobby is the home to the historic Sazarac Bar and a coffee shop. Next door, you can enjoy a meal at Domenica, which serves elevated Italian cuisine using local ingredients.