A subdistrict of the French Quarter area, the Central Business District (CBD) boundaries are Iberville, Decatur and Canal Streets to the north; the Mississippi River to the east; the New Orleans Morial Convention Center, Julia and Magazine Streets, and the Pontchartrain Expressway to the south; and South Claiborne Ave, Cleveland St, and South and North Derbigny Streets to the west. It is the equivalent of what many cities call their downtown, although in New Orleans "down-town" was historically used to mean all portions of the city downriver from Canal Street (in the direction of flow of the Mississippi River).


Originally developed as the largely-residential Faubourg Ste. Marie (St. Mary Suburb) in the late 18th century, the modern CBD is today a dynamic, mixed-use neighborhood, the home of professional office in skyscrapers, specially and neighborhood retail stores, numerous restaurants and clubs, and thousands of residents inhabiting restored, historic commercial and industrial buildings.

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