|Above & below, the Arsenal in the 1930's-'40's|
|The current photo at the top of the page is courtesy of Wally Gobetz.
The link to this page is: http://old-new-orleans.com/NO_Arsenal.html
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|On February 25, 1836, the governor of Louisiana approved an act of the legislature entitled, "An act authorizing the governor to purchase arms," which, among other things, included: "The civil engineer shall draw a plan of an Armory to be built on a lot of ground belonging to the city of New Orleans on the site of the old prison; said building shall be at least two stories high and so constructed as to contain twenty pieces of artillery and ten thousand stands of arms; and that the sum of twenty thousand dollars be appropriated for this purpose." A resolution approving the transfer of the land from the city to the state took place in December, 1837. As a result, the arsenal still standing on St. Peter Street, directly behind the Cabildo, was constructed.
"The site selected for the arsenal was one of some importance historically, having been occupied as early as 1728 by a French guard house and prison which was destroyed by the fire of 1788. It was rebuilt by the Spanish and, again, destroyed by fire in 1793. It was, again, rebuilt in connection with the Cabildo by Don Almonaster y Roxas in 1795 and was used as a prison or "calaboose" until 1837, when it was demolished upon completion of the prison on Orleans Street, which has, also, since been demolished. From 1846 until the war between the states, the arsenal was used by the Orleans Artillery. During the war, it was used as a base for military supplies until the city was captured, at which time, it became a military prison and Federal Headquarters. It was subsequently used by the re-organized Orleans Artillery and as a state arsenal until 1914 when the building was transferred to the Louisiana State Museum."
-- From the Historic American Building Survey, 1935