History of the Vieux Carré Commission
New Orleans was the first city to pass an ordinance creating a historic district. An amendment to the Louisiana Constitution of 1921 (Article XIV, Section 22A) laid the groundwork the for creation of the Vieux Carré Commission. This amendment specifically addressed the preservation of the "quaint" traditional architecture in New Orleans' Vieux Carré, the so-called French Quarter, and enabled the creation of a municipal body to safeguard the structures bounded by Iberville Street, Esplanade Avenue, North Rampart Street and the Mississippi River.
In 1925 the Commission Council of New Orleans, responding to pressure from the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects, established the first Vieux Carré Commission. This first commission faltered, however, because the agency was merely advisory in function. The successful 1936 legislation derived from the efforts of a small group of determined activists during this period who insured the continuing preservation of the only intact Spanish and French Colonial settlement remaining in this country.
Act 139 of 1936 amended the Constitution of the State of Louisiana to authorize the New Orleans City Council to create the Commission and to define its composition, purpose, and area of jurisdiction. The authority of the Commission is further described in Articles I, II, III, IV & V in Chapter 166 of the 1995 Code of the City of New Orleans.