THE ICON: Adrien de Pauger
THE LEGACY: There were a lot of things New Orleans was lacking in 1721. Chief among them: order. Even 22 years after its founding, Bienville’s gamble on the Mississippi was little more than a frontier outpost, consisting of crude cabins built willy-nilly on a mostly uncleared plot of land chosen largely because it was less swampy than that around it. Some, in fact, argued in favor of chucking it all and establishing France’s colonial capital at Biloxi. That’s when French engineer and cartographer Adrien de Pauger came to town, tasked with drawing up plans to help New Orleans become an orderly, civilized city. One could argue whether it ever became either, but Pauger’s street grid, which survives as today’s French Quarter, ended any arguments. New Orleans was here to stay.
THE ARTIST: Michael McManus, WhereYart.net
THE INSPIRATION: “If I had not taken upon myself all that one can take to surmount all the ill will … the principal seat would have remained at Biloxi.” — Adrien de Pauger