The Bywater is just down the river from the French Quarter and the Marigny. Approximately thirty blocks from Canal Street, the Bywater is an urban area of approximately 120 blocks with a residential and commercial mix.
The historical period of the Bywater dates from 1807 to 1935. Around 87% of all of the buildings are from this period. Like the French Quarter, most of the buildings are set directly on the street and very close together. The late Victorian shotgun or variations thereof, is the most common building type, but there are other architectural styles represented. Others include Creole cottages, camelbacks and sidehall-style houses. The Bywater is one of the best-preserved nineteenth-century neighborhoods in New Orleans. Once nicknamed, "Little Saxony," after the mid-19th century German immigrants who settled there, Bywater is a National Historic District, and also a Local Historic District administered by the Historic District Landmarks Commission.
Besides its historical element, the Bywater offers several noted restaurants, corner grocery stores, neighborhood bars, late-night cafes, artist studios and funky coffee shops. Crescent Park is a local favorite for exercise or relaxation with beautiful river vistas. It’s not unusual on a Wednesday afternoon to see a resident decked out in full-costume nonchalantly pedaling a bike down the street. The New Orleans Center of Creative Arts (NOCCA), a professional training center for secondary school-age children, lends to the neighborhood’s artistic and lively reputation.
The Bywater is part of the Ninth Ward of New Orleans, but is located along the natural levee of the Mississippi, so while it did experience minor flooding, it did not experience the devastation of the lower ninth ward.