Dear Julia,
I was in attendance at a UNO basketball game in the old “Chamber of Horrors” recently. The atmosphere was exciting as the modest-sized crowd produced a loud roar for the hometown Privateers. My question has to do with the urge for pizza after the game. What was the name of the nearby pizzeria that served the LSUNO and then UNO community back in the day? I remember the Radiators used to play there regularly. Our appetite for pizza wasn’t satisfied until after a drive from the campus to the establishment with live New Orleans music.
Sonny Catelini
New Orleans

The place you’re trying to recall was Luigi’s, which was located at 6319 Elysian Fields.
Looking at an old menu, it’s easy to see the key to Luigi’s popularity with the college crowd. Food was plentiful and cheap: A large cheese pizza started at $2.80; $4.70 bought a large pie topped with pepperoni, mushrooms, Italian salami, meatballs, green peppers and onions. Salads, sandwiches, pasta dinners and hamburgers were similarly priced and could be washed down with the diner’s choice of soft drinks or beer. Between November and March, hot chocolate was a seasonal addition to the menu.

Dear Julia,
With all the discussion about the Upper and Lower 9th Wards being flooded after Hurricane Katrina, I started wondering about wards. What’s the purpose or significance of a ward – for voting? (Probably not, as there are only 17 wards, according to a map I found.) How does the ward operate
in conjunction with the municipal district, or any other
Julia, please give me a history of wards in New Orleans.
Barb Flaherty

The Bureau of Governmental Research once published a booklet with the riveting title Wards of New Orleans, which covers the topic in great depth.
The city’s first charter, granted in 1805, called for an aldermanic form of government with a mayor overseeing a total of 14 elected aldermen, two from each of the city’s original seven wards. By 1812, another ward had been added, bringing the total to eight. Boundaries have changed significantly since then, but that was how the system started.
In 1836, ward matters got far more confusing when the city was divided into three municipalities, each of which had its own wards that served as the basis for electing aldermen. Under the new system, population dictated the number of aldermen to be elected to represent each ward before their respective municipal council.
In 1852, the city government was reconsolidated. The new, unified government had nine wards. Later, as the city expanded outward and annexed Uptown areas that once lay in Jefferson Parish, more wards were added. At present, the city of New Orleans has 17 wards.

Dear Julia,
All the former archbishops of Greater New Orleans (besides the most recent, Archbishop Schulte), have been honored with high schools named after them, except for Archbishop Cody, who led the city’s Catholic congregation for a few years in the 1960s. I remember he helped establish many new church parishes and presided over the difficult years of integration. He was implicated in a financial scandal, but no proof of his wrongdoing ever surfaced. He claimed he was innocent and later went on to be a successful cardinal in Chicago.
What happened to Archbishop Cody High School?
Yvette Goins
New Orleans

It would be more accurate to say that, among former archbishops of New Orleans who served in the 20th century, only two – Cody and Schulte – have not had schools named in their honor.
Although New Orleans became an archdiocese in 1850, none of the archbishops who served exclusively in the 1800s has a local school named for him. Therefore, the list of archbishops of New Orleans for whom local schools were not named is considerably longer. The archbishops of New Orleans who have had schools named after them are: Placide Louis Chapelle (1897-1905), James Hubert Blenk, S.M. (1906-1917), John William Shaw (1918-1934), Joseph Francis Rummel (1935-1964) and Philip Matthew Hannan (1965-1989).
John Patrick Cody served as archbishop of New Orleans for less than one year before being appointed archbishop of Chicago. Controversy dogged the man who would become John Cardinal Cody. In Chicago, he closed a number of inner-city schools, forced many older priests to retire and, near the end of his life, was embroiled in a major financial scandal. Although the cardinal proclaimed his innocence, the matter was still under legal investigation at the time of his death in April 1982.

Dear Julia,
With all the post-Katrina rumblings about razing and redevelopment, I remember my aunt telling me that the French Quarter once came close to being made into a housing project. Is this true?
Cassandra Wainwright
new orleans

Yes, it’s true. I’ve seen the original architectural plan.
The Historic New Orleans Collection has among its holdings an architectural plan for a proposed housing project that, had it been built, would have radically changed the character and landscape of the French Quarter as we know it today. Drawn by architect Frederick D. Parham, the May 1938 plan has little visual detail, but it does clearly delineate the area slated for redevelopment as a housing project: the neighborhood bounded by North Rampart, Bourbon, Toulouse and Dumaine streets. It is both interesting and disturbing to note that the plan was proposed after a 1936 state constitutional amendment and a 1937 New Orleans city ordinance sought to more clearly define the Vieux Carré Commission’s duties, powers and jurisdiction.

Dear Julia,
While looking through some old family records, I found a death certificate for someone who would have been a great-uncle but who died as an infant. The paper said the baby died of “cholera infantum,” yet I don’t think the city had a cholera epidemic at that time (1908). Have you ever heard of cholera infantum? Can you possibly tell me what it is or was? Is it the same thing as the cholera that shows up in epidemics?
Prospere Judice
new orleans

No, it’s not the same thing as Asiatic cholera, which one associates with epidemics and feces-tainted water. Cholera infantum is a different disease. It is not cholera, but it has similar symptoms. It refers to a severe, non-contagious and often fatal diarrhea in children, generally occurring in summer. In the days before widespread pasteurization and modern refrigeration, the ailment was prevalent and was often blamed on spoiled milk.