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Not exactly the sales pitch you would hear today from the city's tourism gurus. But, for a year period at the turn of the 20th century, prostitution was legal inside the red-light district of Storyville. The man behind the idea was Alderman Sidney Story, hence the name of the district.
It was also called "the Tenderloin" like similar red-light districts around the country and simply "the District.
Louis Street to Iberville Street. Like today, New Orleans was a tourist destination. So, shrewd businessmen added "pay for sex" to the list of things to do for visitors.
Arceneaux wrote the book on the blue books called Guidebooks to Sin. She says city officials were trying to turn New Orleans into a winter destination. Adding Storyville as an attraction would appeal to northern men who were escaping cold winters and looking for a way to warm up.
World War I was another contributing factor to the demise of Storyville. Arceneaux says the military ordered all red-light districts within five miles of a military installation to close down because too many recruits were testing positive for venereal diseases. Legal prostitution ended in Storyville in November, But, some of what city planners learned during its lifetime lives on today. And, the idea of this city ordinance creating a legal red-light district--it sort of underscored the fact that everything goes here.