Storyville was the legalized prostitution district of New Orleans, Louisiana from 1897 through 1917.
Locals usually simply referred to the area as The District. The nickname Storyville was in reference to city alderman Sidney Story, who wrote the legislation setting up the district. Most of this former district is now occupied by the Iberville Housing Projects, two blocks inland from the French Quarter.
New Orleans has long been a major international port, and as in many such cities, prostitution flourished there. The District was set up to limit prostitution to one area of town where it could be monitored and regulated by authorities. In the late 1890s, the New Orleans city government studied the legalized red light districts of northern German and Dutch ports and set up Storyville based on such models.
Establishments in Storyville ranged from cheap "cribs," rooms furnished with little more than a mattress where low-priced prostitutes turned tricks, through more expensive houses up to a row of elegant mansions along Basin Street for well-heeled customers.