Built during the original development of the Esplanade Ridge Neighborhood, Degas House dates from the early 1850s. During these years, directly prior to the Civil War, the South experienced a boom in both wealth and population. New Orleans, in particular, thrived in this climate of affluence and became the fourth largest city in the United States. The city responded to the pressures of its increasing population by expanding its borders. Enterprising developers purchased plantations surrounding the city that soon became neighborhoods filled with large houses and spacious grounds. As the largely residential French Quarter filled with growing families, wealthy Creoles like the Musson Family began to occupy this newly available housing, and the Esplanade Ridge Neighborhood was born.