Mr. Pergament (defendant) owned a gas station in the historical Vieux Carre section of New Orleans. Pergament displayed a large advertising sign outside his business. This sign violated a local ordinance. The City of New Orleans (plaintiff) prosecuted Pergament for violating the ordinance. Pergament argued that the ordinance was arbitrary, unreasonable, and oppressive. Pergament further claimed that the only purpose of the ordinance was to preserve the architectural and historical value of the buildings in that section of the city. Because Pergament’s business was a modern structure with no architectural or historical value, he claimed it was not subject to the ordinance. The lower court sided with Pergament and dismissed the prosecution. The City of New Orleans appealed.