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The Lake-area neighborhoods offer residents the winding bayous and lagoons of City Park plus the sparkling waters of Lake Pontchartrain. Residents enjoy fishing and picnicking by the lake and strolling, jogging or biking on the abundance of walkways and bike paths in the parks. City Park is home to some of the oldest live oaks in the city, and nature lovers appreciate its Botanical Gardens and Arboretum.
Harrison Avenue, Robert E. Lee and West End Boulevards have become known for their renowned restaurants, coffee shops, supermarkets, and retail shops. Gardeners consider Lakeview one of the city’s most sought-after neighborhoods; it includes the sunken gardens along Canal Boulevard and lush walking paths that connect many neighborhood homes.
Lake-area neighborhoods lie on land reclaimed from Lake Pontchartrain in the early 20th century. Soil was dredged from the lake and a seawall constructed in a project started by the Orleans Levee Board in the 1920s and continued by the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression. Most of the buildings in this predominantly residential district were not built until after World War II.
Large scale residential development of most of the area began after World War II, with bungalows as the predominant housing style. By the late 20th century, many larger newly constructed homes had replaced older, more modest homes in much of Lakeview.
As home buyers began settling in the new neighborhoods near the lake in search of more modern architecture, they found picturesque cottages, sprawling ranch-style homes of brick and custom-built houses with backyard pools and circular driveways. These architectural styles have now been paired with many newly built homes, offering those interested in living near Lake Pontchartrain a wide selection of styles and prices.
Properties in lake-area neighborhoods often have spacious yards, private driveways and backyard pools plus they offer a good deal of security and privacy. The area is also distinguished by its proximity to Lake Pontchartrain, which runs along the entire northern expanse and gave the neighborhoods their names. The lake is enjoyed by outdoor enthusiasts along Lakeshore Drive, and is accessible to boaters and yachters from various points near the Southern Yacht Club and the refurbished point near the renovated Lighthouse landmark.
Visitors and locals alike also enjoy the beautiful, expansive New Orleans City Park, which offers a variety of recreational activities, including fishing, boating, golfing, tennis, horseback riding, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Storyland and Carousel Amusement Areas and one of the nation’s finest dog parks.
These communities are among New Orleans’ newer neighborhoods and the area includes the 18th century Old Spanish Fort, whose origins predate the official founding of the city.
After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, while some homes and businesses flooded, the majority of the lakefront escaped the flooding, by virtue of the higher elevation of this man-made land. Post-Katrina, the lakefront appeared as a slender, curiously undamaged and almost wholly recovered zone. Lakeview has been rebuilt with approximately half of the homes demolished and newer higher-end homes replacing them. This rebuilding has been accomplished with the help of the members of the strong neighborhood Lakeview Civic Improvement Association in a grass roots effort.
The area between the New Basin Canal and the Orleans Canal is the Lakeshore neighborhood, divided into Lakeshore West and Lakeshore East by Canal Boulevard. The Robert E. Lee strip mall occupies the southwest corner of Lakeshore West.
East of the Orleans Canal and the linear park along its banks is the Lake Vista neighborhood, as designed along Garden City lines. The entire subdivision is one superblock; that is, arterial streets (e.g., Robert E. Lee Boulevard, Lakeshore and Marconi Drives) pass around but not through it. All interior streets terminate in cul-de-sacs.
The circa-1939 Lake Vista neighborhood is a fine example of the Garden City movement, and is much beloved by its residents for its superblock design devoid of thru-streets and possessing separate, non-intersecting vehicular and pedestrian networks.
A separate, all-pedestrian system of circulation is composed of small lanes, all of which flow into axial, pedestrian-only parkways of varying length that, in turn, meet at the center of the development. The original vision for Lake Vista sought to support the pedestrian circulation network as the primary means of movement within the neighborhood by encouraging house designs where the house’s front faced either the lane or the parkway; elevations on the vehicular street side were secondary in importance and typically hosted garages or carports.
Lakeshore neighborhoods include:
*Vista Park, where you can buy a three-bedroom, three-bath house for between the mid-$200,000 to $369,000 and
*Mirabeau Gardens, which also had nearly half of its homes torn down, rebuilt and are now priced in line with other neighborhoods in Lakeview.
St. Pius X Catholic Church and School are here, and today join Lake Vista United Methodist Church and the historic Lake Vista commercial building at the heart of the neighborhood.
Parking is abundant, as most properties include off-street parking and condominium and apartment complexes include parking facilities of their own. Bus lines traverse the streets of Lakeview, many of which offer 24 hour service.