Lakeview - named for its close proximity to Lake Pontchartrain - is a moderately affluent neighborhood filled with frame cottages and brink ranch-style homes. This section of the city is marked as being bound by Lakeshore Drive, Orleans Avenue, City Park Avenue, and the Jefferson Parish line. Within this area are four separate neighborhoods: Lakeview, Lakewood, West End, and Navarre.
This area was originally owned by the Capuchins, an order of priests. These priests sold the land to Don Almonester y Roxas during the Spanish rule of New Orleans. Don Almonester y Roxas is known for rebuilding the St. Louis Cathedral using his personal funds. His daughter was the Baroness Pontalba, who built the famous Pontalba Apartment that flanks Jackson Square. Almonester’s properties also included parts of present-day City Park, as well as the Lakewood neighborhood.
After the Almonesters, Alexander Milne acquired most of Lakeview and the lakefront and during this time the New Basin Canal was build by Irish immigrants. It was the main artery from Lake Pontchartrain to other parts of the city – both downtown and uptown. Not only did this canal add to the character of the neighborhood, but also it provided needed transport of many items across the lake. The neighborhood’s canal served as a boundary between east and west sections of Lakeview.
The Lakeview neighborhood was one of the first residential areas to develop around the beauty and leisure that surrounded the lakefront scenery. Modern development of Lakeview began with a resort now called West End – originally called New Lake End. This was area was frequented and developed by citizens involved in coastal trade, yachters, and boaters between 1835-1876.
In 2005, this area was one of the hardest hit by the flood caused from Hurricane Katrina. Residents and businesses continue to rebuild the area and restore it to a great mix of residential, recreational and commercial use. The Lakeview Civic Improvement Association is responsible for a great deal of post-Katrina recovery, and continues ongoing efforts in Lakeview’s complete restoration.
In addition to the homey neighborhoods and local charm, a beautiful recreational area is along Lakeshore Drive. On a beautiful weekend afternoon, couples sunning on blankets and family barbeques dot the landscape near Lake Pontchartrain.
Lakeview’s biggest and most treasured attraction is the beautiful City Park. City Park is one of the oldest urban parks in the country, and it holds everything from bike paths and fishing lagoons, to an amusement park and festival grounds. Many families bring their kids to City Park for special events or just a day of outdoor fun!