Mid-City is the heart of New Orleans, the area where locals come when they want to remember what makes this city the generous, pleasure-loving, hard-boiled town that it is. Stop by any of the neighborhood eateries here–for elegant dining in a quaint old church at Christian’s or at the numerous Formica counter favorites of the locals–and you’ll probably find a judge, or an architect, or an Uptown socialite at the table beside you. You’ll also find the residents of this solid neighborhood, which developed over the last century as a working and middle class, family-oriented area. Today the sense of old-time community is ever apparent in the wide porches with their metal gliders or hanging wooden swings constantly in motion. The architecture, like the residents, is unpretentious, solid, and pure New Orleans. Mid-City showcases the spirit of a true neighborhood as defined by that unique measure of camaraderie found only in this city: It has its own Mardi Gras parading society. The Krewe of Mid-City, founded in 1933 by a group of area businessmen, is the fifth oldest Carnival marching organization in New Orleans. In 1913 a young engineer named Albert Baldwin Wood made Mid City habitable when he developed the screw pump, a device that allowed water to be pumped from land situated below sea level. Before that, this charming neighborhood was poorly drained swampland that was easily prone to flooding and generally swarmed with mosquitoes. Turpentine works, lumberyards and other industries flourished along the New Basin Canal, dug in 1832 on the present path of Interstate 10, and along Canal Street. The whole area was known as “back o’ own” because it was “back of” the natural levees along which the city first developed. The most substantial mid-19th century developments were the cemeteries along the natural high ground at the intersection of Canal Street and present-day City Park Avenue. Mid-City today has several beautiful oak-lined avenues, including Jefferson Davis Parkway, the sec ond widest street in the city. Because the area developed largely after 1900, it offers a wonderfully coherent collection of shotgun houses. It is a multicultural area with some moderately priced homes and plenty of rentals. Commercial areas along Tulane Avenue and Canal Street make shopping convenient, while mixed-use areas along Carrollton Avenue offer services, coffee shops and restaurants. The streetcar that linked this part of Canal Street to the Central Business District from 1861 to 1964 is currently being restored and will be operating by 2004 with a spur line connecting Canal Street to nearby City Park. Its fixed rail lines will certainly prove an incentive for more residents and businesses to discover this convenient district in the heart of the city. Neighbors here feel strongly about their historic architecture. Recently, when developers suggested demolishing buildings on Canal Street for a gas station, a group of residents banded together to buy the properties and renovate them. The Mid-City Neighborhood Association organizes regular cleanups, polices blight and stays in touch with members through newsletters and an internet site.

Courtesy of the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans

Mid City

>   About the Area   <

IMPORTANT BUILDINGS

TIMELINE

1718 Bienville founds city of Nouvelle
Orleans, now the Vieux Carré
1803 Louisiana Purchase
1807 U.S Act of Congress gives city of
New Orleans title to military
commons, part of which becomes
lower Canal Street
1816 Mississippi River breaks levee and
floods much of city
1832 New Basin Canal opens
1849 (May 3) Flooding through Sauve’s
crevasse (river ridge) inundates
Mid-City and parts of French Quarter
1861 Streetcars installed on Canal Street
1899 Sewerage and Water Board
established to implement drainage
program that would make wet
parts of city, especially Mid-City,
habitable
1913 Albert Baldwin Wood invents
screw pump, vastly improving
drainage in low-lying parts of city
1937 Turning basin of New Basin Canal
filled
1938 New Basin Canal from S. Rampart
to Claiborne Avenue covered
1970s Pontchartrain Expressway
constructed atop bed of New Basin
Canal
1993 Mid-City named National Register
Historic District

Courtesy of the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans

ANNUAL EVENTS

Algiers Point

Algiers Point

It’s a short ferry ride from the foot of Canal Street in busy downtown New Orleans to Algiers Point, but the transition is dramatic. Algiers Point is New Orleans’ Brooklyn without… read more

Broadmoor

Broadmoor

An architecturally, economically and racially diverse neighborhood, Broadmoor is situated in the heart of the city. Although largely a 20th-century neighborhood, it began to be developed in the early 1880s on… read more

Bywater
The beautiful grounds of the Country Club (Photo: facebook.com/thecountryclubneworleans)

Bywater

Bywater is a neighborhood of the city of New Orleans. A subdistrict of the Bywater District Area, its boundaries as defined by the City Planning Commission are: Florida Avenue to the… read more

Carrollton

Carrollton

Perhaps it’s the tree-shaded streets and spacious houses that make Carrollton feel nostalgic, or perhaps it is the influence of Tulane and Loyola universities, whose many students, faculty and alumni make… read more

Central Business District

Central Business District

Like so many American urban centers, New Orleans’ Central Business District used to be a ghost town after work, but not anymore. Evenings now bring crowds to historic Lafayette Square for… read more

Central City

Central City

Orleanians from all across town converge on Uglesich’s in Central City for a lunchtime po-boy sandwich and some people watching. Nearby Café Reconcile draws lawyers, artists, activists and teachers, attracted by… read more

Esplanade Ridge

Esplanade Ridge

The grand address of the Creole upper class in the 19th century, Esplanade Avenue is a living gallery of 19th and early 20th century residential architecture. The oak-lined boulevard and surrounding… read more

Faubourg Marigny

Faubourg Marigny

People in Faubourg Marigny are passionate about preservation. They saw their downtown neighborhood, developed as New Orleans’ second suburb in 1806, abandoned by city officials and desecrated by “modern” zoning regulations… read more

Garden District

Garden District

The Classic Revival mansions and charming cottages of the Garden District are famous around the world, thanks to picture books and well-organized tours. What visitors rarely see, though, is the close-knit… read more

Gentilly Terrace

Gentilly Terrace

Gentilly Terrace was the second of New Orleans’ 20th-century neighborhoods to be named to the National Register of Historic Places. Developers Michael Baccich, Edward E. Lafaye and R. E. Edgar deMontluzin,… read more

Holy Cross

Holy Cross

The Inner Harbor Navigation Canal, or Industrial Canal, is a narrow boundary, but it effectively separates urban Bywater from the relatively rural and settled Holy Cross Historic District. The cottages tucked… read more

Irish Channel

Irish Channel

The Irish Channel has experienced an exciting growth spurt. The blighted houses that filled the district in the early 1990s are finding new buyers who often renovate them for their own… read more

Lakeview

Lakeview

A neighborhood of the city of New Orleans. A subdistrict of the Lakeview District Area, its boundaries as defined by the City Planning Commission are: Robert E. Lee Boulevard to the… read more

Lower Garden District

Lower Garden District

Stroll under the oaks of Coliseum Square or any of the smaller parks in the Lower Garden District and you’re likely to find locals playing with their dogs or reading on… read more

New Marigny

New Marigny

Convenient to both New Orleans’ Central Business District and the Vieux Carré, historic New Marigny, also called Faubourg St. Roch, has all the makings of a desirable downtown neighborhood. Industrialization and… read more

Parkview

Parkview

Each year the annual Endymion parade brings extended families onto the lawns of Parkview for an exuberant, weekend-long Mardi Gras picnic. A few weeks later Mardi Gras Indians from around New… read more

Seventh Ward

Seventh Ward

The Seventh Ward was considered by many to be the quintessential Creole neighborhood in New Orleans. Many educated and accomplished people of color lived here before the Civil War and throughout… read more

St. Roch

St. Roch

St. Roch is a neighborhood of the U.S. city of New Orleans. A subdistrict of the Bywater District Area, its boundaries as defined by the City Planning Commission are: Lafreniere Street,… read more

South Lakeview

South Lakeview

Entering the neighborhood of South Lakeview is like taking a trip back in time to an era when families lived in the same home for generations and those homes were built… read more

Treme

Treme

Treme retains the feel of an old Creole New Orleans neighborhood. Second line parades and jazz funerals are still common, while several neighborhood bars are gathering places for musicians. Its architectural… read more

Uptown

Uptown

To the typical Uptowner, New Orleans was Uptown,” writes author Margaret LeCorgne. The Uptown National Register Historic District, beginning upriver of the Garden District and stretching to Broadway, is a self-contained… read more

Vieux Carré

Vieux Carré

Today’s Vieux Carré, also known as the French Quarter, is home to more than 4,000 residents, many of whom walk to work in the neighborhood or in the nearby Central Business… read more

West End

West End

West End (also referred to as West Lakeview) is a neighborhood of the city of New Orleans. A subdistrict of the Lakeview District Area, its boundaries as defined by the City… read more