Take me to the river, dip me in the water.
The Lakeshore area of New Orleans is divided into 4 very distinct neighborhoods. These New Orleans neighborhoods are called: Lakeshore, Lake Vista, Lake Terrace, and Lake Oaks.
Lakeshore and Lake Vista are subdistricts of the Lakeview neighborhood. They are a “rags to riches” story. Once swampland, the land was filled in and had strict restrictions when it was being erected to assure high-quality homes. Lake Vista was developed around 1939 and was designed as to not have any of the main thoroughfares cut through the neighborhood. All streets in Lake Vista end in cul-de-sacs. They envisioned a town center in the middle of the neighborhood with a public school, shops, and apartments. When the city never built the school, St. Pius X Catholic Church and School were instead put in its place. Lake Vista United Methodist Church and the historic Lake Vista commercial building rounded out the center of the neighborhood.
Lakeshore and Lake Vista are filled with mid-century modern homes and ample sized lots. Some have been torn down to make way for more contemporary homes too.
Lake Terrace and Lake Oaks are the other half of the Lakeshore area – found closer to Gentilly. These two New Orleans neighborhoods were once the original Milneburg neighborhoods. This section of New Orleans is where the Smokey Mary train would bring passengers to enjoy jazz halls, honky-tonks, and bandstands.
In the 1920s and 1930s, the Orleans Levee Board decided to reclaim land back from Lake Pontchartrain. In doing so, they demolished fishing camps that were on the lake and begin reinforcing the shoreline. By the time the 1930s ended, the Milneburg resort was completely gone except for the lighthouse that still stands today. This lighthouse is no longer in Lake Pontchartrain and can be seen near the University of New Orleans.
The land that was taken from Lake Pontchartrain then became Higgins Shipbuilding – which built boats that were used in WWII. Sharing this space was also Camp Leroy Johnson and a Naval Air Base. The base eventually moved and the land is now what UNO calls home.
In 1953, Lake Terrace was opened. It included 93 acres of park space and large lots. Housing styles found there include mid-century moderns and Georgians.
Lake Oaks was opened in 1964 and many homes are considered current day traditional and sit on smaller lots than the other three neighborhoods. While there is a public park called Lake Oaks, the neighborhood also offers private, interior parks for its residents too.
Lagniappe: After WWII, a section of the Lakefront was used to create the Pontchartrain Beach Amusement Park. It included the large wooden roller coaster called the Zephyr. The amusement park closed in 1984.
Lakeshore Area Essentials
Police station - 3rd District
Fire Station - Squirt 13
987 Robert E. Lee Blvd.
Fire Station - Engine 12
Robert Fresh Market
135 Robert E. Lee
MHM Urgent Care
111C Robert E Lee
Ochsner Health Center Lakeview
101 W. Robert E. Lee
Lake Vista Pediatrics
6517 spanish Fort Blvd.
Lake Vista Neighborhood Association
Lakeshore Neighborhood Association
East Lake Terrace Neighborhood Association
Lake Oak Neighborhood Association
Wesley Barrow Stadium
Neighborhood Picks in Lakeshore Area
8000 Lakeshore Dr.
Felix's Restaurant & Oyster Bar
7400 Lakeshore Dr.
8536 Pontchartrain Blvd.
UNO Aquatic Center & Gym
6801 Franklin Blvd.
Mes Amis Quilt Shop
6505 spanish Fort Blvd.
Chateau Coffee Cafe
139 Robert E. Lee
New Canal Lighthouse
8001 Lakeshore Dr.
Mardi Gras Fountain