Garden District in New Orleans
The Garden District is a neighborhood of the city of New Orleans. A subdistrict of the Central City/Garden District Area, its boundaries as defined by the City Planning Commission are: St. Charles Avenue to the north, 1st Street to the east, Magazine Street to the south and Toledano Street to the west. The National Historic Landmark district extends a little further.
The Garden District Association defines the boundaries as both sides of Carondelet Street, Josephine Street, both sides of Louisiana Avenue, and Magazine Street.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,970 people, 1,117 households, and 446 families residing in the neighborhood. The population density was 9,381 /mi² (3,940 /km²).
This whole area was once a number of plantations, including the Livaudais Plantation. It was sold off in parcels to mainly wealthy Americans who did not want to live in the French Quarter with the Creoles. It became a part of the city of Lafayette in 1833, and was annexed by New Orleans in 1852. The district was laid out by New Orleans architect, planner and surveyor Barthelemy Lafon.
Originally the area was developed with only a couple of houses per block, each surrounded by a large garden, giving the district its name. In the late 19th century some of these large lots were subdivided as Uptown New Orleans became more urban. This has produced a pattern for much of the neighborhood of any given block having a couple of early 19th century mansions surrounded by "gingerbread" decorated late Victorian houses. Thus the "Garden District" is now known for its architecture more than gardens per se.
A slightly larger district (one block further west to Louisiana, one block farther north to Carondelet and three blocks farther east to Josephine) was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1974.
The George Washington Cable House, at 1313 8th St., is a National Historic Landmark.
Commander's Palace is one of the city's most famous restaurants.
Other neighborhood landmarks include the historic Anshe Sfard synagogue, numerous antebellum mansions, historic Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, and "The Rink", a 19th century skating rink building that has been converted into a small shopping mall.
Hydrology and storms
The flooding potential in New Orleans has been noted since at least the 1820s. (Bernhard, 1828) Although experiencing wind damage from Hurricane Katrina in 2005, this area on old high ground escaped the extensive flooding of much of the rest of the city (see: Effect of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans). Although wind damage from Katrina was the most noticeable impact, the rate of return of residents is almost 100 percent. (National Trust, 2006) Part of the area nearest St. Charles Avenue was surveyed to be only four feet above mean sea level, compared to a Mississippi River height of 14 ft above sea level; (Hogan, 1990) nevertheless, the entire Garden District fared well with respect to Katrina flooding effects.
Government and infrastructure
The Garden District is within the 6th District of the New Orleans Police Department.
The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority provides public transportation.<ref name="About"/> The streetcar is easily accessible from St. Charles Avenue. Streetcar fare is $1.25.
The Garden District is zoned to schools in the New Orleans Public Schools. Public elementary schools in the vicinity include Mary MacLeod Bethune Elementary School, Benjamin Franklin Elementary School and Laurel Elementary School. Public high schools in the vicinity include McMain High School and McDonogh 35 High School.<ref name="About"/>
The McGehee School, a private school, is within the boundaries of the Garden District Association.<ref name="Assocdef"/> In addition the Trinity School of New Orleans is in the area.<ref name="About"/>
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- New Orleans neighborhoods
- Garden District of New Orleans, La. Map (2001)
- Starr, S. Frederick, Southern Comfort: The Garden District Of New Orleans, Princeton Architectural Press (2005)
- Hogan, C. Michael and Marc Papineau, Earth Metrics Incorporated, Phase I Environmental Site Assessment for the Pontchartrain Hotel, New Orleans, Louisiana, Report Number 10456, March 19, 1990
- Bernhard, Travels Through North America, During the Years 1825 and 1826, p 53, G. & C. Carvill, New York (1828)
- Staggs, Sam, When Blanche Met Brando: The Scandalous Story of "A Streetcar Named Desire", p 13, St Martins Press, New York, (2005)
- National Trust for Historic Preservation, An Update from the Preservation Resource Center and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, August 24, 2006