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This information is pre-Katrina.
Although the information on this page is out-of-date, we are continuing to make it available, as it provides insight about this neighborhood pre-Katrina.

Post-Katrina, we will not be making any changes or updates to this page. As a result, you may find outdated information and broken links.

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West End Neighborhood Snapshot

Census 2000 Data Tables: People & Household CharacteristicsHousing & Housing Costs, Income & Poverty, Transportation, Employment, Educational Attainment, Immigration & Language, Disabilities, Neighborhood Characteristics

The historical New Basin Canal Lighthouse, Southern Yacht Club and a hand full of seafood restaurants built on pilings on the lake in West End are some of the few such structures still remaining since Hurricane Georges washed away many of the camps and restaurants along the lakefront in 1998.

Bits and pieces about the early history of West End

West End is one of the four neighborhoods that made up the original Lakeview area. This area was originally owned by an order of priests called the Capuchins. The priests sold the land to Don Almonester y Roxas during Spanish rule. Almonester’s holdings included parts of present day City Park and the Lakewood neighborhood.

Image courtesy New Orleans Public Library ( Permission for reuse required.

  A detail, showing the West End area, from the 1873 plan for the redevelopment of the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain in Orleans Parish.[City Archives. Streets Department Records]

The main artery of the Lakeview area was the New Basin Canal, built in the 1830s by Irish immigrants. The New Basin Canal contributed significantly to the character of the Lakeview area. It provided access to uptown New Orleans for the transport of many products from across the lake.

Development of West End

West End was originally called New Lake End to distinguish it from Old Lake End, which sometimes referred to Milneburg.

New Lake End served as a port for craft traveling along the New Basin Canal. Between 1835 and 1876, individuals involved in the coastwise trade and those who belonged to yachting and rowing clubs primarily frequented New Lake End.

The Mexican Gulf Ship Canal Company had begun construction of a harbor with railroad facilities when the city acquired the company’s partially built embankment at the New Basin Canal and the Seventeenth Street Canal. The 100 foot wide bank was raised to a height of eight feet. Subsequently, the New Orleans City and Lake Railroad routed trains to the embankment, which was developed to house the West End resort.


Courtesy of the Tom Morgan Collection,
Jazz Roots:
Sheet music cover for the famous jazz song.  

A hotel, a restaurant, a garden and various amusement spots were built on a large wooden platform that was constructed over the water. In 1880, New Lake End took the name West End. Sailing and rowing regattas added to the popularity of West End. Over the next 30 years, West End achieved popularity to rival the resort at Spanish Fort.

West End contributed to the early development of jazz in New Orleans. Its bandstand was a center for early jazz concerts performed by notable jazz musicians including Louis Armstrong. The famous jazz song “West End Blues” was inspired by this resort area.

In 1921, the city completed improvements that included the construction of a seawall 500 feet further out in the lake and filling in the space between the old embankment, expanding the park to thirty acres, all of which resulted in the present West End Park. The first houses were built near West End Park around the 1920s.

© Stanley Beck (

  New Basin Canal Lighthouse.

New Basin Canal Lighthouse

The subject of many paintings and photographs, the New Basin Canal Lighthouse was built to mark the entrance to the New Basin Canal. Now this light on top of a square light keeper’s house sits at the entrance to the New Basin Canal at the Coast Guard Station at West End.

Southern Yacht Club

The Southern Yacht Club is still very much a part of West End. It was established in 1880 when its clubhouse was erected in Lake Pontchartrain near the New Basin Canal.

The clubhouse was rebuilt in 1889 and again in 1947 after its use during World War II by the Navy and the Coast Guard. Major improvements were made again in the 1960s and continue to be made. The Southern Yacht Club has been involved in regional, national and international competition.

Development of West End

The New Orleans Land Company developed much of the area between the New Basin Canal and Orleans Avenue, which is the present day Lakeview neighborhood, between 1905 and the 1950s. The West End neighborhood remained mostly vacant during this time because the New Basin Canal isolated it from the rest of Lakeview. The lack of sewers and drainage in the area was also a deterrent to development. Scattered houses were built along the New Basin Canal in the 1930s.

Even today, the early settlement patterns of the area are evident as newer homes are mixed in with older homes. In 1949, the New Basin Canal was closed and filled because trucks were becoming a more popular mode of transportation for construction supplies. Sewers and drainage were introduced to the area soon afterward. Significant housing construction began in the West End neighborhood around this time.

The West End neighborhood is a fashionable area primarily made up of stylish, modern residences built in the 1960s and 1970s. West End is predominated by large single-family dwellings, many of which are luxurious two-story residences. It is considered a very stable neighborhood with the conveniences and beauty of the New Orleans lakefront.


Neighborhood Profiles Project Document prepared by the City of New Orleans Office of Policy Planning and the City Planning Commission. Published December 1980. Study available at the Williams Research Center (non-circulating collection).

Tommy Crane’s description of

the Lakeview neighborhoods

Big Chalk Educational Network’s page on the West End

New Basin Canal Lighthouse

For more information:

The Southern Yacht Club

Census 2000 Data Tables: People & Household CharacteristicsHousing & Housing Costs, Income & Poverty, Transportation, Employment, Educational Attainment, Immigration & Language, Disabilities, Neighborhood Characteristics

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Last modified: May 24, 2002