City Park Neighborhood Snapshot
Census 2000 Data Tables: People & Household Characteristics, Housing & Housing Costs, Income & Poverty, Transportation, Employment, Educational Attainment, Immigration & Language, Disabilities, Neighborhood Characteristics
The City Park neighborhood consists of the park itself plus the residential area immediately south of the park. The households in this area are of mixed income. With a population of approximately 5% Hispanic, this neighborhood has one of the largest Hispanic populations in Orleans Parish (Census 2000).
Snapshots of City Parks history
The ground in the City Park neighborhood was high and fertile, lying along Bayou St. John and Bayou Tchoupitoulas (Metairie). Thus, in the early 1700s, several plantations developed there. Ferdinand dHemecourt acquired the area, running along Metairie Road from Bayou St. John to St. Patrick Cemetery.
John Arrowsmith purchased the property from dHemecourt and named the area Faubourg Jackson and subdivided much of it in the 1830s into 46 lots fronting on Metairie Road. Arrowsmith sold the area shortly after it was subdivided.
The land along Bayou St. John was used for recreational purposes during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Baseball was the favorite sport of those who frequented the area.
Although the area was higher than land in the rest of the city of New Orleans, it still suffered from flooding. The construction of pumping stations in the latter part of the nineteenth century facilitated development. The Canal and Esplanade Belt Line, the Dumaine Electric Line and the Spanish Fort and Canal Street Car Lines provided transportation to the area.
Bordering the area on the north is City Park, the citys largest park. The park is the highlight of this neighborhood. The original City Park, since enlarged by several acquisitions, was the sugar plantation of Louis and Robert Allard. The Consolidated Association of Planters of Louisiana foreclosed the mortgage on the Allard Plantation in 1845. Shortly thereafter, it was purchased by John McDonogh, who willed the land to the cities of New Orleans and Baltimore (where he was born) in 1850. Baltimores share was acquired by New Orleans in 1854 after it defaulted on taxes on the land.
In 1872, the first substantial effort was made to improve the land as a park. Bogart and Culter, designers of New Yorks Central Park, drew up plans for City Park. Many years passed before implementation of the design. In 1891, Victor Anseman sparked renewed interest in the park and organized the City Park Improvement Association. Finally, the swampy land was drained, the underbrush cleared, and the muddy stagnant bayous were transformed into winding lagoons arched by artistic bridges.
The park was expanded through separate purchases from the 1890s through 1927 when the park extended to the lake. Presently the park is 1,500 acres. The Delgado Museum of Art, now called New Orleans Museum of Art, built in 1911, was fashioned after a Greek temple and terminates the entrance drive to City Park from Esplanade Avenue. Nearly every tree found in Louisiana is represented in City Park. Of special interest is the Dueling Oaks (giant live oaks) found in the park. City Park is one of the most beautiful and well-maintained attractions in New Orleans.
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Last modified: October 8, 2002