Read Blvd East Neighborhood Snapshot
Census 2000 Data Tables: People & Household Characteristics, Housing & Housing Costs, Income & Poverty, Transportation, Employment, Educational Attainment, Immigration & Language, Disabilities, Neighborhood Characteristics
Read Boulevard East contains several high-income subdivisions (Claritas 1999). Lake Forest Estates II, for example, contains a 36-acre lake with very expensive houses situated around it, with a minimum of one-half acre lots.
Snapshots of Read Boulevard Easts history
At the turn of the century, all of the land from Peoples Canal to the Michoud Line (just east of Paris Road) was owned by Harry and Alfred Thompson. In 1906, the land was sold to Edward L. Dwyer of New York, known as the Millionaire Marine. After Dwyers ownership, a variety of land development companies attempted to develop portions of the tract. These companies failed largely due to the hurricane in 1915 and the freeze in 1917.
In 1934, Samuel Zemurray bought the land at a sheriffs sale. According to Tommy Crane, Inc. (a real estate agency specializing in the area), Samuel Zemurray, had masterminded the overthrow of the Honduran government in 1905 to establish a government favorable to his business, the United Fruit Company (now known as Chiquita Brands International), and had forcibly established himself as United Fruit's President in 1933. In 1954, Zemurray sold the land to Joe W. Brown, a Las Vegas casino operator. After Browns death, his wife donated sixty acres to the city for Joe Brown Memorial Park and sold 5,000 acres to the LaKratt Corporation, who developed most of the area. Both Zemurray and Brown later became major philanthropists in New Orleans.
Joe Brown Park is a major feature of this area with a large lagoon system and recreation center. Next to this park is the Louisiana Nature Center, part of the Audubon Institute. The Nature Center, occupies 86 acres of hardwood bottomland forest, and has three miles of hiking trails and a planetarium. Occasional overnight programs, hikes and discovery activities are run for children at the center.
Adjacent to these green spaces is the East New Orleans Regional Library. This 13,360 square foot building contains over 60,000 volumes of books, audio cassettes, video cassettes, and compact discs. To serve the large Vietnamese community in New Orleans East, the branch contains a large collection of Vietnamese print and non-print materials.
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Last modified: October 5, 2002