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This information is pre-Katrina.
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Broadmoor Neighborhood Snapshot

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

Broadmoor is a neighborhood of low and middle-income residents living in double shotgun, Spanish and mission revival homes. Along the major thoroughfares are commercial establishments.

From a lake to a residential area

In the early 1800s, the Broadmoor neighborhood was a twelve-acre lake that connected to Bayou St. John via a stream. Even today, when a heavy rainfall occurs, the area still experiences significant flooding problems. Often cars are parked on the neutral grounds, higher elevated land comparatively, in anticipation of rising water.


© GNO Community Data Center

  Houses along Milan in the Broadmoor neighborhood

Various owners held tracts of land in the early 1800s and the area was marked "Vacant Land" on an 1834 Charles Zimpel's Topographical Map of New Orleans. By 1873, there was only one landowner named Barthelemy and the remainder of the area was mapped as public land.

In the mid 1870's, the neighborhood was planned out and began to take shape. Street names above Broad Street were different from those of today and blocks were assigned numbers.

In 1885, drainage canals were built to move water out of the area and to increase the area's population. A pumping station, built in 1903, right outside of the neighborhood's boundaries, also helped with water drainage. In later years, other canals were built and a small population resided in the neighborhood. Two streetcar lines, South Claiborne Avenue and Napoleon Avenue, helped to transport residents to and from their homes. Houses were selling at about $3000 and up in 1915.

Southeast Louisiana Drainage Program SELA Overview

Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans Claiborne Canal Project: Uptown/Broadmoor Area Drainage Improvement Projects

Between 1920 and 1924, the largest percentage, 35 percent, of all construction thus far occurred, significantly contributing to the neighborhood's development. Testimony to its growth was the opening of Andrew H. Wilson School, an elementary public school, in 1922. By the 1940's, at least 50 percent of the housing units were owner occupied, making it a stable, thriving community. A variety of commercial enterprises were scattered along its boundaries. The area was composed of mainly middle class families.

During the late 1950s and the 1960s, population declined in New Orleans. Broadmoor did not escape the exodus of families from the city, although decline was not as severe as other neighborhoods. However, the work of the Broadmoor Improvement Association, founded in 1969, has helped to stabilize the neighborhood. The Association is still active and works with other associations in the Garden District to maintain a healthy neighborhood.

© GNO Community Data Center

  Children at the Broadmoor Park  

Some neighborhood landmarks

St. Matthias Church was initially built on South Johnson Street in 1910. A few years later, it moved to Broad and General Pershing Streets and added a school to its complex. Both are still in operation today. Along Broad street, across from the public library is the Broadmoor Park and playground.

Jewish influence

Chevra Thilim Synagogue was built in June 1948 at South Claiborne Avenue and Jena Street and attracted many Jewish families to the area. Its congregation was already 50 years old at the time the Claiborne Synagogue was built. Prior to that time, the congregation used a building located on the northeast corner of Lafayette and Baronne Streets.

According to Myron Katz, “The Chevra Thilim synagogue building was a powerful magnet in the early 1950's... The Jews who lived in that neighborhood were very numerous... even to the extent that over 30% of the students at the public grammar school, Wilson, were Jewish; my two sisters, my brother and I attended that school, Wilson, at that time: 1950-1963.” His sister still lives in the neighborhood in the family home, purchased by his father in 1952, and located not far from the South Claiborne Avenue building.

Shortly after the congregation relocated to the Claiborne Avenue site, the New Orleans Jewish community began the Communal Hebrew School. This school, at the time, located across the street from Wilson Elementary, educated thousands of Jewish children through its nursery school, school and after-school programs. Members of the Chevra Thilim congregation operated the school. The school has since moved out of the neighborhood and is in two sites, one on the corner of Jefferson and St. Charles Avenues, the other in Metairie.

In 1998 due to the decline of the membership at the time and the slow enlistment of new members, Chevra Thilim merged with another congregation called Tikvat Shalom, and became the Shir Chadash, meaning "A New Song," congregation. Shir Chadash's congregational synagogue is now in Metairie.

New Orleans Public Library Rosa Keller Branch


© GNO Community Data Center

  Rosa Keller Branch of NOPL  

The Rosa Keller branch was a family residence for many years before being sold to the city. One of the first homes in the area, Mrs. Ethel Aubert Hardie purchased the eight-room stucco home after its completion in 1918 at a cost of $9500. It was one of the most recognizable landmarks in the neighborhood.

After the Hardie family enlarged the property and sold it in 1924, ownership transferred once more before the home's final resident, Dr. Ida Finkelstein Fattel, sold it to the city of New Orleans for $215,000 in 1990. Due to its architectural significance, the New Orleans Historic Districts/Landmarks Commission designated the home a historic landmark under the name of Hardie-Fattel House in 1986.

New Orleans Public Library Rosa Keller Branch History

Solutions to the area's flooding problem

In 1996, after years of serious flooding in Uptown New Orleans, Congress authorized a three-phase project to improve drainage in the area. The New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board and the U.S. Corps of Engineers were assigned the task of administrators of the $140 million project, which includes construction of new pumping stations and better drainage canals throughout the city.

The Claiborne Canal Project, concentrated mainly in the Napoleon and Claiborne Avenue area, consists of the building of new underground canals. The $45 million project, 75 percent of which will come from the federal government, is projected to take four years to complete.

Claiborne Canal Project

South East Louisiana Drainage Program


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).

Interview via e-mail with Myron Katz, member of the Shir Chadash Jewish congregation.

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: October 5, 2002