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(all data current as of 5/25/2017)
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An Overview of Life in Gentilly, New Orleans
Gentilly is a historic and culturally important part of New Orleans that is only recently starting to see increased interest as the city expands and grows, especially from the Bywater northwards. Gentilly started around the beginning of the 20th century, around the area that was formerly along Bayou Gentilly. It was originally swamp land that led to Lake Pontchartrain, but it was built up with earth to make the ground more inhabitable. One area in particular, Gentilly Terrace, is named so because the houses were built on man-made “terraces” made from drained swamp land. After World War II, there was a housing boom that expanded much of the area, and a lot of the architecture from that era can still be seen in the Milneburg neighborhood especially. While the area does not get too many visitors, it plays an important role in the city’s history and the real estate market in this area has more to offer than many people who live in or come to New Orleans oftentimes realize.
Despite much of Gentilly being on some of the highest ground in the city (four to five feet above sea level, a real anomaly for New Orleans!), much of the area was badly flooded during Hurricane Katrina when the London Avenue canal levees broke, leaving much devastation to the area in its wake. In the real estate market, much of the damage sustained during Katrina has led to significant re-development and new construction in the area. We are seeing high rates of home ownership here, with perhaps the one exception being the Milneburg neighborhood near UNO, which has many student renters occupying the homes there.
This part of town has a relatively central and convenient location that make it an attractive option when looking to buy or sell a home in Gentilly. There is especially easy access to the Lakeview (via Robert E. Lee), the French Quarter/ Marigny/ Seventh Ward via Elysian Fields and Franklin Avenue, as well as New Orleans East and Mid City via Gentilly Boulevard.
The architecture in Gentilly is really unique to the city, especially along Gentilly Boulevard and in the Gentilly Terrace area. You can find a lot of new construction (a post-Katrina phenomenon) along with many Spanish Revival Bungalows, California Craftsman Style homes (the largest collection in Louisiana), 19th Century Shotguns, Tudor Cottages, Mediterranean Revival Style Homes, and Swiss Chalet and Norwegian style homes.
Gentilly is home to three universities – UNO, SUNO and Dillard University, as well as the long time magnet school of Benjamin Franklin. The area is also famous for the Greek Festival/ Hellenic Cultural Center, the Bartholomew Golf Course (named after it’s designer, an African American golfer), great local restaurants, and the formerly popular Pontchartrain Beach Amusement Park .
Get Involved in Gentilly
There are three main neighborhood associations in Gentilly, all of which are important in advocating for and revitalizing the community: the Gentilly Civic Improvement Association, the Gentilly Terrace Neighborhood Assocition and the Pontchartrain Park Neighborhood Association
Gentilly Area Location
Different people have different ideas about the exact boundaries of Gentilly, but most definitions define them roughly as Bayou St. John, Lake Pontchartrain, France Road and the Louisville and Nashville Railroads
Gentilly Terrace Neighborhood
Gentilly Woods Neighborhood
Lake Terrace/ Lake Oaks Neighborhood
Pontchartrain Park Neighborhood
St. Anthony Neighborhood