Mid City is easily one of the most walkable, charming neighborhoods in New Orleans. It is also home to two of the city’s most scenic spots: City Park and Bayou St. John. Centrally-located, this uniquely residential area offers easy access to the French Quarter or the Central Business District. Mid City has friendly residents, beautiful homes, oak-lined streets, and an iconic red Canal Street streetcar. This neighborhood is a lively, exciting place to live as well as a soon-to-be historic district!
Mid City is in the heart of Orleans Parish. The boundaries are City Park Avenue, Toulouse Street, North Carrollton Avenue, Orleans Avenue, Bayou St. John, St. Louis Street, North Broad Street, and Pontchartrain Expressway. The zip code for Mid City is 70119.
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History of the Mid City | City Park Area
In the 1890s, a pumping station at Broad and Bienville streets drained the swamp land we now know as Mid City. While the area along the River including the French Quarter was called the front of town, this newly developed land was called backatown (back of town) .
In the 1920s, major industries popped up along the canals and the St. Louis Street corridor. Some of them included The American Can Company, New Orleans Roofing and Metal Works Company, and Southern Sheet Metal Works. A few of these iconic buildings are still around, and have been redeveloped into apartment and condominiums, like The American Can Apartments.
Following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Mid City experienced a renaissance as homes were renovated or reconstructed. Small and large businesses moved into the area. In true New Orleans fashion, residents came back and rebuilt. Today the heartbeat of New Orleans is stronger than ever in Mid City.
Architecture Then and Now
Because it was developed in the early 20th century, Mid City’s classical architectural foundation is on display in a variety of housing options. Mid City’s eclectic mix can be seen in its architecture—crayon-colored shotgun houses, peaceful bungalows, and occasional mission and Tudor style homes. Oak tree-lined streets and the drowsy flicker of gas lamps make porch sitting a neighborhood pastime.
An iconic feature of Mid City’s architectural landscape are the cemeteries. The vaulted plots unique to New Orleans were built above ground out of necessity, due to the city’s location below sea level. Striking monuments, family vaults, and black wrought iron gates lend a mysterious air to Mid City. The prominent cemeteries, many of which can be toured are Odd Fellow’s Rest, Masonic Cemetery, St. Patrick Cemetery Numbers One, Two, and Three, and the Hold Cemetery.
Features of the Neighborhood
One of the area’s most stunning features is City Park. You can walk, ride a bike, or even take a train around the most expansive green space in New Orleans. City Park is a 1300 acre public park and the 87th largest in the United States. With over 30,000 trees, City Park contains the oldest grove of mature live oak trees--believed to be between 750 and 900 years old. City Park is also home to a small amusement park with a beautiful carousel, miniature golf, and a lovely walking path. It’s a perfect spot to have a weekend picnic or experience Celebration in the Oaks during the holidays.
New Orleans Museum of Art & Sculpture Garden
New Orleans Museum of Art, or “NOMA,” is New Orleans’ oldest art museum. With a permanent collection of over 40,000 art objects, NOMA is best known for its French and American art. The museum also hosts frequent events, including films, workshops, and its ever popular Friday Nights at NOMA. And on Wednesdays, Louisiana residents get in free!
Next to the museum, there is a five-acre sculpture garden that’s the perfect respite from the bustle of the city. Nestled among the serene landscape of City Park are 60 sculptures, making it one of the most important sculpture installations in the country. Along with native plants and trees, this sculpture garden also has footpaths, bridges, and spots to sit and view art, plays, or music. The $15 million expansion has enhanced the sculpture garden and brought more art to the community than ever before.
Mid City has quite a mix of shops, including one of a kind boutiques along Carrollton Avenue and Canal Street as well as the essential grocery or office supply stores. Here are a handful of them:
Restaurants & Bars
Whether you’re looking for the best poboy in the city at Parkway Bakery & Tavern or delicious pho served up by James Beard semi-finalist Michael Gulotta, Mid City is the place for you. There are too many restaurants, coffeeshops, and bars in Mid City to list, but here are some of its best-loved spots:
Only in New Orleans does the question, “Where did you to go to school?” refer to your high school, and not college. Recently, the landscape for New Orleans’ struggling public schools has changed, with an eye toward improved performance and outcomes. Schools include a range of charter, private, and parochial elementary and high schools:
There’s never a lack of things to do here. If you’re looking for a festival, chances are it’s happening in Mid City. Depending on the time of year, you’re also within walking distance of the Endymion parade or the Bayou Boogaloo Festival. The New Orleans Fairgrounds play host to one of the city’s biggest festivals--the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. The rest of the year, locals can spend a pleasant afternoon watching the the horses round the track. And once a year, believe it or not, you can cheer on your favorite dachshund at the wiener dog races!
The Regional Transit Authority (RTA) has several lines that serve Mid City. There is also a Canal Streetcar that runs through the Central Business District, Mid City, Bayou St. John, and ends at the cemeteries.
Check Out Mid City | City Park
Mid City offers a real taste of New Orleans living and is the best of all worlds. You can relax on your porch after a long day or take a stroll down to Bayou St. John or City Park. If you’re interested in buying, renting, or selling a home in Mid City, our team has a unique understanding of what makes this neighborhood special and can find you just what you’re looking for.