Old Metairie is part of the larger suburb of Metairie, which sits just on the edge of New Orleans. Located in the eastern portion of Metairie, Old Metairie is a bustling neighborhood that is a ten minute drive from New Orleans’ Central Business District. Its attractive homes, lush oaks and crepe myrtles, and old-fashioned street lights enable it to resist being thought of as just a suburb. Old Metairie could as easily be a cozy neighborhood situated right in the heart of New Orleans.
Old Metairie is in Jefferson Parish. Because it’s a neighborhood in Metairie, its boundaries are a little unclear. The generally accepted boundaries are from the 17th street canal and Causeway to the Interstate 10 and Airline Highway. While Metairie zip codes include 70001-70006, Old Metairie is essentially 70001 and 70005.
The interstate is the northern boundary of Old Metairie and Airline Highway is the bookend on the southern side. The main thoroughfares that intersect this neighborhood are Causeway Boulevard, Bonnabel Boulevard, and Metairie Road.
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History of Old Metairie
Old Metairie’s history dates back to the Native Americans who lived along a natural ridge in the northern part of the neighborhood. As New Orleans began to expand around, developers began filling in the surrounding swampland and many prominent families of Old Metairie moved there. To make a distinction between the old areas, names like Metairieburg and Metairie Ville were tried, but eventually Old Metairie stuck. At the turn of the century, there were fewer than 100 buildings in the area. In the 1920’s developers started building more homes there. And by the 1950’s and 60’s, Old Metairie was being marketed as an exclusive area to live in.
Architecture Then and Now
Much of Old Metairie was developed in the 1950s and it still shows in the remnants of the “ultra-modern” architecture of that time. Small stucco and glass buildings lined commercial areas, while wooden cottage houses started popping up on oak-lined streets. Within the next twenty years, larger brick homes would be built.
Today, Old Metairie is a mix of small wood or brick homes and larger newer construction. Recently, new homeowners and developers have replaced smaller 50’s bungalows with larger homes. Some of these new homes are brick, while others are fairly large cottage-style homes. Today, when you drive down the streets of Old Metairie, you’ll find old and new, big and small houses. The overall appeal remains, however, and the neighborhood holds its original charm, making it feel warm and inviting.
Features of the Neighborhood
There are grocery stores and small, local shops along Metairie Road and the surrounding streets including:
There are many coffee shops and restaurants along Metairie Road and also Causeway and Bonnabel Blvds. The types of restaurants in Old Metairie range from trendy Mexican, Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine, and family friendly pizza restaurants.
In addition to daycare and pre-school options, Old Metairie is home to many private and public elementary and high schools.