When people think of New Orleans living, they imagine Uptown. This neighborhood captures the essence of the city in its big, beautiful homes and deep-rooted history. Also, it’s centrally located. Some of New Orleans’ most iconic places are within walking distance if you live here, including Audubon Park and Zoo, Magazine Street, and the St. Charles mansions. You can be downtown or in Mid City in minutes. Just hop on the St. Charles streetcar and head downtown or on the Carrollton streetcar to be in City Park. Uptown New Orleans is an ideal neighborhood for families , professionals, and college students thanks to its proximity to the universities and everything else the city has to offer.
Uptown was generally considered a direction or a part of town. In the 19th Century, it was also the separation of uptown versus downtown, with Canal Street as the dividing line. Today, the boundaries for Uptown vary but the generally accepted standard is LaSalle Street to the north, Napoleon Avenue to the east, Magazine Street to the south and Jefferson Avenue to the west. Major streets include St. Charles Avenue, Jefferson Avenue, Prytania Street, and Magazine Street. The zip code is 70115.
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History of Uptown New Orleans
Both the Spanish and French claimed the land around the Uptown area. In the 1800’s, several plantations were built here, starting with a large one by Valentin Robert Avart. Louis Bouligny eventually acquired it and working with engineer, Charles Zimpel, developed the area into a neighborhood. Surveyor Pierre-Benjamin Buisson would go on to organize and name the streets in this new neighborhood, many after important battles fought by Napoleon. At the time, the neighborhoods were named East and West Bouligny, split by Napoleon Avenue.
The area was growing and a railroad began to operate in the area. This caused planters to recognize that it was also becoming more of a city, and they sought to capitalize on that. They did this by dividing the area into smaller “cities” like The City of Lafayette, the City of Carrollton, and Jefferson City. For a time, these were part of Jefferson Parish until they were later annexed by the city of New Orleans. This would eventually be called Uptown.
Later, in the 19th century, immigrants settled in these neighborhoods, especially from Italy, Ireland, and Germany. From this time on, in addition to immigrants who came to the Uptown area, there would also be a large African-American population there.
Architecture Then and Now
The architecture of the Uptown neighborhood is as New Orleans as it gets and has not changed for some time--centuries really. Lining the streets, you’ll find the same stately, classic revival mansions painted in delicious pastel colors, lots of tall white columns, and intricate wrought-iron gates, just as you might’ve seen in the late 1800s. There are also Victorian-style homes, cottages, and many multi-family homes, also called “doubles,” in the Uptown neighborhood. Shotgun houses and double-gallery houses (two-story houses with a gallery supported by columns) can also be found here. If the houses weren’t beautiful enough on their own, the streets are some of the prettiest in the city. Accessorizing the homes are classical old street lamps and majestic oak trees, their green, leafy branches so long, they meet in the middle of the street.
Features of the Neighborhood
New Orleans Public Library
There are several branches of the New Orleans Public Library but the one located Uptown is the Latter Memorial branch on St. Charles Avenue is certainly one of the most striking. This 1907 neo-Italianate mansion offers a wide selection of books to the community as well as readings, events, and regular Friends of New Orleans Public Library book sales.
The Prytania Theatre is one of the last remaining independent theaters in New Orleans. It’s over 100 years old and shows newly released films and classics like It’s a Wonderful Life or The Rocky Horror Picture show. This theatre harks back to times past when movie-going was a more intimate experience.
Jewish Community Center
The New Orleans Jewish Community Center serves the Uptown and surrounding neighborhoods. It offers state-of-the-art fitness facilities, a swimming pool, and daycare services. In addition, the JCC has workshops and lectures on topics of interest to the community. This center is built on Jewish values but notes that everyone is welcome there.
ShopsIf you like to shop, stroll on over to Magazine Street. A lovely street in its own right, Magazine is lined with boutique shops as well as some of the city’s interesting restaurants and bars if you need to take a little refreshment break. Here are some of the stores you’ll find on Magazine Street and elsewhere Uptown:
The restaurants in the Uptown neighborhood range from fine dining to little-known joints. But like all places in New Orleans, the food is exceptional. These Uptown restaurants and cafes trend toward a smaller, cozier vibe and are ideal for spending time with friends and family. Here are some of them:
The Uptown neighborhood is mostly residential, and while there aren’t an abundance of schools here, there are many that are nearby. Here are the Uptown schools:
Explore Uptown New Orleans
Uptown is a great place to spend the day walking around. Whether you meander along the streets and look at the architecture, do a little shopping on Magazine Street, or wander along lively St. Charles Avenue, there’s no shortage of sights. You can checkout a few books from the New Orleans Public Library or go see a movie at the Prytania Theatre. In the evening, you can have a slice of pizza at Pizza Domenica and then catch a band at Le Bon Temps Roule. This neighborhood’s leisurely pace easily matches its classic New Orleans style.
Uptown is a neighborhood people aspire to live in because it’s so very representative of real New Orleans living. Beautiful architecture, rich history, and a deep sense of community all connect with a certain elegance unique to Uptown. If you’re interested in buying, renting, or selling a home in the Uptown neighborhood, call us today. Our team has a unique understanding of what makes it special, and we are ready to help you find just what you’re looking for.