We just moved to the Country Club Gardens neighborhood. Can you tell us the history of the development of these streets between the railroad tracks, Metairie Cemetery and the 17th Street Canal?
Lucille and Mathilde
Dear Lucille and Mathilde,
You've moved into a neighborhood that is home to three local landmarks, as well as beautiful homes, wonderful live oak trees and green spaces. The area is bounded by the Norfolk Southern Railway on the north, Palmetto Street on the south, Metairie Cemetery and New Orleans Country Club on the east and the 17th Street Canal on the west.
According to research conducted for a city recovery plan after Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures (which flooded some 75 percent of the homes near you), much of this neighborhood once was part of a large tract known as the Hazeur Plantation. By the late 1800s, portions of the plantation were sold to individual owners. Andrew Friedrichs (who has a street named for him there) developed Country Club Gardens in 1924.
A newspaper ad touted the area as "the very vortex of the wonderful development and the future center of aristocratic homes." Fairway Drive was the first of three streets to be developed, and the first houses were built in 1926. The Great Depression slowed development, but buying resumed in the 1930s. Encouraged by development along Bellaire Drive, the real estate firm of Burroughs Johnson began selling lots there in 1935. Streets were constructed connecting Fairway Drive to Bellaire Drive. These streets were named after the developer's sisters, Natalie, Ethel and Hedwige, and his wife Margarite.
The neighborhood contains two landmarks on the National Register of Historic Places: Metairie Cemetery and Longue Vue House and Gardens, which at one time was the residence of philanthropists Edith and Edgar Stern. New Orleans Country Club, incorporated in 1913, is adjacent to the neighborhood.