This house at 5379 Pratt Dr. in Lakeview says “bring your friends over, and I’ll welcome them with open arms.”
The house has plenty of curb appeal with a large oak tree in front, a landscaped yard and a protected porch with sparkly white columns and a picture window. There’s off-street parking for a large amount of cars plus Pratt Drive is a nice quiet area with lots of street parking. The front door opens into a huge great room with a ceiling fan painted in a neutral color – your furniture would fit right in here.
“This large home has been refurbished,” said the listing agent, Gwendy Gardner, with Gardner Realtors in the Eastern New Orleans office. “The open living space leads you into a fantastic kitchen with granite counter tops and beautiful wood cabinets.”
The all-new kitchen also has a ceiling fan and light fixture plus all-stainless steel appliances – side-by-side refrigerator/freezer, built-in microwave, range and dishwasher. The adjacent breakfast room benefits from a pass through counter top and hanging lights. This kitchen, breakfast room and great room area is huge – there’s plenty of room for plenty of guests. Wood and ceramic floors were used throughout the house.
The home has four bedrooms and three full- and one half-baths. “There’s a huge master suite that is perfect for your own little retreat,” said Gardner. “It has two large clothes closets and a great master bath room – plus there’s another master bedroom which would be great for a long-term guest.”
Long ago the Lakeview area, where the Pratt Drive house is located, was owned by Capuchin priests who later sold it to Don Almonester y Roxas. Roxas was an early real estate developer who paid to rebuild the St. Louis Cathedral and Cabildo after they were destroyed by fire. His daughter Michaela built the Pontalba Buildings in Jackson Square during the 1850s.
In the early days of the city’s development, there was a vacation spot on West End, to which the train “Smoky Mary” would take New Orleanians during the summer months. However, the land between New Orleans and the resort was mostly uninhabited swamps. In the early 1900s, the land was drained and the Lakeview area started to be developed as a neighborhood, although it stayed fairly rural for some time. The old shoreline used to about where Robert E. Lee Boulevard is today.
The New Basin Canal, which ran down the middle of West End Boulevard, brought goods from Lake Pontchartrain to the Central Business District in downtown New Orleans. It was built in the 1830s mainly by Irish immigrants who died in droves since they were digging in a mosquito-infested swamp. A Celtic Cross Memorial to the over-10,000 who died is located on the huge West End Boulevard. Due to the rise of railroads and the disuse of the canal, it was filled in the late 1930’s.
The neighborhoods around the lake got more than their share of water in the flooding after Hurricane Katrina. But Lakeview is looking much better these days. Neighbors and neighborhood organizations have worked diligently to fix the neighborhood physically and revive the Lakeview neighborhood spirit. Many homeowners have added to their property by taking advantage of the Lot Next Door program which allows for the purchase of some now-empty lots that dot the area.
Lakeview neighborhoods have a suburban feel, some have elaborate homes, and some have eclectic historic New Orleans architecture. There are many old homes with semi-basements and many blocks have a mix of old and new. There are also many large doubles available next to single family homes in some areas. One striking feature is the brightly colored tiled roofs on some houses including orange, purple and cobalt blue.
Lakeview residents are bullish on New Orleans and were determined to get their neighborhood back after the Katrina destruction. They are among the biggest boosters of New Orleans and Lakeview is one of the most family-oriented neighborhoods in the city.
Angela Carll may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 504-947-6575
About this house
Address: 5379 Pratt Dr.
Living area: 3,800 square feet
Baths: Three full/one half
Extras: Master suite plus master bedroom