Metairie Central Business District along Causeway Blvd
|• Total||60 km2 (23.3 sq mi)|
|• Land||60 km2 (23.2 sq mi)|
|• Water||0.1 km2 (0.04 sq mi)|
|Elevation||0.9 m (3 ft)|
|• Density||2,300/km2 (5,900/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (CST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
70001-6, 70009-11, 70033
|GNIS feature ID||555301|
Metairie (// MET-ər-ee; French: Métairie [metɛʁi]) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, United States, and is part of the New Orleans metropolitan area. With a population at the 2010 census of 138,481, Metairie is the largest community in Jefferson Parish and the fifth-largest CDP in the United States. It is an unincorporated area that would be Louisiana's fourth-largest city if it were incorporated. The zip codes that serve the community are 70001–70006.
Métairie is the French term for a small tenant farm which paid the landlord with a share of the produce, also known as sharecropping. In the 1760s, many of the original French farmers were tenants; after the Civil War, the majority of the community's inhabitants were sharecroppers until urbanization started in the 1910s.
In the 1720s French settlers became the first Europeans to settle Metairie in the area known then as Tchoupitoulas and now as Metairie Ridge, a natural levee formed by an ancient branch of the Mississippi River which flowed through modern-day River Ridge, Metairie, Gentilly, and New Orleans East. It emptied into Mississippi Sound. The Acolapissa Native Americans used this ridge as a road, and it is the oldest road in the New Orleans area. Paved in the 1920s, it is called Metairie Road. An electric streetcar was installed running along Metairie Road in the late 1910s, opening the area to greater development. Upscale housing tracts were constructed off the road in the 1920s; this area is now known as "Old Metairie". It is today the most prestigious area of Metairie. The areas to the north and northwest of Metairie Road were not developed until after World War II. The land between Metairie Ridge and Lake Pontchartrain, which was cypress swamps and marshlands, was drained with the Wood Pump. With development of this new land for residences, Metairie's population grew in the 1940s as a result of cheaper land, lower taxes, and larger lots than in Orleans Parish.
The 1947 Fort Lauderdale hurricane, with winds of 125 mph (201 km/h), directly hit Metairie. Much of the community was under 6 feet (1.8 m) of water.
Hurricane Betsy, a Category Three storm, hit the area in 1965, causing extensive wind damage and moderate flooding. In 1965 the May 8th 1995 Louisiana flood, which dumped upwards of 20 inches (510 mm) of rain into Metairie in a twelve-hour period, also flooded some parts of the region, especially areas south and west of Metairie, including Kenner, Harahan, and River Ridge.
In 1990, Metairie made history when one of its districts elected white supremacist David Duke to the Louisiana state legislature for a single term. On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina caused a new migration from Orleans Parish, because housing was needed to replace what had been destroyed in the flooding of the city. It has been a racially neutral migration, with equal numbers of black and white residents moving to Jefferson Parish. The 2010 Census showed that Metairie has increasingly become more diverse.
Veterans Boulevard was laid out alongside a drainage canal, and became a commercial center of the region. The central business district of Metairie is located on Causeway Boulevard near Lake Pontchartrain. Metairie also has one of the handful of major malls located in the New Orleans metro area. Lakeside Shopping Center is the highest-grossing mall in the New Orleans metropolitan area. In the 1970s and early 1980s, an area of bars and nightclubs opened in a section of Metairie known as "Fat City", which is now the most racially diverse area in the New Orleans metropolitan area and is home to a vibrant restaurant scene. Several New Orleans radio and television stations have transmitter facilities in Metairie and Jefferson Parish; two of them, WGNO-TV and WNOL, now have studios and main offices in Metairie. Metairie has a large Mardi Gras season that touts itself as more family-friendly than the New Orleans Mardi Gras.
Metairie is located in eastern Jefferson Parish and is bordered by New Orleans to the east, Kenner to the west, Lake Pontchartrain to the north, and the Illinois Central Railroad tracks to the south. South of the railroad are River Ridge, Harahan, Elmwood, and Jefferson. The 17th Street Canal forms the border between Metairie and New Orleans to the east. It is a principal community in Greater New Orleans. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Metairie CDP has a total area of 23.2 square miles (60.2 km2), of which 23.2 square miles (60.1 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.18%, is water.
The climate of Metairie has been classified as humid subtropical. Like the city of New Orleans, it has short, generally mild winters and hot, humid summers. The average precipitation is 62.5 inches (1,590 mm) annually; the summer months are the wettest, while October is the driest month. Precipitation in winter usually accompanies the passing of a cold front. On average, there are 77 days of 90 °F (32 °C)+ highs, 8.1 days per winter where the high does not exceed 50 °F (10 °C), and 8.0 nights with freezing lows annually. It is rare for the temperature to reach 20 or 100 °F (−7 or 38 °C), with the last occurrence of each being February 5, 1996 and June 26, 2016, respectively.
|Climate data for Metairie, Louisiana|
|Record high °F (°C)||82
|Average high °F (°C)||63
|Average low °F (°C)||45
|Record low °F (°C)||16
As of the 2010 census, there were 138,481 people living in Metairie. The racial makeup of Metairie is: 68.9% White, 15.6% Hispanic or Latino of any race, 9.5% African American. 3.8% Asian, 3.7% from other races, 2.1% from two or more races, 0.3% Native American, and 0.1% Pacific Islander.
As of the 2000 Census, there were 39,073 families residing in Metairie. The population density was 6,296.7 people per square mile (2,431.0/km²). There were 67,225 housing units, at an average density of 2,896.6 per square mile (1,118.3/km²). There were 63,741 households out of which 25.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.1% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.7% were non-families. 32.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.93. In Metairie the population is spread out with 20.6% under the age of 18, 8.4% from 18 to 24, 29.6% from 25 to 44, 24.9% from 45 to 64, and 16.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.1 males. The median income for a household in Metairie is $41,265, and the median income for a family was $52,555. Males had a median income of $37,371 versus $27,057 for females. The per capita income for Metairie is $24,771. About 6.2% of families and 8.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.2% of those under age 18 and 7.2% of those age 65 or over.
In Metairie, 54.1% of residents identify with some religion. Due to Spanish and French colonial influence, Metairie and the surrounding area have an overwhelming Catholic populace. 34.6% identify with the Catholic Church, served by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans. 5.9% are Baptist, 3.1% Pentecostal, 1.4% Methodist, 0.6% Lutheran, 0.6% Latter-Day Saints, 0.5% Anglican, and 0.5% from another Christian group including the Metropolitan Community Church among others.
0.7% are Muslims and 0.4% identify with an eastern religion such as Hinduism, Buddhism, or Sikhism. 0.6% of the community claim affiliation with Judaism. Metairie is home to Congregation Gates of Prayer, a Reform synagogue, and beside it is Congregation Beth Israel, the oldest Orthodox congregation in the New Orleans metro area. Beth Israel constructed its new building in Metairie in 2012, several years after its building in Lakeview, New Orleans was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.
Arts and culture
Jefferson Parish Library operates public libraries. The East Bank Regional Library, which houses the library system's headquarters, is in Metairie. Other public libraries in Metairie include the Lakeshore Library, the Old Metairie Library, and the Wagner Library.
Metairie is home to the New Orleans Baby Cakes baseball team. The minor league club formerly played its home games at Privateer Park, home to the University of New Orleans' NCAA baseball team, from 1992 through 1996. Since 1997, they have played their games at Shrine on Airline and are a member of Triple-A's Pacific Coast League.
The training facilities of National Football League franchise New Orleans Saints and the National Basketball Association franchise New Orleans Pelicans are located in Metairie. As such, many players reside in the area.
Parks and recreation
Jefferson Parish has created many parks in Metairie. Many of these playgrounds have organized sports leagues such as football, baseball, and basketball. Some of them also have other programs, such as low-cost piano lessons. The parks in Metairie are:
- Cleary Playground
- Delta Playground
- Doe Playground
- Girard Playground
- Jim O'Ryan Playground
- Johnny Bright Playground
- Lafreniere Park
- Lakeshore Playground
- LaSalle Park
- Mike Miley Playground
- Pontiff Playground
Magnet public school
- Archbishop Chapelle High School
- Archbishop Rummel High School
- Crescent City Christian School
- Ecole Classique
- Lutheran High School
- Metairie Park Country Day School
- Ridgewood Preparatory School
- St. Martin's Episcopal School
The most common method of transportation within Metairie is the automobile. Mass transit is provided by "JeT" (Jefferson Transit), but it does not run on Sundays, holidays, or late at night, unlike many lines of New Orleans' RTA. JeT's coverage is also very limited in terms of usability.
Interstate 10 runs east–west through Metairie.
Major east–west roads (starting from north to south) include West Esplanade Avenue, Veterans Memorial Boulevard, West Napoleon Avenue, West Metairie Avenue, Metairie Road, Airline Drive (which is part of U.S. Route 61) and Jefferson Highway (which is part of U.S. Route 90). The Earhart Expressway, running east–west immediately south of Airline Drive, is the only other freeway entering New Orleans from the west, but it ends as an expressway soon after crossing into Orleans Parish and well before the New Orleans CBD (in Central City.)
For many of the major east–west roadways, the eastbound and westbound lanes are separated by large, open-topped drainage canals. These canals are one of the most distinct characteristics of the Metairie landscape. Similar canals once bisected many streets in neighboring New Orleans, but most were covered over in the mid 20th century.
Multi-line, continuous north–south roads (starting from west to east) include Power Boulevard/David Drive/Hickory Avenue, Transcontinental Drive, Clearview Parkway, Causeway Boulevard, and Bonnabel Boulevard.
The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway's southern end lies in Metairie.
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