Lake Vista was designed with the primary purpose of affording convenience and safety for its residents. Its most striking feature is its break from the traditional linear alignment of streets in favor of an arrangement of cul de sac streets all leading to a central community center. The design would result in diagonal parks accessible to all homes.
Homes would be built to face either lanes or parks and would be designed to have kitchens facing the streets and living rooms fronting on the parks. Lake development was completed in 1938 and building restrictions were introduced to insure a unique, high quality, safe residential area.
The west half of Lake Vista was placed on the market in 1938. However, when the nation entered World War II, sales and building halted until the mid 1940s. By 1946, all of the lots were sold. When building was completed, Lake Vista had a real community atmosphere that continues today.
The twin neighborhoods of the Lakeshore development are located to the west of Lake Vista. They are bounded by the New Basin Canal, Lake Pontchartrain, the Orleans Canal and Robert E. Lee Boulevard. Canal Boulevard divides West Lakeshore and East Lakeshore. West Lakeshore, former site of the LaGarde Hospital, opened for sale in 1951. East Lakeshore, formerly the site of Musser-Gorden Hospital, was opened in 1955.
The Lakeshore neighborhoods have a traditional design with linear streets that provide some privacy but extend to major boulevards. The area is comprised of single-family residences, apartments and a shopping center. Lakeshore and Lake Vista helped to transform the New Orleans lakefront from swampland into some of the city’s most valuable property.