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Blake Pontchartrain: What’s the history of Azalea Gardens? 

Founded in 1947, it was Old Jefferson’s first all-rental subdivision

click to enlarge Azalea Gardens, founded in 1947, was the area's first all-rental subdivision.

Photo by Kandace Power Graves

Azalea Gardens, founded in 1947, was the area's first all-rental subdivision.

Hey Blake,

Can you tell me the history of the Azalea Garden Cottages? The neighborhood is so unique, it must have a story.


Dear Dee,

  The Azalea Gardens neighborhood in Old Jefferson is typical of many subdivisions that popped up to meet a demand for suburban housing after World War II. Lauricella and Sizeler Co., which developed much of that area of Jefferson Parish, built all of the houses in the Azalea Gardens neighborhood in 1947 and 1948.

  "Azalea Gardens is a neat, independent community of 136 double houses, or 272 apartments, and will house approximately 1,000 persons," according to a 1948 article in The Times-Picayune. "It is located on 36 acres of former farm land on the lake side of Jefferson Highway."

  Azalea Gardens is bounded by Adolph Street on the north, Jefferson Highway on the south, Arnoult Road on the east and Lauricella Avenue on the west. Developers touted the fact that Azalea Gardens would be the first all-rental subdivision in the area. World War II veterans were given first choice of the four-room apartments, which rented for between $50 and $70 per month.

  "Architecture of the doubles is pleasingly varied and front yards are landscaped," the T-P article said. Driving through the area today, you still see many of the cottages' white exteriors and screened-in front porches.

  The flower reference also is present on the nearby Azalea Gardens shopping center, which opened on Jefferson Highway in the mid-1950s. 

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