Mid-City extends from Tremé and the Central Business District in a northwest direction toward the Metairie Ridge. Although the higher ground along the Metairie Ridge had been acquired for cemeteries as early as the mid-nineteenth century, the area’s development came in the twentieth century after the New Orleans Drainage Commission’s powerful new steam-powered pumps drained this below-sea-level swamp. Nevertheless, the levee breaks following Hurricane Katrina flooded the area with up to six feet of water; the area has largely recovered. Light industries and commercial companies chose to locate in Mid-City adjacent to the railroad corridor that runs through the area. Mid-City also provided land for the new institutional, educational, and medical buildings needed for a growing city. Before Interstate-10 was brought through Mid-City, Tulane Avenue (U.S. 61) was the principal automobile route into New Orleans from the west, but only a couple of the mid-twentieth-century motels and other traveler-related buildings survive along this formerly bustling avenue. Residential buildings in Mid-City consist primarily of shotgun houses, bungalows, and modest two-story houses.
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