Curbed New Orleans recently ranked the most beautiful places to get married in New Orleans. Topping their list at number 1 is the beautiful Art Deco Lakefront Airport. Messina’s Catering and Events is the exclusive caterer at the airport.
Poised on a man-made peninsula jutting out into Lake Pontchartrain, the airport is more than just a pretty face! Inside its walls lays a great deal of history.
Lakefront Airport Past
Constructed in the mid 1930’s, the Lakefront Airport originally served as the major airport in New Orleans. The airport served in this capacity until 1946, when the significantly larger Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (called Moisant International Airport at the time) opened. During World War II, the airport was used US Air Force. After the war, thick concrete panels were added to the main terminal building to turn it into a Cold War era bomb shelter. The airport then sustained extensive damage from Katrina’s hurricane-force winds and storm surge in 2005. A number of the airport’s hangars and outlying buildings were destroyed during the storm, but it remained functioning. It served as the headquarters of the fictional company Ferris Aircraft in the 2011 action film Green Lantern, starring Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively. The airport then took on more damage from Hurricane Isaac in 2012.
The airport underwent a complete restoration to bring it back to its original art deco grandeur. Completed in 2013, the restoration included restoring all the marble walls and columns as well as the terrazzo floor and unique mosaics. The building’s unique aviation themed WPA style plaster and decorative elements were all recreated and matched to the original building. This extensive renovation makes it one of the most beautiful, and most unique special event venues in New Orleans!
Given the extensive nature of the project, the restoration was filmed for a television documentary titled, Return Flight.
Today, the airport averages about 160 flights per day, the majority of which are general aviation. The terminal houses a restaurant called Messina’s Runway Cafe, which serves traditional New Orleans cuisine overlooking a working runway. The restaurant is a favorite of nearby residents. The airport also now houses impressive artwork including murals by renowned Spanish-American artist Xavier Gonzalez. And the sculpture installation in front of the terminal, “Foundation of the Winds” by Enrique Alferez is a local landmark.
Special Events & Catering
The beautifully restored airport also serves as a backdrop to some of the most premier social and corporate events in New Orleans. Messina’s Catering and Events has been chosen as the exclusive caterer at the Lakeside Airport. The terminal features four unique event spaces, each with its own part in New Orleans history.
The Atrium at the Terminal is a two-story open atrium encased in marble and granite. The terrazzo floor features a beautiful inlaid center compass as well as airport designs. The room’s upper terrace level is trimmed in spectacular railings with ceiling reliefs and a decorative painted ceiling.
The Huey P. Long Room is named for the former Governor of Louisiana in the early 1930’s, who was instrumental in having the airport built. The room is prime meeting space overlooking Lake Pontchartrain. The room is equipped with AV as well as an open observation deck.
The Terrace offers beautiful open-air views of Lake Pontchartrain and the runway. String lights, and beautiful sunsets make the perfect backdrop for weddings and corporate events.
The Walnut Room is outfitted in rich woodwork, giving it a warm hue. The standout is the breathtaking large art décor bar that overlooks the runway.
Messina’s Catering and Events
Messinas has been catering weddings and events in the New Orleans area for 58 years. We were just selected by New Orleans CityBusiness readers as Best Caterer for the 3rd year in a row. We have been chosen as the exclusive caterer at several New Orleans venues as well as a preferred caterer in many others. Check out our other venues including Lakefront Airport, The Rooftop on Basin, and Messina’s of Kenner. Click here for a list of partner venues.