Three major exceptions are City Park , which is regulated by a unique state agency of the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism operated by the non-profit City Park Improvement Association (CPIA), and Audubon Park and Woldenberg Park along the downtown riverfront, regulated by The Audubon Commission, which was established by State Act in 1914 to maintain and develop Audubon Park.
Click here to download a PDF of the Parks and Greenspaces by Jurisdiction Map.
Robert Thompson has been on a mission. The once neglected Capdevielle Place has received much love and attention from neighbors rallied by Robert.
Today, roses and palms became the stars of Capdevielle Place in the round centerpiece of the pocket park. Check out the photos and a statement from Robert Thompson below:
“Things are coming together at Capdevielle Place. A vision from the get-go, rehabbing of the bed in Capdevielle Park, seemed like an impossible dream. After many ideas, much sweat equity, cooperation from a committed Parkways staff, a generous gift (more later on that), and some professional help, a major improvement was born. Not everything we had wished for may have happened yet, but the best decisions from the plants people in charge developed the current implementation with resources available. I hope everyone agrees this is a win!
Thanks are due so many and I intend to let all know who made this possible soon.
Their generosity and work made this happen, and now we City Beautifiers must keep up with watering and weeding this gift.”
Here are some photos:
Paul Capdevielle (1842-1922)
Paul Capdevielle, the forty-second Mayor was of French descent. He was born in New Orleans, January 15, 1842. His father, Augustin Capdevielle, was born in France, but settled in New Orleans in 1825, becoming a prominent merchant in the commission business and active in politics. It was from his father’s interest in politics that young Paul inherited his interest in governmental affairs. His mother, Virginia Bertrand, was born in New Orleans in 1816.
Paul Capdevielle was educated at the Jesuit’s College in New Orleans from which he was graduated in 1861. He served with credit in the War between the States, enlisting in the New Orleans Guard Regiment of Infantry, but in 1862 joined Boone’s Louisiana Artillery, and was wounded at Port Hudson.
After the close of the war he returned to civil life, taking up the first employment that offered itself, studied law in April 1868 was graduated from Louisiana State University. In 1892, he gave up law to accept the presidency of the Merchant’s Insurance Company. He served as its President for sixteen years, until it was liquidated and sold.
His political history began in 1877 when he was appointed to the School Board. Later he was a member of the Orleans Levee Board, a Commissioner of Prisons and Asylums and Chairman of the Finance Committee of the drainage commission. Mr. Capdevielle was an outstanding figure in Louisiana politics from the time of his election as Mayor of New Orleans in 1899. He was appointed auditor of Public Accounts in 1904, and re-elected three times, and held this office up to the time of his death. He survived the political storms attending the fall of the state administrations, the last in 1920, when Governor Parker was swept into office.
The Flower administration was a turning point in the history of New Orleans. It closed one epoch and opened another. With it began the period of commercial prosperity which extends into the present time.
Mayor Capdevielle’s administration was noted for two events, both inseparably connected with the beginning of New Orleans’ industrial development; the installation of the modern sewerage system and the organization of the Public Belt Railroad. The Board of Port Commissioners also began to function actively during this period.
City Park stands as a monument to his energy and civic spirit. The upbuilding of the park was his constant care, and he served continuously as President of the City Park Improvement Association for more than two decades, holding the office at the time of his death.
The new administration went into office May 9, 1900, at the beginning of the twentieth century when a wave of prosperity passed over the country and was felt in New Orleans. Mayor Capdevielle in his inaugural address spoke of the drainage system about to be constructed and stated if the city desired to have its own electric light plant it could do so without great additional cost by using the power house of the drainage system.
The contract to erect a modern jail, to be called the House of Detention, was awarded for $112,800 and the site of the old Marine Hospital, on Tulane Avenue and Broad Street, was selected.
The Clay statue, being in the way of safe operations of the street cars, was removed from Canal Street to the Lafayette Square on January 12, 1901. The consolidation of various street railways into one corporation under the name of the New Orleans Railways Company was an important factor of the years 1901-1902.
On May 1, 1901, New Orleans was honored by the visit of the President of the United States, William McKinley, accompanied by Mrs. McKinley and Secretaries John Hay, Charles Emory Smith, and E. A. Hitchcock. He was received in the Cabildo by the Governor of Louisiana, attended by his staff in full uniform. The bells of the Cathedral of St. Louis announced the arrival of the President and his cabinet, escorted by Mayor Paul Capdevielle, and a committee of distinguished citizens. As the cortege entered the Supreme Court Hall, Chairman Zacharie announced in a loud voice “The President,” and the assembly arose and remained standing while the Chief Justice conducted the President to a seat of honor at his right on the Supreme Court Bench. The Governor of Louisiana took a seat on the left of the Chief Justice, and the Mayor of New Orleans the one on the right of the President, the Justices occupying seats immediately in the rear of the bench. Chairman Zacharie then conducted the members of the cabinet and their wives to places on the left of the dais, where a seat, filled with roses, had been reserved for Mrs. William McKinley, who, at the last moment, was too ill to attend.
In 1873, Paul Capdevielle married in New Orleans, Miss Emma Larue, who died several years ago. Three sons and two daughters blessed this union; the sons are Christian, Auguste and Paul, Jr., and the daughters are the Misses Edith and Yvonne Capdevielle.
Paul Capdevielle was found dead at his home in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, August 13, 1922, following a long illness, at the age of eighty years and six months and is buried in St. Louis Cemetery No. 2. Besides his children, a sister, Mrs. Virginia Buddecke and five grandchildren also survived.
During the recent cleanup at Kruttschnitt Park organized by Robert Thompson, several volunteers noted that the storm drain was full of debris. Robert Thompson followed up with the City. Flooding at North Dorgenois and Bayou Road during rain events has been mitigated…for now.
Robert said, “This is a great step for our neighborhood effort to improve the area with focused action.”
Many thanks to Robert and all the neighborhood volunteers who are making a difference!
In 1906, the City designated the triangular portion of ground bounded by N. Dorgenois, Bell Street, and Bayou Road as a place of rest and recreation, then named it Kruttschnitt Place. Ernest B. Kruttschnitt (1852-1906) was a popular local attorney and educator. President of the Board of Education from 1890-1903, he was the nephew of Judah P. Benjamin. President of the Louisiana Constitutional Convention, a post to which he was unanimously elected, Kruttschnitt was also an administrator of the Tulane Education Fund and had headed the Pickwick Club. When he was laid to rest, on his 54th birthday, schools closed in his honor.
Anyone who has been through a major storm or regular rainfall in New Orleans knows that clogged catch basins contribute significantly to street flooding.
The pumps can’t pump what they can’t get. If your catch basin is clogged, please clean it today. If you need help, get with your neighbors and clean all the catch basins on your street. If you still need help, write to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you get it done.
A catch basin, which is also known as a storm drain inlet or curb inlet, is an opening to the storm drain system that typically includes a grate or curb inlet at street level where storm water enters the catch basin and a sump captures sediment, debris and associated pollutants. Catch basins are able to prevent trash and other floatable materials from entering the drainage system by capturing such debris by way of a hooded outlet. The outlet pipes for catch basins on combined sewers (sanitary waste and storm water in a single pipe) are also outfitted with a flapper (trap) device to prevent the backflow of any unpleasant odors from pipes. Catch basins act as pretreatment for other treatment practices by allowing larger sediments to settle in the basin sump areas.
It is important to maintain catch basins to prevent storm sewer blockages and minimize the amount of pollutants entering storm sewers which may eventually discharge into local streams and waterways such as Lake Ponchartrain. Clogged catch basins can also result in the ponding of water along streets and parking lots causing a nuisance to motorists, pedestrians and businesses.
How you can help: When you are clearing your sidewalk or driveway, dispose of waste in trash receptacles instead of sweeping it into the gutters or catch basins.
If leaves or other debris are blocking a catch basin near your house or business, remove and dispose of the debris properly.
If you have questions, or if your catch basin requires mechanical cleaning or maintenance, call 311 to report the problem.
HERE’S HOW YOU CAN HELP:1) Clean litter and debris from the catch basins near your house. Also, clean the surrounding curb area, because any litter, leaves, or grass on the street or sidewalk can end up in the catch basin. Do not lift the drain cover or attempt to disassemble the catch basin; just clean what you can see. All you need is a pair of work gloves, a shovel or small rake, and a trash bag. Remember: If your neighbor is elderly or disabled, please help clean their catch basin too.
2) Dispose of trash and lawn clippings in trash cans. Do not sweep or blow yard waste into the gutters and catch basins. Remember: Trash in our streets ends up as trash in our lake!
3) Construction sites or sites with hazardous materials must take special precautions to properly dispose of their paint and chemicals. They should not sweep, blow or hose waste into the catch basins. Report any improper actions to the City of New Orleans by calling 311.
Residents are advised to stay at home during the severe weather unless an emergency makes it absolutely necessary for them to get on the road. The NOPD will ticket motorists who drive faster than 5 mph on streets with standing water.
The following is a list of streets prone to significant flooding during severe weather.
Calliope @ Claiborne towards Tchoupitoulas St
Calliope & Tchoupitoulas St On-ramps
I-10 and Tulane Exit towards Claiborne
Airline & Tulane Ave intersection
4400 Block of Washington
Washington Ave. near Xavier
All surrounding streets to St. Charles flooded, Gravier/Tulane/S Dupre, S Claiborne/Washington.
500 blk of Lake Marina
Erato/S Genois/City Park/Carrollton
Washington Ave. near Xavier, Washington
Simon Bolivar & Calliope coming from Loyola Ave under the overpass
Poland Ave from St Claude to N. Claiborne
S. Claiborne at Joseph
Holiday to the Crescent City Connection
Shirley and DeGaulle
DeGaulle under the Westbank Expressway
General Meyer from Pace to Shirley
Richland and General Meyer
MacArthur and Holiday
Vespasian and Wall
The City’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness monitors severe weather and keeps residents updated through e-mail alerts and the Twitter handle @nolaready.
Veteran volunteers and a new friend tackled the first step in recovering a lost pocket park at Bayou Road and N Dorgenois. A giant mulch pile courtesy of Park and Parkways personnel appeared and challenged the small but determined City Beautifer crew to spread it. Earlier, Phillip Mollere brought two truckloads of mulch and started the project.
Sally Gaden and Annie LaRock (with super-pup Fang) led the effort, cleaning gutters, picking up litter and spreading the mulch.
Passerby, and new member, Josh Lewis pitched in, lent a hand and taught us something about “microbial diversity”! (He teaches Ecology at Tulane!)
Much appreciated praise and approval came from onlookers Josh Barbee (Ursulines Triangle CBC Guy), Ben the welder, and Robert Tannen whose art piece occupies the other end of the park.
I think all agree the place is looking more like a park than a parking lot!
Thanks to all involved in getting this park back on track.
The city of Baltimore’s high crime rate inspired a gritty TV drama. But a new study (Tinyurl.com/TreeCrimeReport) by the University of Vermont’s Transportation Research Center, in Burlington, found that a 10 percent increase in trees in a given area led to a 12 percent decrease in crime. “It’s really pretty striking how strong this relationship is,” says Austin Troy, lead author of the study, published in the journal Landscape and Urban Planning.
Researchers examined the correlation in and around Baltimore using aggregated crime data and combining it with high-resolution satellite images to conduct the analysis. The working hypothesis is that because people enjoy spending time in pleasant outdoor spaces, there are more observers present to hinder criminal activity. Also, a well-maintained landscape seems to send a message that someone may be watching.
To avoid culture bias, the study considered many socioeconomic factors, including housing, age, income and race of residents, as well as variables such as rural versus city setting and population density. The findings should prove helpful to urban planners.
Fringetrees are excellent anywhere that a very small tree is needed, such as near a patio, in small yards, or under power lines. Like many white-flowered plants, they look especially nice planted in front of a dark backdrop. They can be used as individual specimens, in groups, in mixed shrub borders or in natural gardens. They are well suited to urban plantings due to pollution tolerance and adaptability to varied soils. Fringetrees are not salt tolerant.
Although fringetrees are adaptable and will grow in most soil types, they prefer moist, deep, well-drained, acidic soils. They grow well in full sun to partial shade. Leaf appearance is best in some shade, but flowering is heaviest in full sun. The ideal compromise would be sun through most of the day, but shade during hot afternoon hours. Fringetrees have low maintenance needs once established.
Due to a naturally strong branch structure fringetrees rarely need pruning. Pruning while young may be desirable if a single stem tree form is preferred. Fringetrees do not transplant well so take care to choose an appropriate permanent location and use proper planting methods. Plant it high, it won’t die!
Plant it Low, It Won’t Grow | Plant it High, It Won’t Die
The most important consideration in planting trees and shrubs is the planting depth. Don’t plant too deep!
Plant all trees and shrubs about one inch above the surface of the existing soil. No dirt should be placed on top of the existing roots and nursery soil so as to not smother the root system. Mulch well, leaving a two inch gap around the caliper(s) of the plant.
For the most efficient use of water, construct an earthen berm two to three inches high around the drip zone area of the plant after planting. Water in well after planting!
All it took was a neighbor concerned about the accidental cutting down of newly sprouted paper white narcissuses, 3 bales of pine straw and less than an hour of volunteer time! Now there is hope those fragrant blooms planted in the past by the neighborhood association landscapers at Ursulines and North Dupre have a chance to appear without city mowing crews mistakenly cutting them down.
Josh B is shown in the photo starting to unroll a bale of Gomez pine straw, a miracle mulch which enriches the soil and controls weeds. It also wards off the mowers.
Your interest in our little neighborhood jewel, Capdevielle Place Park (on Esplanade between Crete and Bell), has qualified you to participate in a planning session with our friends at Parkways, Tica Hartman and landscaper Hailey D Brown. Since our “Green and Clean” event I have had increased input on what direction we should take to upgrade plantings and enhance the beauty of the area. I’d like the ideas people (you know who you are) to respond with a willingness to participate in a conversation with Parkways, and a list of times and dates you would be available. At the moment I am assuming the municipal folks would prefer a workday schedule as civil servants. If it appears we can’t get our most avid citizen designers to attend I may beg for an off hours time.
Plantings, art, furniture and other improvements and/or concerns should make up your wish list. Opportunities for achievement of these goals begins in January with SoulNOla.org‘s tree planting. Thus the hurry to set a direction for our efforts soon.
No, this isn’t a post about an upcoming convention but, it is a post about some interesting architectural research sent in by Robert Thompson.
One of Two Thermo-Con Homes at N. Broad and Agriculture Street. Built 1947.
Higgins Incorporated of New Orleans patented Thermo-Con Concrete and sought to promote its use as a building material throughout the southern United States, as well as the Caribbean, South America, and parts of the South Pacific region. In 1946, the company built a Thermo-Namel demonstration house at its Industrial Canal plant, and one year later followed with the Thermo-Con Demonstration Houses erected on the corner of North Broad Avenue and Havana Street. Other Thermo-Con residences quickly followed, and included a cluster on Havana Street, ones on Althea and Hydrangea Lanes in Lake Vista, and one on Vicksburg Street between Harrison Avenue and Bragg Street. A developer in Atlanta used the material to build a 104-apartment complex in North Buckhead, and another developer planned to create 200 3-bedroom houses in Pass Christian Heights, Mississippi. Thermo-Con’s use went beyond residential architecture: fire walls in Fort Worth, Texas; USAF buildings at White Sands, New Mexico; and warm-up pads for the USAF at Andrews and McChord Air Force Bases.
After World War II, there was a considerable amount of experimentation with building materials. Industrial plants that had been mobilized for war were converted to fuel the high demands for affordable residential architecture. Various commercial enterprises sought to capitalize on federal incentive packages.
For example, Andrew J. Higgins built a Thermo-namel demonstration house at his Industrial Canal plant in 1946 (shown above). Utilizing a technique developed by Oakland, California architect Maury I. Diggs, Higgins boasted that his “package homes” could be customized for any floor plan or color scheme. As we have mentioned in previous posts, a national steel shortage forced Higgins to abandon Thermo-namel and to develop Thermo-Con.
Gunnison Homes, a subsidiary of U.S. Steel, developed porcelain-enameled steel prefabricated residences after the war. The Champion, shown above, was its low-cost model. Introduced in metropolitan New Orleans in 1949, the model was available in two sizes and multiple colors. Authorized dealer J. Burrows Johnson opened a demonstration home at 2811 Hamilton Street,situated in a neighborhood that came to feature a number of steel residences. The house is no longer extant.
Olin J. Farnsworth, who owned the Lustron franchise in New Orleans, opened his demonstration house in May 1949 at 3700 Cherry Street. The “surf blue” Westchester was outfitted with furnishings supplied by Kirschman’s and was quickly joined by its De Luxe twin at number 3704 (Sanborn Atlas image above, 1961).
Between 1949 and 1950, Farnsworth built a number of Lustron Westchesters in the Crescent City.(1) He apparently utilized Lustron for a double bungalow, located at 9412-9414 Stroelitz (Sanborn Atlas image above, 1961). New Orleans architect and educator George A. Saunders briefly lived in the rear unit while teaching courses at Tulane University. Saunders worked for Bolt and Beranek, who served as acoustical consultants to Lustron.(2)
Baton Rouge also had its post-war neighborhoods. A large number of concrete block residences were built on Carleton Drive and North 39th Street between 1946 and 1947 (Sanborn Atlas image above, 1963). These typically included steel joists, flat roofs, curved facade elements and small carports. Many of these remain with minor modifications.
Historic Sanborn fire insurance atlases can help make the process of identifying new building materials easier. Lustrons, constructed of prefabricated steel frames and sheathing, appear as solid grey masses on historic Sanborns; Thermo-Cons, cast of cellular concrete on site, appear as gold masses marked “fire-proof.” Concrete block structures are frequently indicated in blue with the abbreviation “C.B.” and steel- and iron-clad frame structures typically have yellow centers with grey surrounds.
Robert Thompson is a neighborhood volunteer organizer. Thompson’s primary interest is in small public green spaces, an interest that many of his friends and neighbors share with the Faubourg St. John resident.
Through social media, Thompson helps to facilitate neighborhood projects by spreading the word about neighbor activities and interests, and encouraging people who live in the area to volunteer their help. Thompson also coordinates with NOLA Parks For All, a non-profit support organization that encourages neighbors to take care of their parks and green spaces. The organization often supplies neighborhood volunteers with trash bags and other needed materials as well as helpful tips and information on maintain safe and beautiful green spaces. For practical advice on how to maintain your neighborhood green spaces, contact NOLA Parks For All, or just pick up a rake to get started.