Louisiana Division/City Archives   New Orleans Public Library

Image of the Month
June 2008

Last summer, with no fanfare and sfter nearly eight years of working at it, we completed the scanning of our WPA Photograph Collection negatives. All of them (some 7000) are now onliae at http://nutrias.org/photos/wpa/wpaphotos.htm. Thanks go to a number of wonderful volunteers (and several staff members) who faithfully plugged away at this project over the years.

This month we feature one of the last WPA images to go online. From the "Yacht Clubs" series this photograph (taken on December 14, 1941) shows the Municipal Yacht Harbor under construction. In addition to several of the concrete wharves and individual boat slips, the photo also shows the Southern Yacht Club (left background) and the West End Lighthouse (center background).

Hurricane Katrina hit this part of the New Orleans lakefront hard, leaving many of the boathouses lining the Harbor in ruins and an estimated 125 boats underwater. It took the WPA about 2 1/2 years to complete the Harbor project (the facility was almost immediately taken over by the U.S. Navy as a training base for the Coast Guard at the outset of World War II); repair of most of the Katrina-inflicted damage is still in the planning stages almost three years after the storm. Meanwhile, the Southern Yacht Club is still operating out of trailers (their building was consumed by a fire set off during the height of Katrina) and a lighthouse restoration project is underway under the auspices of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation.

Click the image to see a larger version.

Click HERE to visit our old (1996-2007) Images of the Month Gallery archives.

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