Louisiana Division/City Archives   New Orleans Public Library

Image of the Month
June 2009

This aerial photograph was taken on November 23, 1946. It shows the New Orleans Fair Grounds and the adjacent neighborhood. Things have changed quite a bit at the facility over the last sixty years. The racing strip (the outer, dirt track) was completely rebuilt one year later in 1947 (the inner, turf oval was not added until 1981); new barns and other structures went up alongside the track; numerous infield improvements were made (many to accommodate the annual Jazz and Heritage Festival); a new grandstand was built following a disastrous fire in 1993 that destroyed the building shown in this image; and, of course, just last year saw the opening of a new building to house the track's slot machine operations.

The photograph is one of several thousand prints from the year 1946 that are housed in the City Archives (along with additional thousands taken in 1960). They show the entirety of the city of New Orleans along with a good part of the surrounding area. Originally commissioned by the City Planning Commission, the prints were transferred to the City Archives when they were superceded by newer imaging. Additional examples from both 1946 and 1960 (along with a few from a much smaller group of prints made in 1949) are available for viewing on the Louisiana Photograph Collection page.

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

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