Louisiana Division/City Archives   New Orleans Public Library

Image of the Month
October 2009

This aerial photograph, taken on November 12, 1946, shows the conglomeration of cemeteries at the foot of Canal Street. Most of the scene looks pretty much the same as it does today: the cemeteries on the river side of City Park Avenue haven't really changed, the New Orleans Country Club with its golf course, club house, and tennis courts is still there, and the very odd transition from Canal Street to Canal Boulevard, though tweaked, is still quite odd.

There have, of course, been changes. Most obvious is the reinvention of the major transportation route from the water-borne New Basin Canal to the automotive present of the Greater New Orleans Expressway--speed now rules. Note also the expansion of both Metairie and Greenwood cemeteries--growing to meet the needs of their deceased customers. Also visible, in the upper right corner just below the railroad tracks, is the old Girod Asylum/Colored Waifs' Home (where Louis Armstrong learned how to play his horn), a structure that was demolished sometime before 1974 when a new communications facility for the New Orleans Fire Department was built on the site.

Not too long after New Orleans Public Library reopened following Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent flood, associates of FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) digitized our complete set of 1946 aerial photographs in order to make them available to the multiple parties working to rebuild of the Crescent City. Only recently were we able to convert the JPEG2000 image files created in that project into the more familiar and accessible JPEG format. This image is the first one that we've made available online as a result of the FEMA effort.

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

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