City Park History

A Look Back At Key Moments in City Park's History

Over 150 years old, one mile wide and three miles long comprising a total of 1,300 acres, New Orleans City Park is one of the ten largest urban parks in the country. It is located in the heart of the city and is the largest recreation area for the entire metropolitan area.

Brief History

Once the site of Allard Plantation facing Bayou St. John, City Park’s 1,300 acres offer visitors a sample of the city’s riches both in fine art and natural splendor. City Park is home of the New Orleans Museum of Art and the largest collection of mature live oaks in the world. Trees in the oldest grove are over 800 years old. 

Today’s City Park is distinguished by its large menu of recreational activities as well as by its natural beauty. City Park has a special place in the hearts of generations of New Orleanians and is a must for visitors to the city. A popular place to picnic, play a favorite sport, wander through its gardens or take a boat ride, the park hosts 11 million visitors each year (pre-Katrina).

Historically, the minutes of City Park board meetings have been written in great detail.  For an historian, they provide a treasure trove of revealing information.  Anything from the light-hearted – the exact cost to purchase a dozen squirrels, or a brief reference to a “Beatle Show” when the Beatles played at City Park Stadium.  They also reflect much more profound subjects such as yellow fever in the 1800’s and race relations in the 1960’s and 1970’s. 
The vast majority of the timeline references through 2005 are pulled directly from our board minutes.  We provide a snapshot of a dozen or so references from each year that we hope paint an accurate picture of the affairs of the park in a particular year.  We have not “updated” the minutes to reflect modern lexicon (e.g., Negro v. Black).
You will also see several recurring themes:
 The park has served as the primary recreation facility for Greater New Orleans for generations.
 It changes over the decades, but live musical performances from John Philip Sousa and the New Orleans Symphony to the Beatles and Pearl Jam are an integral part of the park.
 The park’s patrons love the trees, lagoons and seasonal flowers.
 Securing adequate funding to operate and maintain the park has always been a challenge.
 The park’s serves many different constituencies:  student athletes, bikers, nature lovers, music lovers, folks who like to fish, golfers, walkers, botanists, and the list goes on and on.  The board and staff do their best to meet the needs of each constituency while recognizing that some conflicts are inevitable.

4th District Court pronounces the property a public park

1854

4th District Court pronounces the property a public park.

4th District Court pronounces the property a public park

Peristyle opens

January 1907

The Peristyle is an icon part of New Orleans City Park

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Peristyle opens

Peristyle opens

The Peristyle at New Orleans City Park, a concrete dancing pavilion of classical design, opened to the public in 1907. The unique structure features a raised platform framed by an Ionic colonnade with an apse at each end, guarded by the stoic lions of sculptor Pietro Ghiloni. With spaced columns that create an open-air effect, the Peristyle provides a framed view of the placid waters of Bayou Metairie and 800-year old live oaks draped in Spanish moss. In the early twentieth century, the Peristyle was home to a six-month concert and dance season for the well-heeled of New Orleans. Since then the Peristyle has served as a location for countless activities, including weddings, parties, meetings, photo shoots, or just climbing on the lions! New Orleanians of all backgrounds have fond memories of enjoyable hours spent at the Peristyle.

Isaac Delgado Museum of Art is dedicated

December 1911

The Isaac Delgado Museum of Art is dedicated, renamed in 1971 “New Orleans Museum of Art”

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Isaac Delgado Museum of Art is dedicated

The New Orleans Museum of Art is an exquisite pearl wrapped inside City Parkís gorgeous natural landscape. The cityís oldest fine arts institution contains a permanent collection with more than 40,000 objects and is noted for its extraordinary strengths in French and American art, as well as photography, glass, and Japanese works.

Dedication of Couturie Forest

January 1939

At the center of City Parkís 1,300 acres is Couturie Forest. The Forest was designated a community arboretum in 1939 with a bequest of $50,000 for 6,000 trees. Since then it has grown and it a major part of City Park.
(year is correct, day is approximate)

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Dedication of Couturie Forest

Dedication of Couturie Forest

At the center of City Parkís 1,300 acres is Couturie Forest. The Forest was designated a community arboretum in 1939 with a bequest of $50,000 for 6,000 trees. Since then, the Forest canopy matured and the infrastructure expanded to include trails, a rustic amphitheater, six education stations, and docks jutting into the surrounding lagoons.  In 2005, destruction from Hurricane Katrina-spawned tornados and floodwaters killed 95% of the Forestís trees, washed away the trail system, and disrupted the habitats of alligators, box turtles, and over 100 species of migratory and resident birds. City Park is revitalizing Couturie Forest by replacing trails, rebuilding docks, and recreating interpretive signage.  The Forest has expanded from 30 acres to 62 acres of preserved land featuring ecosystems native to southeast Louisiana including: live oak and palmetto forest, upland hardwood forest, bottomland hardwood forest, coastal prairie, eastern pine savannah, and cypress swamp.  There are now more than 2.5 miles of trails constructed entirely by volunteers using thousands of wheelbarrows filled with coarse mulch.  City Park has completed extensive work and spent more than $80,000 removing invasive species, including Giant Ragweed and Chinese Tallow, and planted 2,000 new trees to reestablish the canopy.

The Beatles play Tad Gormley Stadium in City Park

September 1964

The Beatles play City Park Stadium.

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The Beatles play Tad Gormley Stadium in City Park

In 1964, a ticket cost $5 to see the show.
50 years later, on September 16, 2014, a plaque was placed at Tad Gormley celebrating the anniversary of the show.

June 1994

On this date, the Pavilion of the Two Sisters in the Botanical Garden was dedicated.

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Dedication of the Pavilion of the Two Sisters

Modeled after a classic European orangerie, the Pavilion of the Two Sisters offers one of the most picturesque backdrops for special events in City Park. Floor-to-ceiling, arched doors embedded with windows encapsulate two sides of the Pavilion and provide stunning views of the Botanical Gardenís colorful, landscaped grounds. Additional highlights include two outdoor terraces overlooking the garden and flagstone tile floors ideal for dancing the night away! (Donít take our word for it: Gambit readers voted the Pavilion of the Two Sisters ‘Best Of’ for a wedding reception in New Orleans.) The Pavilion of the Two Sisters is also ideal for luncheons, dinners, meetings, seminars and corporate events.

Conservatory of the Two Sisters dedicated.

November 2002

On this day, the Conservatory of the Two Sisters was dedicated.

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Conservatory of the Two Sisters dedicated.

Conservatory of the Two Sisters dedicated.

The Conservatory of the Two Sisters is located in the New Orleans Botanical Garden. Visit to see orchids, living fossils, a small tropical rain forest and more.

November 2003

Located to the left of NOMA, the five-acre Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden holds more than 60 sculptures collectively valued at $25 million. These incredible works of art are nestled along meandering footpaths, reflecting lagoons, and 200-year-old live oaks inside the garden.

Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden opens

Hurricane Katrina Strikes New Orleans

August 2005

Hurricane Katrina hits.  Katrinaís wind and surge coupled with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers faulty levee design, devastate the park and cause $43 million in damages.

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Hurricane Katrina Strikes New Orleans

Hurricane Katrina Strikes New Orleans

90 percent of the park was under anywhere from one to ten feet of water. 
The water that entered the park was salt water from the Gulf of Mexico.  It killed nearly all the grass including that on three golf courses and most of the tender vegetation (The Botanical Garden) with which it came in contact.
The Parkís Administration Building was under four feet of water:  archives lost, computers ruined and records soaked.
The Park had 14,000 trees.  Over 2,000 trees were toppled or extensively damaged. 
Sections of the Maintenance Building collapsed and virtually every vehicle and piece of equipment the Park owned were destroyed including tractors, bucket trucks, end-loaders, bush hogs, golf carts, everything.

The Three Little Pigs debut in Storyland

February 2008

The Three Little Pigs debut in Storyland

The Three Little Pigs debut in Storyland

5,000th tree was planted since Hurricane Katrina

December 2012

The Park lost over 2000 trees in Hurricane Katrina and her aftermath.

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5,000th tree was planted since Hurricane Katrina

5,000th tree was planted since Hurricane Katrina

The Park lost over 2000 trees in Hurricane Katrina and her aftermath. Since then the Park has made a point to plant more trees to ensure the future of City Park. The 5,000th tree since Katrina was planted in New Orleans City Park on December 5th, 2012.

Morning Call opens in City Park

November 2012

In 2012, the coffee and beignet stand opened in City Park.

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Morning Call opens in City Park

Morning Call opens in City Park

Whether you need an early morning coffee fix, an afternoon snack, or you have a late-night craving for a New Orleans tradition, Morning Call has you covered.
In 2012, this then 142-year-old coffee and beignet stand opened its newest outpost in City Park. Located in the Casino Building on Dreyfous Avenue, this New Orleans favorite serves classic cafÈ au lait and beignets 24 hours a day. The menu also offers heartier fare like jambalaya and gumbo, plus ice cream and other treats. But donít forget your foldiní money: Morning Call is cash only.

Timeline

1699

Bienville uses Indian trail to reach site of future city of New Orleans.

1718

City of New Orleans founded. Francois Hery receives property in land grant from France.

1770

Santiago Loreins leaves property to his daughter and son-in-law, Jean Louis Allard.

1845

John McDonogh purchases Allard plantation property at sheriff's auction.

1850

McDonogh dies and leaves estate to cities of New Orleans and Baltimore, Maryland.

1854

4th District Court pronounces the property a public park (approximately 100 acres).

1890

Dueling in the Park outlawed.

1891

City Park Improvement Association is founded. Property officially established as "City Park"

1892

July 15, the first "Fete Champetre" is held to raise funds.

1897

Mule-driven carousel is first operated.

1898

First operation of miniature train.

1902

Original golf course is constructed.

1905

City Park racetrack opens February 11 (closed 1908)

1906

Murphy builds new mechanical carousel. Pony rides begin.

1907

Peristyle completed for outdoor dances.

1910

International Aviators use Racetrack for airfield.
Moisant crashes and is killed.

1911

December 16, the Isaac Delgado Museum of Art is dedicated, renamed in 1971 "New Orleans Museum of Art"

1913

July 11, Casino building is opened offering refreshments. The name means a small 'casa' used for enjoyable activities, later becomes commonly used to refer to gambling establishments.

1915

May 26, G.T. Beauregard Statue is erected.

1917

Popp Bandstand is constructed and dedicated on July 4.

1919

McFadden purchases property and builds mansion (from 1949 to the present it is used as a boys' school)

1924

Irby swimming pool is built.

1927

900-acre extension of the park.

1928

First tennis courts were built. John Phillip Sousa performs at bandstand.

1937

April 29, President Roosevelt visits park to dedicate Roosevelt Mall and other WPA projects including City Park Stadium (renamed Tad Gormley in 1965)

1938

First New Orleans Open, the city's PGA event, is held (last played in City Park in 1962)

1942

Dorothy Lamour sells war bonds in stadium.

1944

Bob Hope performs in stadium.

1946

First City Park Big Bass Fishing Rodeo.

1956

Storyland opens. 

1959

Roy Rogers and Trigger appear in stadium.

1960

Additional fencing was added to City Park Stadium to minimize the tremendous number of people who sneak through the ticket gates in automobile trunks or jump the outer fence to avoid paying admission to football games.

Three hundred pounds of Spanish Moss was shipped from City Park to the Shepperton Studios in London, England, during the filming of “Suddenly Last Summer.”  The moss was used to create New Orleans garden scenes.  The Dueling Oaks are frequently mentioned in the movie.

The Greater New Orleans Invitational Open Golf Tournament featured a $25,000 purse.

 Mr. Dow Finsterwald of Tequest, Florida won with a score of 270 (18 under par).

Sodium arsenite used to control aquatic growth in Bayou St. John.

5,000 amaryllis bulbs were planted in the Park.

The board voted and approved the continued closure of the Park swimming pool.

Two integrated Professional Baseball games between the Cleveland Indians and the Boston Red Sox were played in City Park stadium on April 9th and 10th and witnessed by an estimated crowd of 22,000 spectators; approximately 25% being Negroes.  There were no racial incidents during the game.

593 fishermen participated in the Big Bass Rodeo (fishing).  Top honors went to David Bellinger, age 11, who caught a 5 lb. 13 oz. bass.

The board authorized the General Manager to spend $325 to air-condition the Park automobile.  

Pittsburgh Steelers played the Green Bay Packers in a Pro Football Game at City Park Stadium on August 13th.  Rent totaled $1,917.48.

The following are some comparative revenues derived from park facilities during the first eleven months of 1950 and 1960.
Tennis: 7,954.52 (1950); 10,717.89 (1960); 2,763.17 (Increase over 1950)
Golf: 65,895.05 (1950); 102,964.40 (1960); 37,069.35 (Increase over 1950)
Driving Range; 6,873.00 (1950); 47,779.00 (1960); 40,906.00 (Increase over 1950)
Baseball: 1,964.50 (1950); 2,515.50 (1960); 551.00 (Increase over 1950)
Leased Concessions: 27,697.83 (1950): 31,032.85: 3,335.02 (Increase over 1950)

The number of picnics held in City Park show an increase of approximately ten percent over 1959, but a decrease of about 20% from 1958; the decrease may be attributed to park integration and closing of the swimming pool.  Ten colored picnics were held in City Park during the summer months.  There were no major racial disturbances in the park although several potential troublesome situations had to be resolved.

1961

Commissioner LeCorgne stated that in a few years there should be 10,000 amarillis plants in the Park.

Bids received to excavate approximately 94,000 cubic yards of fill from Bayou St. John between Lafitte Street and the Southern Railway bridge, a distance of 8,190 feet.  Bids ranged from 129k to 272k.  The contract was signed in March between Charles Orlando & Sons and the Department of Public Works ($128,780).  The signing was attended by Governor Jimmie Davis and others.  The majority of the spoil was deposited between Filmore Avenue and Robert E. Lee Blvd. 

The Young Men’s Business Club presented a proposal for the erection of a Science and Industries Museum and Planetarium in City Park.  A special committee of the board was appointed to evaluate the proposal.

N.O. Open Invitational Golf Tournament in March was won by Doug Sanders of Ojai, CA with a total score of 272 (16 under par).  Mr. Sanders received $4,300 out of the $30,000 purse.

Live rabbits and other prizes were given to children under 12 years of age at the Children’s Easter program held in Storyland.

The park’s flock of swans increased with thirteen black and six white cygnets.  White swans valued at $100 per pair and black swans valued at $300 per pair. 

June 3rd – The first 9 holes of Course 3 were dedicated.  Cost:  $135,000.

June 7th – Jahncke fountain (across from the Casino Building) was dedicated.  Cost:  $10,000.

The boardroom was air conditioned.

October 22nd.  Equipped to house 40 horses, together with a show ring and bridle path, The Riding Academy was dedicated.

Cost to ride the miniature train – 30 cents.

Sea lion pool and Monkey Island established on the site of the old swimming pool.
Removed ninety percent of boats, wharves, and other obstructions from Bayou St. John between Robert E. Lee and Lake Shore Drive.

1962

“Freeze of the Century” saw temperatures plummet to 12 degrees and caused twice as much damage to the park’s trees and shrubs, than the 110 m.p.h. hurricane of 1947.  Approximately 2,500 park trees were either killed or damaged by the freeze.  (95% of the park’s Canary Palms survived the freeze.)  Some of the best rose bushes and many amaryllis were lost, as were all hibiscus, rubber plants and Washingtonian Palms.  Seventy-six water pipes also burst.   In some places where tree stumps were hard to remove, park staff built picnic tables atop the stumps.  Damage estimated to exceed 100k.
$865 contract signed to remove aquatic material from Bayou St. John for the year.

A Botanical Garden Special Committee was appointed to explore the potential of developing a Botanical Garden in New Orleans.

The board voted to rigidly enforce speed limits for vehicle traffic within the confines of the park.

With two days of  help from the New Orleans Scuba Diver’s Club and City Park’s Boating and Fishing Concessionaire, the following items were removed from the park’s lagoons:
9 – Garfish (6-36 inches long)
1 – Buffalo fish weighing 44.5 lbs
6 – Old tractor and truck tires
9 – Steel drums
12 – Park benches
1 – Roll (100 feet) tin foil
1 – Ladies purse containing $2.11 (The purse which was returned to the owner, Miss Joan Ann Richter, was lost in the lagoon in August 1960)

1,100 players on the golf course on Good Friday – an all-time record.
Efforts renewed to have a traffic light installed at Carrollton and City Park Avenue.

April 29th – Miniature Trains, Sea Lion Pool and Monkey Island dedicated.  Twenty Rhesus monkeys and six Sea Lions.

July 9th – the 13th annual City Of New Orleans Soap Box Derby was held at 6:00 p.m. on the Wisner Boulevard overpass.

May – “The worst drought in sixty-three years” caused considerable damage to the trees and shrubs which have already been damaged by the January freeze.  Approximately 80% of the Camphor trees and 60% of the Orange trees died.

August 18th – 31,000 watched as the Houston Oilers battled the Boston Patriots at City Park Stadium. 

Completed Leisure Drive shelled road bed linking Harrison Avenue to Robert E. Lee Blvd., a distance of approximately 2,000 feet.

Completed the excavation of Parker Island with most of the spoil going to the No. 3 golf course.

370 Caucasian organization summer picnics and 62 colored picnics.

1963

January – Two freezes caused considerable damage to park property:  Palms, Golden Rain, and Orange trees, Camellias, Azaleas, Hibiscus, Cassia Alata, Nandianas, Amaryllis, and rose bushes.

January – The board started its meeting by standing for a “moment of prayer to invoke God’s blessing on all of the members and on their undertakings during 1963.”

The name of the Casino Building was changed to the Administration Building.

Commissioner Dabezies suggested that when redesigning the park the Planning and Development Committee, the Horticultural Committee and the Grounds Committee give serious consideration to leaving out palm trees.

Rental of City Park stadium parking lot during Carnival Season to Wally Byam Caravan Club provided good publicity for City Park and a revenue of $2,312.00.  Participants in the Caravan were from thirty-six different States.  [The Wally Byam Caravan Club came to the park for many years.]

May – Miniature Flying Field located on Service Road north of Harrison Avenue [called Mona Lisa Drive in 2014] was dedicated.  Cost to develop:12K

May – Sam Cooke’s Negro Concert sponsored by Larry McKinley was held in the stadium on the 8th. 

Mr. George Grundmann, a City Park Board Member since December 16, 1917, celebrated his 87th birthday.  [That’s 46 years in office in case you don’t want to do the math.]

The board President suggested that $1,200 from the proceeds of the concert held in the Stadium on May 8th be dedicated to erecting a lath house.  Adopted unanimously.  The lath house was completed later in the year.

After a lengthy discussion, the board approved the Police Department’s request for the establishment of Police Stables in the park.

From the Park Executives Convention in Washington, D.C.:   Dr. J. Murray Mitchell, Director of the U.S. Weather Bureau, Washington, D.C., in his address at the Park Convention on “Changing Weather Cycles”, stated that the coldness of recent winters is similar to the bitter winters of the 1890’s and 1930’s.  Dr. Mithcell attributed part of the earth cooling, not to Nuclear explosives, but to violent eruptions such as that which occurred in the Kamchatkan Peninsula of Russia in 1956.  These eruptions according to Dr. Mitchell, has caused the dust palls to intercept some of the sunlight that otherwise would have reached the earth’s surface. 

Twin bridges constructed over Bayou St. John at Filmore Avenue by the City of New Orleans.

Consumated 16th Section land exchange.

December 22nd – The Albert F. Backer Senior Memorial Sun Dial behind the casino building was dedicated.

December 31st - 4 inches of snow in the Park!

1964

Planted 1,200 rose bushes.

President Carrere,  Acting President Sitges, and Mr. Frank Stich, Chairman of the Stadium Committee approved the rental of the stadium on Wednesday, September 16th for a “Beatle Show”.  The total amount received from rental and concessions for the Beatle Show was $4,047.08. September 16, The Beatles perform in stadium (then called City Park Stadium today called Tad Gormley Stadium).

The park’s third eighteen hole golf course was dedicated on Saturday, May 16th.  Cost of the course was $295,227.25.  72 par – 6,885 yard championship course encompassing 128 acres of land and five acres of water.  276,250 cubic yards of fill were used to complete the course.

Michael Landon (Little Joe on Bonanza) appeared at each of the four Farhad Grotto Western Rodeo performances in the City Park Stadium.

Eleven new fairyland characters costing $9,800 were added to Storyland.  Mr. Harry Batt, Sr. underwrote some of the characters.

Hurricane Hilda causes considerable damage in the park.

1965

President Carrere reported that 75% of the area north of Filmore Avenue and east of the Ursuline Canal has been cleared.

Hurricane Betsy caused severe damages to the park trees, shrubs, and buildings, also an estimated loss of $10,000 in revenue from the Driving Range, golf courses, and tennis.  Building and equipment damages were estimated at $27,000.  Tree damage exceeded $200,000.  The McDonogh Oak was not hurt.  Approximately 9,000 truckloads of debris were removed from the park at a cost of $750,000.  Said expense paid by the Corps of Engineers.
Filmore Avenue was constructed through the park at a cost of 275k.

In keeping with practices over the past several years, 15,000 pansy plants were planted throughout the park.

1966

The park’s budget was $600,000 which included $1,000 for legal fees and $15,000 for driving range golf balls.

Park receives a check for $1,240,000 for 18.5 acres expropriated to build the portion of I-610 running through City Park. 

City Park Stadium renamed Tad Gormley Stadium.  Tad Gormley, longtime Athletic Director at the park died on December 5th, 1965.  Mr. Gormley was first employed by the park in 1939.

Dave Clark Five (July 13th) and Herman’s Hermits (July 24th) performed at Tad Gormley Stadium.  Net profit from Dave Clark Five including concessions was $1,104.15.  Net profit from Herman’s Hermits was $2,482.42.

Adam West (Batman) performed at the stadium on November 26th.

New Orleans Water Ski Club skiing program takes place in the Marconi Drive lagoon from May 22nd to September 30th.

Mike Douglas was the special guest at the park’s July 4th celebration.

Park received $14,609.09 from the City of New Orleans to cover hurricane Betsy building damages and $25,346.12 from the US Corps of Engineers to cover the cost of overtime and rental of equipment during the hurricane cleanup.

1967

Monkey Island and sea lion pool was converted into a miniature golf course featuring 18 cities in Louisiana.  The course was dedicated on April 1st.  Cost to build:  $35,000.

The new golf clubhouse on Filmore (necessitated by the demolition of the clubhouse due to the construction of I-610) was dedicated on May 4th.  Cost to build:  $501,080.30.

The James Brown “colored” concert generated $1,500.

The entire park was sprayed with Benzine Hexachloride to combat the vast invasion of caterpillars.

Col. Worthington of the Flowers and Horticultural Committee reported that the flora of City Park has been more magnificent this year than in the past forty years.

72 football games, 122 track meets, 125 tennis tournaments, 185,000 rounds of golf on the three golf courses, 500 school and organizational picnics, 32 dog shows, square dancing three nights weekly during Summer months, and 2 Military Passing Reviews.

1968

Trees and shrubs planted:  300 cypress, 185 pines, 50 maples, 50 red buds, 50 dogwoods, 70 camellias, and 175 rose bushes.

April 5th – Vanilla Fudge played at Tad Gormley Stadium.

April 28th  - Pageant and a Mass in the stadium in connection with the 250th anniversary of the City of New Orleans.

December 8th - An historical marker was erected on the site of the former Allard Plantation in City Park with the following inscription:
ALLARD PLANTATION
Plantation of Louis Allard was purchased by
his grandfather Don Santiago Lorreins in 1770’s
from the estate of Don Francisco Hery, called
Duplanty builder of the first Cabildo building
in New Orleans in 1769.  Acquired from Allard
in 1845 by John McDonogh, given to New Orleans
in 1850.

Completed negotiations with the State Department of Highways for the installation of approximately 2,346 feet of 60 inch sub-surface concrete pipe to drain the North section of City Park and I-610 bypass through City Park.  Total cost of $146,159.02 with the park paying 58% and the State paying 42%.

1969

The Hospital Street Underpass was constructed at a cost of $651,855.57 with the City paying 85% and the Railroad 15%.  It was dedicated on March 29th.

The Wisner Tennis Building was dedicated on  March 22nd and built at a cost of $116,744.  [The building was used as a temporary administration office after Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.  Hurricane damage to the building was extensive and it was demolished in 2008.]

Converted the area between the old Golf Club House and Wisner Overpass into a regulation soccer field. The new soccer field was dedicated on September 19th.  One wing of the old Golf Clubhouse, the majority of which was demolished to accommodate I-610, contains a lounge, restroom and shower facilities.  [The site subsequently became Pan American Stadium.]

The golf committee of the board reported that a “300 pound capacity scale was installed in the men’s shower room at the golf clubhouse.”

After temporary conversion to a baseball field, the New York Mets and the Minnesota Twins played a doubleheader at Tad Gormley Stadium on April 6th.

Sly and the Family Stone and Tommy James and the Shondels performed at Tad Gormley in addition to a show by the Bailey Brothers Circus.

City Park’s North eighteen hole golf course costing $675,000 and requiring approximately 610,000 cubic yards of fill to raise the entire course elevation from four to four and one half feet, was dedicated on August 30th.

Completed the removal of debris caused by Hurricane Camille.  Sixty trees were completely destroyed and approximately 200 trees were damaged by the hurricane.

Detailed plans are being prepared for the conversion of the old No. 2 golf course (the course south of I-610 and presently (2014) the Big Lake area) into a vast recreational area.  This plan is being prepared at no cost to the park by Mr. Henry P. Glass, landscape expert employed by Miracle Equipment Company.

1973

Pan American Stadium built and dedicated.

1978

Friends of City Park established.

1982

Enclosure and restoration of Rose Garden by Friends of City Park.

1984

First "A Tribute to the Christmas Tree" event held (later renamed Celebration In The Oaks)

1986

Restoration of Storyland by Friends of City Park.

1988

Restoration of Carousel by Friends of City Park.

1989

Carousel placed on National Register of Historic Places.

Restoration of the Peristyle by Friends of City Park.

1991

100th Anniversary of City Park Improvement Association.

1992

Tad Gormley Stadium remodeled to host U S Olympic Track & Field Trials.

1994

June 16, dedication of Pavilion of the Two Sisters in the garden.

1999

Popp Fountain restored.

Casino Building renovated.

2000

Couturie Forest Nature Trail and Arboretum project completed.

Natural turf system installed in Tad Gormley.

2002

November 22, Conservatory of the Two Sisters dedicated.

2003

November 23, Besthoff Sculpture Garden opens.

2004

Celebration in the Oaks adds James Rice's 'A Cajun Night Before Christmas' computer animated light display.

2005

March, City Park 2018 Master Plan is approved by the Park's board.

August 29, Hurricane Katrina and failure of the Federal Levee System leads to flooding up to eight feet in sections of the park. Water sits as long as three weeks. Park incurs $43 million in damages.  Operations cease.  Staff count drops to 23.

September, A donation from the Azby Fund allows rehiring some staff, replacement of electrical systems, and clearing, & replanting of the Botanical Garden allowing a special post-Katrina Celebration in the Oaks (December).

Some Tennis courts are reopened.

2006

March, The Botanical Garden, Driving Range, and Storyland reopen following Hurricane Katrina; repairs begin on the Carousel Gardens Amusement area.

The Carousel Gardens Amusement Park is reopened for Celebration in the Oaks.

2007

Carousel Gardens Amusement park resumes seasonal operations. 
 

2008

The North Golf Course, Pan American Stadium and Tad Gormley Stadium all reopen after millions of repairs and upgrades.
Hurricane Gustav caused approximately $500,000 in damages in the park.

2009

Big Lake dedicated.

2010

Goldring / Woldenberg Great Lawn dedicated.  NOLA City Park Dog Park opens.  2,050 trees planted in Couturie Forest.

2011

New City Park / Pepsi Tennis Center is dedicated.  Staff moved into a brand new Administration Building.  The Arbor Room at Popp Fountain opens.

2012

Matt Savoie Soccer Complex dedicated.  50-acre Festival Grounds dedicated

Slow-moving Category 1 Hurricane Isaac pummeled the park for more than 60 hours.  Lost revenue and damages exceeded $750,000.