City Park, originally a sugar plantation land owned by Robert and Louis Allard, became city property in 1850 when the Allard brothers went bankrupt and businessman, John McDonogh, purchased the property from the planters’ association. McDonogh, who passed away five years after buying, left the land jointly to his native city, Baltimore, and his adopted city, New Orleans, and his Will stipulated that it should be reserved for recreational purposes only.
Even though City Park has experienced numerous rebuilding and restoration projects since its mid-19th century establishment, there are two major events that shaped the park’s life history: The Great Depression and Hurricane Katrina.
As part of the Works Project Administration (1939-43), a New Deal work program designed to provide economic depression victims with useful work, the Roosevelt administration invested $12 million to develop the parkland, and employed over 20,000 men and women to plant 100,000 trees as well as build roadways, fountains, gardens, a golf course and the Tad Gormley Stadium. WPA architecture in City Park today includes: the Peristyle, the Hyams Fountain, the McFadden Girl Scout Cabina, the New Orleans Botanical Garden and seven bridges.
At the other side of City Park’s course-shaping history is Hurricane Katrina. After one of the five deadliest natural disasters in US history made its historic category five landfall in New Orleans, 95 percent of the mid-city public space sat under flood water, inflicting $43 million in damages to the public grounds alone.
Today, with help from the city, FEMA, and private sector donations, City Park stands among the largest (approximately 50 percent larger than New York City’s Central Park) and most-visited urban public parks in the nation.
From a 100-year-old amusement park and a 13-acre botanical garden to a 36-hole mini golf complex and one of the South’s finest art museums, New Orleans’ City Park has something special to offer every visitor.
1 Collins Diboll Cir, New Orleans, Louisiana 70124, +1 504 658 4100
7 Victory Ave, New Orleans, Louisiana 70124, +1 504 483 9402
7 Victory Ave. New Orleans, Louisiana 70124, +1 504 482 4888
Dueling Oaks Dr, New Orleans, Louisiana 70119, +1 504 658 4100
Whether you’re an athlete drawn to the park’s wide-open green spaces or nature lover looking to explore the botanical gardens, City Park palms off all competition when it comes to being New Orleans’ go-to spot for recreation.
Wheel Fun Rentals: offers specialty cycles, bike, boat and even gondola rentals…
1009 Harrison Ave, New Orleans, Louisiana 70124, +1 504 483 9376
Inside City Park, you can try New Orleans’ quintessential dessert – aka the beignet – at Morning Call. And that’s not all. There’s everything from burgers and hotdogs to PBJ sandwiches and bayou fries in Parker’s Cafe. Then you can go and munch on some of Parker’s Pizza delicious garlic buttered creations, and even order a to-go po’boy from the park’s very own food truck.
900 City Park Ave, New Orleans, Louisiana 70119, +1 504 488 1000
For more detailed information on City Park, be sure to visit the park’s website.
1 Palm Dr, New Orleans, Louisiana 70124, +1 504 482 4888 / Open 24 hours.