Friday, July 17, 2009

New Orleans Building Maecenas

DeLesseps Story "Chep" Morrison, Sr. (1912-64) was the 54th Mayor of New Orleans, elected to four terms in office (1946-61). During his mayorship, the city boasted a population of 765,000 people, was the largest southern city, covering approximately 363 square miles.

For his 1950 campaign (letterhead above), Morrison emphasized his contributions to major building projects. After his second reelection, Morrison proclaimed the following accomplishments to his Fellow Citizens:

"Today more than ever before our famous city is eagerly pushing forward to fulfill its great and wonderful destiny. The past twelve months covered in this report have been crowded with important and exciting events.

We have seen the beginning of construction of our New City Hall and of the giant new bridge across the Mississippi. Detailed plans for the new Main Library have been authorized and the expansion of Moisant International Airport is underway.

Our new east-west traffic artery stretching across the heart of the city from Louisiana Ave. to the Municipal Auditorium has been completed. More grade separations, street widening projects and highway improvements are speeding the flow of traffic. The State of Louisiana is completing plans for two buildings to be constructed near City Hall in the Civic Center. We have completed the first year under our new and better form of government. These achivements plus many others testify to the fact that New Orleans can stand proudly before the nation and the world as a dynamic city which makes its dreams come true." [1 May 1955. 1954-55 Annual Report of the Mayor].

Image above: Chep Morrison Letterhead, 1950. Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

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