Wednesday, April 4, 2012

NOLA Arc de Triomphe

A few months ago, we posted images associated with 1852 and 1878 New Orleans civic pageantry.  Today, we came across this 1889 image of the triumphal arch that was erected to celebrate the Fête de la Fédération, Bastille Day.   It was the 100th anniversary of the storming of the French prison, and the city honored the event with elaborate festivities at West End, as well as an enormous arch that spanned Canal Street.

The Daily Picayune reported: "So it came that the two nations celebrated the hundredth anniversary of the greatest events of their history almost at the same time. The thought was emblematized by the central painting on the arch of triumph on Canal Street, two large female figures, representing the respective countries, standing side by side and clasping hands in sight of all the world." (15 July 1889)

Architect J.V. Delpierre designed the arch, which was pictured in The American Architect and Building News in advance of the day's events.

Image above: J.V. Delpierre. "Triumphal Arch erected for the Celebration at New Orleans, La., of the taking of the Bastille." The American Architect and Building News (13 July 1889): p. 18.  The Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

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