Thursday, January 9, 2014

Building Effigies

In  May 1957, the City of New Orleans celebrated a 22-block parade in honor of Mayor deLesseps S. Morrison's building initiatives. At the time of the event, City Hall and the Saratoga building had been completed, the Public Library was under construction, and the old Knights of Pythias temple was being re-sheathed with modernist colored panels.

The parade initiated at Municipal Auditorium and included more than 2000 civic and international participants. Floats adorned with building effigies featured prominently: the Mississippi River Bridge; the Union Passenger Terminal building; City Hall; and oil industry derricks were transported along the designated route through the former Storyville. Some fifteen marching bands punctuated the progress floats. The event culminated with the mayor's dedication and opening of the new City Hall.

New Orleans architect Arthur Q. Davis (1920-2011) served on the City Hall dedication committee, along with preservation leaders Clay Shaw and General L. Kemper Williams.  Betty Finnin directed the creation of the parade floats.

Read more in: "History Making Day Monday." The Times-Picayune New Orleans States (5 May 1957): Section 7, p. 7.

Image above: Leon Trice, photographer for Public Relations Office City Hall, New Orleans. Bird’s Eye View photograph of “Parade of Progress” celebrating Mayor DeLesseps Morrison’s building initiatives, dedication of new City Hall. 6 May 1957. Visual Materials Collection, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

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