Thursday, August 28, 2014

1965 NOLA Subway Proposal

In April 1965, New Orleans architect Italo William Ricciuti (1906-1987) raised eyebrows with a speech delivered to the American Association of University Women's Crescent City Branch, in which he outlined his solution to the city's increasing traffic problems. . . a subway system.

A skeptical Times-Picayune reporter asked whether the soft soil subgrade conditions and the potential for storm-related flooding would be prohibitive.  Ricciuti responded by  stressing the need for urban design and planning in New Orleans, and by citing other cities then building subway systems, including Rotterdam, Oslo, Milan and Montreal.  He conveyed that engineering assessments of the Crescent City's soil were favorable, and that it would be easier to build a subterranean transportation system here due to the lack of rocks. He viewed pumping systems as the means of obviating future flooding.

Read more:  "Subway Seen as Traffic Aid."  The Times-Picayune 22 April 1965.

Image above:  Italo William Ricciuti, architect. Ricciuti, Stoffle and Associates. Firm Brochure. Undated. Biographical Files, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

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