Alexander Allison's New Orleans
Louisiana Division | New Orleans Public Library
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Liberty -- Canal Street, undated

The Liberty Place monument, erected on the Canal Street neutral ground near Wells Street in 1891, commemorates the battle of September 14, 1874 in which the Crescent City White League attempted to overthrow the Reconstruction government of Louisiana. The obelisk certainly was not controversial when Allison photographed it (probably around 1910), but that changed significantly during the last quarter of the 20th century. In 1989 the monument was temporarily removed from Canal Street; several years later it was relocated to a much less visible spot a block away. The monument is not the only thing missing from this site today. The buildings on both sides of Canal Street between the Custom House and the River were long ago demolished; the left side of the site is now occupied by Harrah’s casino and the right side by the Canal Place shopping mall/hotel/office building complex. And, of course, the horse-drawn wagons have long since been replaced by cars, trucks, SUVs, tour buses, and the like.

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