This month's gallery brings you photographs from the beaches of Lake Pontchartrain's south shore, where not so long ago, New Orleanians flocked to beat the July heat and forget their cares on the midways of amusement parks. Four beach front parks are featured: Spanish Fort, Lincoln Beach, and both the first and second Pontchartrain Beaches. All are gone now, but the Lakefront is reawakening, nevertheless.
Thanks in large part to the efforts of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, the lake's water quality has been restored to levels that will very soon allow officials to lift the 20-year-old ban on swimming. Plans to redevelop Lincoln Beach are well underway. And UNO's Research and Technology Park has risen on the site of the old Pontchartrain Beach amusement park.
Most of these photographs are from the Louisiana Division's Works Progress Administration Photograph Collection. During the late 1930s and early 1940s, WPA workers made improvements to both Lincoln and Pontchartrain Beaches, and contributed to the road and bridge construction and land reclamation projects that created the Lakefront and opened up the vistas of Lake Pontchartrain to the New Orleans' residents and visitors. (Link HERE for more WPA Lakefront images.) Two additional photos are from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Collection.
Click on the images to see a larger version of each photograph.
And click HERE to revisit earlier Images of the Month Galleries.