September 2003

This month's gallery is made up of images taken from the 1953-1954 Annual Report of the Mayor -- Mayor deLesseps S. Morrison, then at the end of his second term of office. The report (covering May, 1953 to May, 1954) brims with enthusiasm and energy and pictures a city looking toward a new age of renewal and progress. A new Home Rule Charter and a new form of municipal government had just been adopted. The Union Passenger Terminal was completed. The Mississippi River Bridge and the Civic Center were in their final planning stages. Moisant Airport was preparing to expand. Massive road work and drainage projects were going on from one end of the city to the other. Slums were being cleared and new public housing was under construction. New commercial and educational buildings were rising downtown. "Our city set a new record for getting things done' during the last twelve months," Mayor Morrison wrote in his introduction to the report. "As a matter of fact, it is doubtful if New Orleans has ever accomplished so much of far-reaching importance within a one year period."

It is somewhat sobering to look back on what was so shiny and new in 1953 and recognize that, fifty years later, much of it is now more than a little bit shabby. There are many in city government today, however, who are facing the future with a similar energy and enthusiasm and who believe that New Orleans is once again looking toward a new age of renewal and progress.

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