Louisiana Division/City Archives   New Orleans Public Library

Image of the Month
January 2008

This image is from a scrapbook of photographs transferred to the City Archives by the New Orleans Recreation Department in 1999 (click HERE for more on the scrapbook photographs).

This photograph was taken in 1947 or 1948 in Lincoln Playground near the intersection of Broad and Calliope Streets. The 1947 Annual Report of the Recreation Department briefly describes the facility as "another scene of real Negro recreational activity. Its facilities include: shelter house, basketball courts, softball diamond, children's play equipment and jumping pits." After the addition of a gymnasium in 1949 the recreation facility was renamed in honor of Julius Rosenwald, head of Sears, Roebuck & Co. and the father of Edith Rosenwald (Mrs. Edgar B.) Stern of New Orleans.

The buildings in the right background are part of the Calliope (later the B. W. Cooper) public housing development (the one closest to the center of the photograph was later demolished, probably as part of the project to widen Calliope Street into Earhart Boulevard). The structures in the left background are warehouses built during the late 1940s.

The children and young adults shown in the photograph were probably residents of the Calliope housing development. It is quite possible, though far from provable, that at least some of the musical Neville Brothers are among those posing for the camera. The Nevilles (Art, born 1937; Charles, born 1938; Aaron, born 1941) were living in the Calliope during that time period (Cyril, the youngest, was born in January 1948--perhaps he is the babe-in-arms shown at the upper left in the photograph).

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Click HERE to visit our old (1996-2007) Images of the Month Gallery archives.

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