New Orleans Lakefront

An exploration of some of the historical locations and uses of New Orleans' lakefront, including colonial fortifications, military bases, amusement parks, and the University of New Orleans.

New Canal Lighthouse

In the 1830s, Irish and German immigrants dug the New Basin Canal as a link between New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain. The lake end of the canal featured the New Canal Lighthouse, originally an octagonal, wooden tower resting on pilings driven into…

New Canal Coast Guard Station

The US Coast Guard's lakefront station was once located at Spanish Fort. By the 1860s, the structure at Spanish Fort had sustained damage from many hurricanes and was in disrepair. The station then moved to the site of the New Canal Lighthouse…

LaGarde Army/Navy Hospital

LaGarde Hospital was built in 1941 to relieve congestion during the Second World War at other regional Army hospitals such as Camp Beauregard in Pineville, Louisiana, and Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The hospital was designated as an…

Spanish Fort at Bayou St. John

A small fort was erected in 1701 before the founding of the city of New Orleans by the French where Bayou St. John empties into Lake Pontchartrain. The settlers sought to protect the important trade route along Bayou St. John. It was first used in…

Naval Air Station & University of New Orleans

In the fall of 1940, the Navy began improving its primary flight training facilities by building up its system of Naval Reserve air bases, including New Orleans. The lakefront base housed a steel hangar, barracks for 100 cadets, a small assembly,…

Pontchartrain Beach Amusement Park

Pontchartrain Beach Amusement Park was created during the Lakeshore reclamation project of the 1920s. The Orleans Levee Board began the project with the construction of a seawall which was completed in 1930. At the same time, the reclaimed area…

Camp Leroy Johnson

During WWII, Camp Leroy Johnson was used along with the New Orleans Airport by the Army and Airforce Bomber Squadron for training. Signal and Quartermaster units were trained on the post, which housed a Transportation Corps Officer Candidate School…