Commemoration of Women’s Contribution in the Public Sphere of New Orleans

The history of New Orleans is widely presented in the public space where many historic events and influential people that contributed to the shape of the city over the years are marked by street names, building names, memorials, etc. The female legacy of the city is also among those commemorating actions, although at a much less massive quantity.

Places that indicate women that have contributed to NOLA’s history and character:

Statues of women around the city:
* The statue of Joan of Arc, Maid of Orleans, located in Crafts Bazaar – French Market.
* The statue of Sophie B Wright, a New Orleans-born educator, who opened a free school and contributed to the city in many aspects.
* The Mahalia Jackson statue to honor the Gospel singer who was born and raised in New Orleans.
* Margaret Haughery statue, commemorating the woman who opened four orphanages in the area, can be found at Margaret Place Park.
* Ruby Bridges statue in William Frantz Elementary school, to honor the first African-American child to attend an all-white elementary school in 1960. Bridges grew up to be a civil rights activist.
* It is also worth mentioning, though it isn’t a statue, the tomb of Marie Laveau, the famous Voodoo Queen and community leader. This location is visited by many tourists and believers that say she continues to work her magic from beyond the grave.

Structures and statues that were #MadeByWomen:
* Undine (1942) by Rose Marie Huth, located at the entrance to the conservatory of the botanical gardens.
* A sculpture of Stanley Ray in City Park, made by Kim Bernadas, a local New Orleans sculptor.

Parks named after women:
* Margaret Place Park.
* Sophie B. Wright Park.
* A bench in Storyland in the City Park that is dedicated to the beloved children’s author, Coleen Salley.

Architecture pieces were contributed by women who lived in the city:
* Hyams Fountain (1921), Inside the Carousel Gardens entrance in City Park. Sara Lavinia Hyams bequeathed the sale of her personal jewelry collection – valued at $30,000 in 1914 – to fund the building of fountains in both City Park and Audubon Park.
* Popp Fountain in City Park. Some sources claim that the fountain was a gift from Isabel Grant in honor of her sister Rebecca and her brother in law John Popp, who died in 1918.
* Pichot Stone Bridge (1902). This rough-hewn cobblestone bridge was dedicated in the memory of Henrietta M. Leonie Pichot for her gift of $192.00 in 1901 to City Park.
* Langles Bridge (1902). Dedicated in the memory of Angele M. Langles for her gift of $650.00 to City Park.
* Dueling Oak Sign in City Park, one of the last remaining signs made by Mrs. Joy Luke. In the past, her signs were all over the park.

As mentioned earlier, one common way to honor famous events and people in the city is by naming streets after them.
Street names in New Orleans are not the usual names, as the city itself is unusual. There is no street with a generic name such as ‘Main street’, instead there is Bourbon Street, Good Children Street, Desire Street, Frenchmen Street, and of course on saints and French personas (generals, intellectuals, the royal family, etc.) as well as famous French battles. Over the years some of the street names have changed to honor American figures. Several streets were named after women:
* Uptown New Orleans has nine streets named after the nine Greek Muses.
* Dauphine Street is named after the wife of the French king’s oldest son.
* Lambert Street is named after Anne-Thérèse de Marguenat de Courcelles (became Madame de Lambert after her marriage), who was a French writer and hosted the most intellectual salon in Paris at the beginning of the 18th century.
* And also the following: Rosa Park St, Eleonore St., Hillary St., Jeannette St., Ursulines Ave., Annette St., and Drexel Drive honoring St. Katharine Drexel.
Another institute honoring women’s heritage is Old Ursuline Convent Museum. The Ursuline nuns were sent from France by the king, and they established a hospital and orphanage in the city.

We invite you to search through our map to see the information we gathered about the legacy of women in the area you are wandering. Click here to learn about some of the women who left a mark on NOLA history.

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