A walk through the Park: The history of Pontchartrain

Pontchartrain Park, an historic African-American neighborhood in New Orleans, was all but obliterated by Hurricane Katrina’s flooding in 2005. Built on a golf course in 1955 as an outgrowth of the “separate but equal” doctrine, it’s the oldest planned suburban black community in New Orleans (and one of the oldest of its kind in the country).

Pontchartrain Park was a place where people knew their neighbors well. It was common for several generations to reside in the same house and many family members remained in the neighborhood all their lives or lived close by. This close-knit community has a rich history and has yielded many famous residents including actor Wendell Pierce of HBO’s The Wire and Treme, trumpeter Terence Blanchard, two of the city’s black mayors and Environmental Protection Agency chief Lisa Perez Jackson.

Here’s more on the history of Pontchartrain Park.