Actor Wendell Pierce (most recently of HBO’s “The Wire”) is leading an effort to gain National Register status for the Pontchartrain Park neighborhood and its golf course. This is one of the first post-World War II housing developments in the country built by and for African Americans. It was the home of New Orleans mayors Dutch Morial and his son Marc, along with jazz great Terrance Blanchard, and Pierce himself. Its golf course is named for its designer, Joe Bartholomew, who designed many local and national golf courses—but wasn’t able to play on them due to segregation.
We offered our help at any point educating residents about National Register vs. local historic district designation, state home owner tax credits, helping with the restoration of the landscaping, and any other preservation and neighborhood development issues. Pontchartrain Park was the post-World War II vision of the ranch house in the subdivision, which drew soldiers and their new brides out of older central cities.
Pierce wants to revitalize the neighborhood association and also protect the golf course and the existing housing stock from redevelopment that would alter the character of the neighborhood. The area suffered as much as six feet of flooding after Katrina.