Suzanne L. Ormond Collection
Earl K. Long Library
University of New Orleans
Size: 2.5 linear feet
Geographic locations: New Orleans, La.
Inclusive dates: 1951-1972
Bulk dates: 1966-1972
Summary: Papers accumulated by Mrs. Ormond, a New Orleans preservationist; primarily concerned with a proposed New Orleans Riverfront Expressway and Uptown Mississippi River Bridge, but containing material on other controversies; included are some records of the Central Area Committee of the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, the Crescent Council of Civic Associations, the Independent Women’s Organization, the Louisiana Council for the Vieux Carré, the Mississippi River Bridge Authority, the New Orleans Planning Commission, the Orleans-Jefferson Bridge Advisory Committee, the Regional Planning Commission, the Regional Planning Forum, and the Uptown Civic Association. Includes announcements, booklets, contracts, correspondence, clippings, insurance records, maps, minutes, meeting agenda and reports, memoranda, notes, position papers, proposed bylaws, petitions, questionnaires, resolutions, reports, reprints, rosters, recommendations, studies, speeches, statements, serial publications, zoning regulations, and a poster.
Related collections: Mark P. Lowrey Collection (Mss 47); Marta B. Lamar Collection (Mss 62) and Marta B. Lamar Collection, Addendum 1 (Mss 69); Marta B. Lamar Collection, Addendum 2 (Mss 76); Marta B. Lamar Collection, Addendum 2 (Mss 77) David L. Campbell Collection (Mss 123); Vieux Carre Property Owners, Residents & Associates Collection (Mss 247)
Source: Gift, July 1975
Access: No restrictions
Copyright: Physical rights are retained by the Earl K. Long Library, University of New Orleans.
Citation: Suzanne L. Ormond Collection, Earl K. Long Library, University of New Orleans
Suzanne Levy Ormond was an artist and outspoken civic activist who owned Suzanne Ormond Pottery and fought to preserve the French Quarter, save St. Charles Avenue's live oaks and improve the New Orleans Public Library. A lifelong resident of New Orleans, she graduated from Sophie B. Wright High School, Stephens College in Columbia, Mo., and Newcomb College. Her Uptown pottery produced stoneware house-number tiles that adorn thousands of houses in New Orleans and other cities.
In the 1960s, Mrs. Ormond helped lead the fights against a proposed riverfront expressway along the edge of the French Quarter and an Uptown bridge across the Mississippi River. Her opposition to a bridge at Napoleon Avenue pitted her against her father, Capt. Neville Levy, who was chairman of the Mississippi River Bridge Authority. "I just went about my business saying it was wrong," she said. "It didn't have anything to do with him per se, but he took it as a personal affront. But that wasn't the reason why I did it." She said she opposed the bridge because it would have destroyed much of Uptown. "Everything from Carrollton Avenue to Napoleon Avenue would have been gone," she said.
Mrs. Ormond was instrumental in enlisting City Council candidate Eddie Sapir in the fight against the proposed bridge. She recalled in a 1988 interview how she met Sapir at the first meeting of the Uptown Civic Association. She said she literally backed Sapir into a corner and told him she wanted him to lead the opposition to the bridge. "I said, 'You see that wallpaper on the wall? You're going to stick to us like that wallpaper, or we are not going to endorse you,' " she said. Sapir was elected, and the idea of an Uptown bridge died. Instead, a second span was built next to the bridge that had opened in 1958.
Mrs. Ormond was active in many other causes and organizations. She was a longtime member of the board of the city's public library system, serving as its chairwoman from 1994 to 1996, and was a founder and former chairwoman of the New Orleans Public Library Foundation. She helped develop the system's Children's Resource Center on Napoleon Avenue and worked to institute technological innovations and offer Internet access at library branches. Mayor Marc Morial awarded her the Mayor's Medal of Honor in 1998 for her work on behalf of the library system.
Mrs. Ormond also was a former member of the Vieux Carré Commission, a longtime member and treasurer of the Louisiana State Museum board of directors, a former president of the Crescent Council of Civic Associations, and a former chairwoman of the Citizens Advisory Committee of the Sewerage & Water Board, to name but a few of her activities. She helped organize the Louisiana Crafts Council, later presenting many one-woman shows under its auspices, and the Foundation for the Crafts of the Newcomb Style, which promoted the recognition of Newcomb College pottery as a distinctive American craft.
Mrs. Ormond was the author or co-author of "Louisiana's Art Nouveau: The Crafts of the Newcomb Style" (1976), "Favorite New Orleans Recipes" (1979), and "Recipes from an Old New Orleans Kitchen" (1988), all issued by Pelican Publishing Co. She was president of Pokorny Development Co., a family-owned real estate holding company, and a former member of the advisory board of American Bank & Trust Co., now Alerion Bank. Mrs. Ormond died on February 26, 2004, at the age of 77.
Quoted almost verbatim from “Suzanne Ormond, Artist, Civic Activist.” New Orleans Times-Picayune, March 2, 2004.
Including announcements, booklets, contracts, correspondence, clippings, insurance records, minutes, meeting agenda and reports, memoranda, notes, position papers, proposed bylaws, petitions, questionnaires, resolutions, reports, reprints, rosters, recommendations, studies, speeches, statements, serial publications, and zoning regulations, n.d., 1955, 1961-1972.
59-1 n.d., 1955, 1961 - January 12, 1967.
59-2 January 13, 1967 - March 25, 1969.
59-3 April 1969 - July 29, 1970.
59-4 August 18, 1970 - June 16, 1971.
59-5 July 30, 1971.
59-6 August 30, 1971 - April 10, 1972.
59-6 [Aubrey G. Burke. Map of New Orleans based on Mississippi River Bridge Authority Resolution of 3/14/68, and showing where the 600-foot landside of the Public Belt Railroad would extend.] n.p., . See also Miscellany . . . May 10, 1968 (59-2).
59-6 Simeon O. Coxe, Jr. Plan for channeling Mississippi River from Westwego, La., to Jesuit Bend, La., and reclamation of cut-off portion of river bed at New Orleans. Metairie, La., ca. 1966.
59-6 deLaureal Engineers, Inc., and Howard, Needles, Tammen & Bergendorff. Plan [of] Uptown Mississippi River Bridge & Riverfront Expressway, Layout No. 2. New Orleans, 1967. (2 copies)
59-7 C. Gandolfo, Jr. and Associates. Map of a Portion of St. Bernard Parish. New Orleans, 1953.
59-7 Gulf Oil Corporation. New Orleans Street Map. N.p., 1966.
59-7 Howard, Needles, Tammen & Bergendorff, and deLaureal Engineers, Inc. Proposed Highway Bridge Over the Mississippi River at New Orleans, Louisiana . . . Application by the Mississippi River Bridge Authority. N.p., 1966.
59-7 New Orleans and contiguous areas. N.p., n.d. (2 copies)
59-8 New Orleans and contiguous areas with delineation and definition of existing and proposed roadways. N.p., n.d.
59-8 New Orleans and contiguous areas with commentary on routes of Interstate Highways 10 and 610. N.p., n.d.
59-8 New Orleans City Planning Commission, and the Department of Streets. Base Map for the Study of the Feasibility of the Riverfront Expressway Extension Upstream. [New Orleans], 1967.
59-9 United States Department of Interior. Geological Survey. New Orleans East, La. (1951)
59-9 United States Department of Interior. Geological Survey. New Orleans West, La. (1965)
59-9 Wilbur Smith and Associates. New Orleans and contiguous areas with “travel desires” and “trip-end termini” descriptions for Greater New Orleans Bridge, Huey P. Long Bridge, and Uptown Bridge under “1965-existing conditions” and “1965-assuming toll bridge program.” N.p., ca. 1965.
59-11 Poster: “M.R.B.A. / Mr. Neville / Levy, / Dear Sir: / No / Uptown / Bridge” (On reverse: “Sign taken from a five year old black girl in the march (parade) from the river to Pilgrim Progress Church at 3600 Loyola Ave., along Peniston Street. February 1970-”).
Bridges—Design and construction—Mississippi River
Historic preservation—Louisiana—New Orleans
New Orleans Riverfront Expressway
Ormond, Suzanne L.