Blakeview: Latrobe Park_lowres

 

The 31st annual Creole Tomato Festival is June 9-10 at the French Market, and nearby is Latrobe Park, a small pocket park on Decatur Street between St. Philip and Ursulines streets. The park dates to the 1970s but is on the original site of the city's first pumping station. Architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe, known as the country's first professional architect, came to the city in 1812 to design the waterworks. He also was the architect of the U.S. Capitol, the Baltimore Cathedral and Philadelphia Waterworks. The waterworks on Decatur Street was completed in 1820, the year Latrobe died in New Orleans. He is buried in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, along with his son, who worked with him and died here during a yellow fever epidemic. In later years, the Decatur Street site became a row of shops and a fish market. It was demolished in 1937 and was a parking lot for many years before being turned into Latrobe Park in the mid-1970s, named to honor the architect. In July 1985 a fountain was added as a gift from the mayor of Paris. In 1989, the Vieux Carre Commission voted to add a 4-foot-high pyramid sculpture to the fountain.