300 Moonwalk

Pedestrians relax along the Moon Walk.

The Moon Walk gave New Orleans a gateway to the Mississippi River.

For more than a century the river had been hidden from view, first by levees built in the 1800s, and then by docks that lined the river.

But after the citizens defeated a proposal that would have put an elevated expressway along the river, Mayor Moon Landrieu and other city officials decided to reestablish a link with the river. In 1970 they began tearing down the wharves to build a pedestrian walkway. The one-mile long stretch completed in 1975 for $216,000. It was built opposite of Jackson Square and christened the Moon Walk after Mayor Landrieu.

The promenade helped spur the redevelopment of the riverfront that occurred less than a decade later for the 1984 World’s Fair. The Moon Walk was extended downriver to the French Market and Woldenberg Park was built upriver. Today more than 7 million people a year visit the riverfront near the French Quarter.

Efforts persist to provide more access to the river, and one of those efforts, Crescent Park, was opened downriver in the Marigny in 2014.