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Statement from Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer Re: Congo Square in Armstrong Park

April 27, 2011

Councilmember Gisleson-Palmer

Councilmember Gisleson-Palmer

New Orleans, LA - April 27, 2011 - District "C" Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer released the following statement regarding Congo Square in Armstrong Park:


"Tomorrow the City Council will consider an ordinance to officially restore the widely known and traditionally recognized name of Congo Square.  Congo Square is a very important part of our City's history and culture.  It is a place where enslaved Africans celebrated their heritage through song and dance.  By restoring the name, Congo Square will continue to be remembered for the birthplace of the culture and music of New Orleans.  In fact, Jazz is the only truly indigenous American art form, and arguably its genesis was Congo Square, a true gift to the entire country and world.


"While the Council will vote to restore the name of Congo Square tomorrow, it remains inaccessible to the public with the continued closure of Armstrong Park, where Congo Square is located.  Tomorrow also marks Mayor Landrieu's "State of the City" address.  The Mayor has chosen the Mahalia Jackson Theater, located in Armstrong Park, as the location for this important speech, but sadly Armstrong Park will not be opened.  Regardless of the ongoing construction delays, parts of Armstrong Park should be opened to serve as a public recreational area and also as a throughway for pedestrians and cyclists commuting between neighborhoods.  Tremé and the surrounding communities have waited far too long to be able to access this beautiful public space and cultural icon. 


"I greatly appreciate the mayor's recognition of the importance of this park through his choice of venue. It is evident that he appreciates the value of this place, and we are extremely grateful.   I urge and request the Administration to open the sections of Armstrong Park that are not undergoing repairs."

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