And why not? They are building up Pontchartrain Beach so Lincoln Beach should be built up also. Fair to one, fair to all.
Using a timeline, draw-on maps and a scale model, 100 New Orleans East residents on Saturday described their vision for Lincoln Beach. The presentation, at the Lincoln Beach Center in Little Woods, showcased the product of two previous community sessions that were meant to evoke what residents remember of a lakefront attraction that closed a half century ago, and what they hope it will become after it is restored. “Everybody enjoyed when they went there, swimming until the evening,” Eloise Williams, 82, said. “We have to fight now to get it back. It should’ve stayed open, because it’s a pleasure.”nola.com
Lincoln Beach, owned by the city, is in the first stage of renovation.
The beach is owned by New Orleans, which on March 17 received $4.3 million from the RESTORE Act as partial settlement for the BP oil disaster of 2010. Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s administration is now in the first phase of its restoration plan: conducting public engagement and drafting a preliminary design. It plans to begin construction in May and expects to finish within four years. City Hall created the Lincoln Beach Community Advisory Committee in December 2020. The panel’s president, Blyss Wallace, said she was surprised that many residents’ main concern was to ensure the site retains a natural beach. “We’ve got an opportunity to actually enjoy these natural spaces and not put up concrete and take away from what it is,” Wallace said. “There’s been several efforts to open it, and I think there’s a lot of stuff in place right now to where it can all work out.”
Opened in 1954, the beach was closed in 1964 after integration.
“We’ve got an opportunity to actually enjoy these natural spaces and not put up concrete and take away from what it is,” Wallace said. “There’s been several efforts to open it, and I think there’s a lot of stuff in place right now to where it can all work out.” Community advocates have begun to reclaim the space in recent years, despite its official closure. City Hall frowns on their trespassing, in part because of the prescience of alligators and poisonous plants, but the advocates have pressed officials to get moving on the restoration. The group New Orleans for Lincoln Beach is sprucing up the site because some people still visit regularly. “Reggie Ford basically landscaped and designed the beach how it is now, because when we first went in there we had machetes,” Wallace said. “It was like a jungle: You had to cut through things to get through certain spaces.”
The plans, despite some activities, call for the beach to be open.
Residents have drawn up multiple plans for Lincoln Beach. The common elements include a market, a spot for fishing and a designated location for music, and for much of the space to remain a natural beach. City Hall’s main goals in its restoration plan include parking, access for pedestrians and emergency vehicles, walking paths and a public pier. Officials also plan to rehabilitate or replace the existing waterfront pavilions, some of which have been marked with graffiti. “Being from New Orleans, I’m looking forward to something happening with the beach,” said Quanita Kendrick of the Water Leaders Institute, a co-sponsor of Saturday’s presentation. “In terms of what that is, I’m pretty open to what people from the East have to say.”
The city can use two beaches and they are not next to each other and serve different parts of the city. Go for it!