City Park Art & Architecture
The artistic identity of City Park is composed of several styles from throughout its history, although the Earliest relics have been lost. The iron Storyteller Gazebo in Storyland was one of the Park's early picnic gazebos. Originally located along Bayou Metairie, it was relocated to a more prominent spot and restored in the 1980s. The Pizatti Gate and the Timken Center, a Spanish Mission style building long known as the Casino Building, are the earliest surviving structures in the Park. Classical Greek motifs are evident in the construction of the early 20th century-- the Peristyle, Popp Bandstand, and Popp Fountain.
The most significant period of development was undertaken in the 1930s under the supervision of the Works Progress Administration. Most of the existing brick cottage-style outbuildings and art deco sculpture came into the Park during this time.
As a result, the landscape of City Park is dotted with dozens of original artworks. Sculptural elements range from reliefs on bridges, representations of athletes on the gates surrounding Tad Gormley Stadium, to a number of works in the Botanical Garden- where the highest concentration of WPA-era art deco sculpture is located. The single most represented artist through the Park grounds remains Mexican-born Enrique Alferez who was commissioned by the WPA.
More recent contributions have also strongly influenced the feel of the Park. A much more whimsical take on sculpture is on display inside Storyland. Outside the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Besthoff Sculpture garden are multiple works by modern masters. More recently, the Pavilion of the Two Sisters and renovation of the Conservatory were designed to resemble classic french orangeries.
The surviving art and architecture of City Park spans from the turn of the century, through the WPA era, and into modern styles. As the Park moves forward with rebuilding and implementation of its new Master Plan, construction will continue to evolve, reflecting harmony with the setting of the park using modern styles and techniques.