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Blake Pontchartrain: Kennedy Park in Bayou St. John

The park is named after Charles R. Kennedy

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Hey Blake,

I'm unable to find information on Kennedy Park in Faubourg St. John. We've had events there and would eventually like to have a sign there, but no one knows when or why it was named that.

Charlie London

Dear Charlie,

  The small pocket park in Faubourg St. John, just two blocks off Esplanade Avenue, officially is known as Kennedy Place. It is bordered by Ursulines Avenue and Bell, North Lopez and North Rendon Streets. According to the New Orleans Public Library, it was created by city ordinance in September 1909. Its namesake isn't President John F. Kennedy or a member of his famous family, but a former City of New Orleans comptroller (or chief financial officer) named Charles R. Kennedy.

  Born in New Orleans on July 26, 1853, Kennedy graduated from Jesuit High School when it was known as the College of the Immaculate Conception. After a few years in the business world, he entered politics as a clerk for the city Commissioner of Commerce, then worked for the New Orleans Board of Health and finally as a bookkeeper in the city comptroller's office. Kennedy was elected city comptroller in 1892. According to a 1912 article in The Times-Picayune, Kennedy also represented the 6th Ward in the state Legislature from 1884 to 1886 and was elected constable of First City Court in 1900.

  A May 2, 1916 obituary called Kennedy a "prominent figure in politics" and a member of the Choctaw Club, which was home to the "Old Regulars" — a nickname for the Regular Democratic Organization that dominated city politics for generations.


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