Pontchartrain Lido

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This thesis deals with problems of growth in the New Orleans metropolitan area. The proposals set forth suggest a new order and pattern using air-space over existing railroad tracks and highways. Pontchartrain Lido is a city designed for the needs of the transient urban population. The mounting congestion and crowding in this metropolitan region has created a shortage of desirable land for housing, commerical, educational and community facilities in general. This region is a low-lying, swampy place, below sea level and very difficult to drain. Land reclamation is costly, time-consuming and expensive to maintain. New Orleans is not unlike many large urban areas with similar expansion problems; however, urban renewal and rapid transit alone cannot accommodate our mass-migrations between urban areas or solve the monumental traffic volume predicted shortly. Pontchartrain Lido is originally planned to create a new highway environment spanning over the 24-mile Lake Pontchartrain Causeway. This new ecological pattern is eventually planned to encircle New Orleans, extend to the eastern extremity of the city and continue to complete the circle on the north shore of the Lake. In total, this entire development would be about 75 miles in length and house upwards of 500,000 people in an area where people have basically never considered living before. As a preliminary step in the regional plan, the proposed new International Airport would be located at the northern end of this Causeway and create the first generating force in the overall plan. This airport, in addition to the other proposed focal points, would begin to organize an urban framework for the future. Moreover, this framework beginning with Pontchartrain Lido is intended to be the growth structure for this metropolitan region for the next 25-30 years. In order to realize a departure from conventional settlement patterns, a new city within a city can only be valid by solving many social, economic, and psychological problems to a greater degree than found in existing proposals. This city must have a strong physical and environmental image; it must be a symbol of man's technological ability and should be a type of frontier to create equality and opportunity for the entire urban transient population. To demonstrate these points, graphic illustrations of the city are presented in diagrams with detailed explanation of their parts. In further detail, a convention hotel was designed to represent an urban atmosphere in its most transient form. The Lido Hotel would also serve as a major generating force and gateway to this new type of urban growth and ordering.

Master of Architecture

Haspel, Edward M. "Pontchartrain Lido." (1967) Master’s Thesis, Rice University. https://hdl.handle.net/1911/89508.

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