The revitalization of Lincoln Beach will come sooner than expected as the City of New Orleans has successfully secured a total of $24.6 million in funding to redevelop this historically, culturally and environmentally significant site.
During segregation, Lincoln Beach was the designated spot for Black New Orleanians to enjoy the water along Lake Pontchartrain’s shore. There was swimming and much more, from the Carver House restaurant to beauty contests to live performances featuring young Fats Domino, Ernie K-Doe, Aaron Neville and others.With integration, however, Lincoln Beach closed and ultimately fell into disrepair.
In recent years, local residents have shown interested in revitalizing the site. And City leaders began to order with feasibility studies and environmental assessments to determine the viability of reopening the site. The Cantrell Administration started funding redevelopment efforts in 2020 and published a site assessment in Spring 2021. The Lincoln Beach Site Assessment Report confirmed that the land can be safely redeveloped with the appropriate resources.
“My administration recognizes the historic, cultural significance and natural beauty of Lincoln Beach and has been working to revitalize this area to re-open it for the public,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “As a result of an unprecedented bond sale, my team is the first administration to allocate financial resources to Lincoln Beach in over six decades. The newly redeveloped Lincoln Beach will provide equitable access to an open, green space, family friendly recreational activities, and will reconnect our people to nature while developing an appreciation for our local ecosystems and biodiversity. The new Lincoln Beach will truly be a beautiful and peaceful location.”
A 15-acre peninsula abutting Lake Pontchartrain and situated in New Orleans East, Lincoln Beach is bound by Hayne Boulevard. Closed since 1964, structures and facilities have deteriorated over time due to the lack of maintenance and a damage from hurricanes. Because existing structures are not safe or structurally sound, Lincoln Beach is not currently open to residents for recreation.
However, repair and construction work is scheduled to begin later this year, according to a statement released by the City.
“I appreciate the administration’s and the City Council’s commitment to redeveloping Lincoln Beach and recognizing the importance of this site for the community, especially our neighbors in New Orleans East,” said Deputy Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for Infrastructure Joseph Threat. “Lincoln Beach has sat unkept and unattended for far too long, and we are excited to finally be moving things forward here with this unprecedented level of new bond funding. Our residents deserve this slice of natural beauty to enjoy with family and friends.”
Councilman Oliver Thomas, whose district includes Lincoln Beach is excited to see the highly-anticipated project move forward.
“Redevelopment of Lincoln Beach is one of the most exciting projects in the City that has labored for far too long,” said Thomas. “I’m glad that within my first year as Councilman of District E we could work with the Administration to get the funding needed for this historical site.”
The funding is also welcomed news for New Orleanians involved in the community-led efforts to see the beach reopened.
“Our group has been advocating for Lincoln Beach to be cleaned up and redeveloped so our community can once again enjoy this beautiful site,” said Tricia “Blyss” Wallace. Wallace represents New Orleans for Lincoln Beach. “This funding is welcome news, especially for residents of New Orleans East. We can now feel confident that things are moving in the right direction, and we thank the administration for prioritizing this project.”
Learn more about the City’s plans for Lincoln Beach at nola.gov/LincolnBeach.