Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Mitchell, Mary N.

Second Advisor

Bischof, Gunter

Third Advisor

Dupont, Robert L.


The emergence of Progressivism at the beginning of the twentieth century influenced many aspects of American society. One of those aspects was urban parks. In the latter half of the nineteenth century Frederick Law Olmsted led a nationwide implementation of "Victorian" parks. These parks featured broad expanses of turf, waterways, and trees. Olmsted and the other Victorian park leaders designed the parks to cultivate Victorian values of self-restraint and independence among the citizenry. With the rise of Progressivism the ideals of the middle class changed. Led by Theodore Roosevelt, millions of Americans embraced the "strenuous life" and its emphasis on strength and leadership. Consequently, parks changed. The new Progressive park design favored athletic facilities over places for repose. Audubon Park in New Orleans was built just as this change was occurring, and therefore provides us an opportunity to study this moment in American history in detail.


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