Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Urban Studies


Planning and Urban Studies

Major Professor

Gladstone, David; Mosterman, Andrea

Second Advisor

Dupont, Lynn


The site known as Spanish Fort, which lies in crumbling ruins along the shore of New Orleans’ Bayou St. John, is most often remembered as a colonial military site. However, for the last two centuries, since the end of the Civil War, it has played another important role in the city’s history, as a site of recreation. It served a crucial role in shaping racial relationships and debates over public rights in the city, one tied intimately to the shifting nature of the city’s physical geography. Through analysis of historical records and archaeology of the site, and utilizing theories of public rights, geography, and memory, this paper uncovers this lost history of Spanish Fort as a contested, racialized space of recreation in which negotiations over public rights played out in a spatial microcosm, as well as the processes which have acted to bury these important stories, both literally and metaphorically.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

Available for download on Tuesday, December 15, 2026