OLG and DCRT
Strategic Plan
2014-15 through 2018-19

         

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Improvements and Consolidation: The Founding of the Dock Board

Section 1
The Port of New Orleans in the Nineteenth Century
Section 2
Improvements and Consolidation:
The Founding of the Dock Board
Section 3
The Banana Trade
Section 4
J. Aron and Company:
The Role of the Coffee Importer
Section 5
New Orleans and Coffee

At the turn of the century, many American political and business leaders turned to the Progressive movement for solutions to the problems of the Industrial Age. Progressivism consisted of many strands, including such democratic reforms as the direct primary and the referendum; the "gospel of efficiency"; and government regulation of business. In New Orleans, Progressive leaders advocated that the public sphere take over the administration of port facilities from private interests, which had failed to realize the port's potential. Government officials and prominent businessmen decided that control of the industry should be turned over to a state commission that would pursue (at least in theory) the best interests of the port. On July 9, 1896, the Louisiana legislature created the Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans, commonly known as the Dock Board. Under its authority, the wharves and warehouses were improved, the public belt railway was built, and navigational canals between the Mississippi River, Lake Pontchartrain, and the Gulf of Mexico were constructed.

Poydras Street Wharf
In 1920 the Poydras Street Wharf became the coffee industry's central receiving point. Nearby, in the area bordered by Canal Street, Camp Street, Julia Street, and the river, hundreds of employees imported, traded, roasted, and packaged coffee.

Kentucky Warehouse #2 Exterior Kentucky Warehouse #2 Exterior
Benjamin R. Linnenkohn
c. 1920
Gift of J. Aron and Company
One of the early twentieth-century warehouses devoted almost entirely to coffee was the Kentucky Warehouse #2, located in front of Jackson Square. Coffee importers realized that a central delivery point would limit handling fees.



Kentucky Warehouse #1 Exterior Kentucky Warehouse #1 Exterior
Benjamin R. Linnenkohn
c. 1920
Gift of J. Aron and Company
Kentucky Warehouse #1 was located at 111 Lafayette Street in what is today known as the Warehouse District, between Poydras and Julia Streets. The warehouse was used primarily to store coffee from 1917 until 1954.



S.S. Del Norte at the Poydras Street Wharf SS Del Norte at the Poydras Street Wharf
Calvert, Whitlock and Williams
c. 1950