This is Elysian Fields at Royal Street, looking toward the river. The steam railroad tracks in the neutral ground belong to the Ponchartrain RR and its parent the Louisville & Nashville. The Ponchartrain RR was a steam line originally built for passenger service from New Orleans to Lake Ponchartrain. At this time, it owned the neutral ground on Elysian Fields. The L&N used this corridor for its passenger trains to enter the city, running in toward its depot on the riverfront at Canal Street. There is a railroad control tower in the distance at the right. Such towers were used around this time to control railroad/streetcar crossings. Note the lady calmly walking her infant in a pram. The sidewalk she is using to cross the muddy street was probably a plank walkway. She is walking between two flimsy-looking railroad crossing gates which appear to be completely intact; yet the more substantial utility poles snapped off like toothpicks in the hurricane winds. At the left rear are two smokestacks of the Claiborne power station (which was not located on Claiborne Avenue, despite its name). (Today, almost 100 years later, the outer structure of the Claiborne power station still stands, but the smokestacks are gone. Some of the other buildings in this view are also still standing, though modified.) — My thanks to Morris Hill for much of this analysis.
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