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The Lighting of the Monteleone Columns: City Park “flips the switch” on donation of LED lights

Media Contact:
Betsie Gambel
(504) 319-3442 

John Hopper 
(504) 259-1509


The Lighting of the Monteleone Columns:
City Park "flips the switch" on donation of LED lights

New Orleans (November 1, 2012) -
At dusk this evening, the City Park environs became a bit brighter as City Park "flipped the switch" on the new LED lights at the Monteleone Gate. Through a generous gift from the Monteleone family, the two Ionic columns, which frame the Lelong-Esplanade Avenue entrance to the park, were outfitted with sixteen sets of LED lighting (eight on each column).

In thanking the family, represented by fifth generation Will Monteleone, City Park CEO Bob Becker said, "For almost 100 years, the Monteleone Gate has welcomed generations of visitors. With this new lighting, the columns that mark the entrance reflect a bright future for City Park."

History of the Monteleone Gate
In 1912, the New Orleans Museum of Art was near completion, and the Board of Commissioners thought it was only fitting that this grand building deserved a more majestic entrance than Alexander Street.  Antonio Monteleone, then a City Park Commissioner, obliged, and commissioned the two columns that would comprise the Monteleone Gate before he departed for Europe on what would be his last journey.

The Ionic columns which mark the Monteleone Gate stand 25 feet tall and are crowned with 600 pound capstones. Completed in 1913, the columns have welcomed generations of visitors and serve as one of the City's most notable landmarks.

Two years after these columns were initially laid, the Monteleone family furthered the vision of their patriarch and outfitted them with bronze electric lights. Now, almost 100 years later, the LED lights will enable the park to greet future generation of visitors with lighting appropriate for the season (for example Pink in October for Breast Awareness Month; purple, green and gold for Mardi Gras; black and gold for the Saints, etc.).

According to Will Monteleone, Great-great-grandson of Antonio Monteleone, "My Great-great-grandfather Antonio was a visionary. Not only is the Hotel Monteleone considered the ‘gateway to the French Quarter,' but these 100 year old columns that frame the Monteleone Gate are the ‘gateway to City Park.' "

During the ceremony, a representative from Council Member Susan Guidry's office presented a proclamation to Will Monteleone. Morning Call, which will open in the historic Casino in City Park in November, provided coffee and beignets.

The lighting ceremony also signaled the 26th anniversary of Celebration in the Oaks, which opens Friday, November 23, 2012.

Since 1886, the Hotel Monteleone,, has proudly stood as one of the first landmarks in the famous French Quarter. The hotel is the Quarter's largest full-service hotel, featuring 600 comfortable, luxurious guestrooms and suites. Hotel Monteleone is within walking-distance of some of New Orleans most famous attractions and is conveniently located 11 miles from the Louis Armstrong International Airport. Hotel Monteleone is a member of the Preferred Hotels® & Resorts, a consecutive AAA Four Diamond award-winner, and has won the J.D. Power and Associates Upscale Hotel Award for "An Outstanding Guest Experience." The Hotel Monteleone celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2011.