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Leeds Iron Foundry - New Orleans, LA
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member JimmyEv
N 29° 56.565 W 090° 04.060
15R E 783041 N 3316058
Quick Description: The Leeds Foundry produced arms for the Confederacy, manufactured two ships for the Confederate Navy, and continued as headquarters and producer of arms for anti-Federal forces after the war. Charles Leeds, the owner, was elected mayor in 1874.
Location: Louisiana, United States
Date Posted: 1/14/2007 8:05:52 AM
Waymark Code: WM14QA
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member deano1943
Views: 128

Long Description:
In the mid-19th century, this foundry, owned by Charles Leeds, was the world’s largest maker of steel cotton bale presses, the second-largest foundry in the south and the oldest in New Orleans. Up to 400 workers were employed in casting, forging and finishing for the manufacture of ornamental cast iron and sugar and cotton equipment.

After Louisiana’s succession from the Union in January, 1861, the foundry manufactured arms for the Confederate Army. They had been contracted to construct two ironclad ships, the Louisiana and the Mississippi for the Confederate navy to repulse the inevitable invasion of New Orleans. The ships weren’t built quickly enough. When the federal navy approached, the Mississippi hadn’t been built and the Louisiana could only be towed down the Mississippi River and used as a floating battery. New Orleans was seized in April, 1862.

During Reconstruction, the Leeds Foundry was headquarters to Company D of the White League, a paramilitary group of white supremacists. The foundry fabricated artillery for the White League, including a canon. In 1874, the integrated Metropolitan Police of New Orleans attempted to intercept a shipment of arms to the White League. A battle erupted on the levee, dubbed the ‘Battle of Liberty Place.’ The League routed the police, whom they outnumbered two-to-one. The White League then occupied the State House and City Hall for a three day overthrow of the Kellogg State Government, until withdrawing ahead of Federal reenforcements. This increased Charles Leeds’s popularity, and he was elected the 33rd mayor of New Orleans the same year.</p?

The building, designed by James Gallier in 1852, is typical commercial construction. The Gothic street elevation is of stuccoed brick ornamented with cast iron columns and window frames. The building is located at the head of the Diamond Street neutral ground (St. Mary’s Park), giving it some prominence. It currently houses the fascinating Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans.


Street address:
923 Tchoupitoulas Street
New Orleans, LA USA

County / Borough / Parish: Orleans Parish

Year listed: 1976

Historic (Areas of) Significance: Architecture/Engineering, Event

Periods of significance: 1850-1874

Historic function: Manufacturing Facility

Current function: Office Building

Privately owned?: yes

Hours of operation: From: 10:00 AM To: 4:30 PM

Primary Web Site: [Web Link]

Secondary Website 1: [Web Link]

Season start / Season finish: Not listed

Secondary Website 2: Not listed

National Historic Landmark Link: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please give the date and brief account of your visit. Include any additional observations or information that you may have, particularly about the current condition of the site. Additional photos are highly encouraged, but not mandatory.
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TopSnipe42 visited Leeds Iron Foundry - New Orleans, LA 4/22/2008 TopSnipe42 visited it

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