Railroad Park History Exhibit

Hammond DDD Awarded Preservation Grant for History Exhibit in Railroad Park

The DDD is a recipient of the 2022-2023 Historic Preservation Fund Grant Award by the Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation for the development of a history exhibit in Railroad Park.

With its opening in June 2022, Railroad Park is a new urban, pedestrian plaza located in the heart of Downtown Hammond (address 106 NW Railroad Ave) along the historic Illinois Central Railroad. The park’s design boasts nine brick pillars that offer safe protection from the active railroad that travels daily through the city’s center. These pillars are set to be the location of a history exhibit showcasing narratives from Hammond's railroad history.

The DDD is completing this project in partnership with Hammond Historic District, Southeastern Louisiana University Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies, Tangipahoa African American Heritage Museum and Veteran Archives, the City of Hammond, Railroad Park architect, Roy Dufreche, and others.

The Railroad Park History Exhibit will offer the public an opportunity to learn about Hammond’s rich railroad history including its early development, impacts on local industry, and document its overall catalyst for Hammond’s development and its people. 

Upon project completion in Fall 2023, project partners will host a series of educational sessions, including a Railroad History Day.

Celebrating National Preservation Month + Downtown Hammond History

May is National Historic Preservation Month! The Hammond Downtown Development District (DDD) and the Hammond Historic District (HHD) have joined forces to celebrate Hammond’s rich history through the Railroad Park History Exhibit project.

During the month of May, we are hosting several opportunities for the public to view our progress on the Railroad Park History Exhibit project.

What will happen at these sessions?

Starting May 13th until June 1st, the draft panels will be on display in the DDD office building located at 2 W. Thomas St. during regular office hours (9AM-5PM) Monday through Friday and on Saturdays from 8AM to Noon (during the farmers market). Community members will have the chance to view drafts of the exhibit panels and historic photographs, and to read about topics related to Hammond's railroad history.

What topics will be covered on the panels?

  • History related to the Railroad Park site
  • Hammond's early development
  • Railroad companies and construction
  • Industries supported by railroad development
  • Groups of people in Hammond
  • Hammond's train depots

What if I feel a critical piece of Hammond history is not captured in this project?

We encourage you to reach out to us to see where the event or topic may fit. As we have worked through this project, we recognize that there are endless opportunities to remember our past and there is still much work to be done to document the African American experience and stories for additional minority populations. Our goal is to continue conversations beyond this project and work with other organizations to develop additional history projects 

When will be exhibit be installed?

Finalized panels will be presented and approved in July 2023. The exhibit is anticipated to be installed sometime in Fall 2023. 

Check out our progress!

We want your feedback!

Hotline:  (985) 277 - 5686

Railroad Park History Exhibit Survey

The DDD plans to pursue other history projects in the future. If you have other historic photos, stories, or any other Hammond related history, please contact us (985) 277 - 5683 or email at [email protected]