Pontiff Playground

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Wally Pontiff Jr. Playground, formerly Metairie Playground, is a Jefferson Parish public playground located at 1521 Palm Street in Metairie, Louisiana. It is Jefferson Parish's oldest public playground.[1]



Development of Metairie Playground began in 1945, following the end of World War II and during a time of civic progress in Jefferson Parish.[2] The playground was dedicated in 1952.[2] The playground was renamed on June 28, 2003, in memory of Wally Pontiff, Jr., who played college baseball for Louisiana State University. Wally grew up playing baseball at Metairie playground. Before an unexpected death at the age of 21, Wally was deciding whether to continue his career at LSU or to play for the Oakland Athletics after being drafted in the 21st round.[1]

Effects of Hurricane Katrina[edit]

Pontiff Playground was flooded in August 2005 during Hurricane Katrina, which ruined the gymnasium. After the storm, Jefferson Parish built an earthen berm around it to hold water in future emergencies.[3]

Development Timeline[edit]

Date Action
1945 Development of Metairie Playground initiated[2]
1952 Dedication of Metairie Playground[2]
June 28, 2003 Dedication ceremony held at 10 a.m. renaming Metairie Playground the Wally Pontiff, Jr. Playground
August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina strikes New Orleans, severely damaging Pontiff Playground
August 1, 2007 The Friends of Pontiff Playground, Inc. holds a meeting to discuss the proposed reconstruction master plan


Possible Future Layout[edit]

If the 2007 proposed reconstruction of the playground is completed, the park will contain 6 baseball diamonds, 2 football fields, 1 track, 2 tennis courts, and a gymnasium. In addition to these sports facilities, a new meditation labyrinth, spray fountain, and bird sanctuary will be built.[3][4]


Athletic Standouts include:Metairie High School played football at Metairie Playground starting with a single game against Jefferson High in 1951. The Yellowjackets Played all its home games there 1952 until 1954. Largest crowds were standing room only against Kenner High in 1952 and against Behrman High in 1954. I remember it well as I played in many of those games.

Ground Photos[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Metairie Playground Renamed in Memory of LSU Athlete, Wally Pontiff, Jr.", Jefferson Parish webpage, 2007, webpage: Renamed.
  2. ^ a b c d Bezou, Henry (1973). Metairie: A Tongue of Land to Pasture. Pelican Publishing Company. ISBN 1-56554-279-7. 
  3. ^ a b "A New Vision for Pontiff Playground", NOLA, 2007, webpage: NewVision. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "vision" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  4. ^ "New Look for Pontiff Playground", NOLA, 2007, webpage: NewLook.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 29°58′45″N 90°08′23″W / 29.979075°N 90.139604°W / 29.979075; -90.139604