Once Racially Discriminated From His Own Architecture, Joseph Bartholomew is Overlooked No More

In 1979, the Pontchartrain Park golf course was renamed the Joseph M. Bartholomew, Sr. Municipal Golf Course by the City of New Orleans. While perhaps not the ‘catchiest’ of title changes, the event was a posthumous chapter in the legacy of one of the most celebrated golf course architects of his time. Joseph Bartholomew (1888-1971) began life as an African-American in racially-segregated Louisiana only 23 years after the end of the American Civil War; fought in large part over the legality of African American slavery. But his life, chronicled in the latest New York Times’ Overlooked series, would see him reach the pinnacles of golf course architecture, and design nationally-celebrated landscapes that Bartholomew, because of his race, was himself not allowed to play on.

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