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New Orleans council pitches renaming a street, not Lee Circle, for Leah Chase

The idea is still in its earliest phases.

NEW ORLEANS — Chef Leah Chase was in command of her kitchen at Dooky Chase on Orleans Avenue for decades.

Could her restaurant soon sit on Leah Chase Avenue?

It’s a possibility the City Council is considering after the citizen-led Street Renaming Commission thought about renaming Lee Circle in her honor.

“It might be a more appropriate place to honor Mrs. Chase due to the geographic proximity to Dooky Chase’s,” Andrew Sullivan, Chief of staff for Councilwoman Kristin Palmer, told the commission Wednesday night.

The idea is still in its earliest phases.

If it moves forward, it would not be changed as part of the Street Renaming Commission’s work.

Instead, the City Council would use the same renaming process it used to change Jefferson Davis Parkway to Norman C. Francis Parkway.

There’s no word yet on if any possible change from Orleans Avenue would affect all of the street, which begins in the French Quarter and ends near the lakefront, or just a part of it.

As for what Lee Circle could eventually be called, that is still up for debate.
The Street Renaming Commission said it’s only working to rename the green space inside the circle.

That comes after Charles Marsala, who heads up the American Italian Federation of the Southeast, pointed out that a report from the commission notes the circle’s name is legally still Tivoli Circle, in honor of an Italian town.

Commissioner Mark Raymond suggested “Harmony Circle” as a possible name for the grassy area inside the circle.

“We can honor multiple people, such as Dorothy Mae Taylor, musicians, and civil rights leaders alike, giving us an opportunity to do something more robust and profound in that space," Raymond said. 

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