Almost exactly a year after it was first made public, Tulane University’s plan to tear down the former home of Newcomb College Institute for an expansion of its dining hall received initial approval from New Orleans city officials on Monday, after a prominent local architect told them that the design of the century-old building was less important than its central location on campus.
It’s no secret that I’ve never been a fan of urban planning. The idea of some committee micromanaging what structure should go where, what uses should be permitted, what time we should be having our bowel movements (ok, perhaps they don’t go that far), has always unnerved me.
A die-hard planner looks at a map of New Orleans and they don’t see an established city chock-full of independent decision-makers. Instead, they see an interactive game that they can manipulate and control. They see “Sim City.”
Exhibit “A” for this is Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), who decided to put her foot in her mouth while giving a speech before the House while arguing against an amendment to block funding for an Obama Administration Flood Risk Management Executive Order.
As the city of Baltimore struggles with ongoing unrest related to the use of force by police there, two high-ranking New Orleans Police Department officers (including one from the Uptown-based Second District) have spent the week embedded with law enforcement agencies assisting with crowd control there, city officials said.
In case of emergency, call 911. Then wait. And wait. And wait.
If you wait long enough, there’s some chance the line will just disconnect. Then you can try again. Repeat as necessary.
This was certainly the lesson learned by onlookers to a shooting this past Wednesday in the Lower Garden District on Magazine Street. The pair, two workers toiling away in an nearby office, heard the sound of gunshots and then peered out the window to view the aftermath. There, they saw some men scrambling. Thankfully, nobody was hit.
Both of the witnesses dutifully called 911. The first waited for nearly three minutes for her call to be answered. The other waited the same amount of time… only to be disconnected.
Coffee on Your Corner, a program that brings city officials to meet with residents in their own neighborhoods, will be held at Village Coffee on Freret Street on Tuesday morning.
The Alcohol Beverage Control board of New Orleans voted Tuesday afternoon to revoke the liquor license from Avery’s Place on Willow Street in west Carrollton, saying that the establishment’s namesake is actually an owner and a convicted felon and thus not allowed to operate a bar.
New Orleans police and city and state alcohol officials ordered a halt to nightclub activity operating in a former firehouse on Annunciation Street earlier this month, saying that “Club Ra” was issued a live entertainment permit in error but that its activities bore little resemblance to the restaurant its zoning allows.
The old abandoned apartment complex at the corner of Amelia and Dryades street has long drawn the ire of its neighbors, who have complained for years that it was an eyesore and a danger.
Late last week, in dramatic fashion, something was finally done about the building — by gravity. It partially collapsed on Thursday, and on Friday, the city of New Orleans sent a demolition crew to finish the job.
There’s an old episode of “The Simpsons” where Marge is mugged and the police are useless to catch the perpetrator. Nevertheless, Marge conquers her own fear and anxiety, managing to capture the guy who did it single-handedly.
Police Chief Wiggum arrives at the scene and proceeds to lecture the gathering crowd. “She caught her own criminal, unlike the rest of you lazy bones.”
The crowd begins to look down sheepishly. “You’re not gonna find those criminals looking at your feet, people,” Chief Wiggum chastises.
Privileged, slothful, and ever self-indulgent, the New Orleans “gutter punk” is a creature that inspires near universal disdain.
Our city’s new crusade to stop them, however, could wind up threatening us all.
After years of trying to find a new purpose for the flooded Our Lady of Lourdes church on Napoleon Avenue, the Archdiocese of New Orleans has decided to place the majestic building up for sale to a buyer that can be a good neighbor to the Catholic school next door.
The vacant site of a century-old home on General Pershing Street — demolished last year despite sustained outcry from its neighbors — may finally see some use this fall as green space for the nearby Ecole Bilingue de la Nouvelle-Orléans.
Article by Kristen Himmelberg for UptownMessenger.com
The site of the old Turnbull Bakery in the Irish Channel neighborhood is set to undergo a major transformation in the coming years as city officials and neighborhood leaders have begun signing off on plans for the demolition of the old warehouses and construction of 17 single-family homes.
If I had to write a motto for the Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), it would be: “Making you kiss the ring to replace your roof.”
There are few examples of useless bureaucratic slime worse than the HDLC. This gaggle of architectural fetishists has crafted a Byzantine set of design guidelines, many of which have nothing whatsoever to do with preservation and appear specifically designed to render any renovation prohibitively expensive.
The only saving grace of the HDLC is that their authority is limited to a small number of core neighborhoods. This is kind of like saying that the saving grace of buck moth caterpillars is that they only come out in the Spring – it’s a restraint, but not exactly what I’d call a redeeming quality.
As part of the ongoing drainage projects around Uptown New Orleans, drivers on Freret Street will be unable to cross Jefferson Avenue for about a month so new utility lines can be installed, officials said.
For more months than I care to count, and for surely as many more to come, I have been watching and experiencing firsthand the utter madness that is the ongoing construction along Napoleon Avenue. All for the sake of what we all cross our fingers will be improved drainage. Hold your breath, boss! Residing where I do half a block off of the thoroughfare in the middle of the stretch just two short blocks to Freret Street, the impact has been a daily reminder to take nothing for granted and be ready for anything. Some weeks I can cross Napoleon at my street, most I can’t. Some days I do a U-turn at Loyola, others it’s like a whimsical journey into the unknown peppered with hungry potholes and vaporous boundaries. But with all these catch as catch U-turns, that’s when it hit me: why isn’t the Freret intersection a rotary anyway?
Collegiality and basic civility where in short supply this past week when the city council passed two controversial street name changes – as I originally predicted they would. Sadly, this is what happens when those elected scamps start to break the rules.
Usually, rules are there for a reason. They’re the bedrock of civilized discourse, the roux of the gumbo of organized government, and the something-something of something (note to self: think up more metaphors). With the run-up to the council’s decision, rules the rest of us learned in nursery school were broken left and right, to wit:
The New Orleans City Council gave enthusiastic approval to a plan to remodel the former Blockbuster Video building at the edge of the Garden District into a CVS pharmacy, but several members said the city should be looking for a way to restrict the growing density of chain stores on Magazine Street.