May 162015
 

A project to repair sidewalks on Coliseum Square near the International School of Louisiana accidentally punctured a still-functioning drainage canal dating back to the 1880s, reports Bill Capo of our partners at WWL-TV. The city is now working on a plan to repair the canal and complete the sidewalk project without damaging the nearby oak trees, Capo reports, though neighbors are worried about the unfinished construction site left so close to a school.

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May 142015
 
Tall tarps line both sides of Prytania Street, seen from Nashville Avenue. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Construction closes Prytania Street at Nashville Avenue, photographed in February. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

A group of Uptown property owners — three families to start, but expected to number in the hundreds as the case grows — filed suit this week against the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans, seeking compensation for damage to their homes from proximity to the installation of major new drainage canals along some of Uptown’s largest thoroughfares, their attorney said. Continue reading »

May 132015
 
A rendering of proposed early-childhood buildings in the 900 block of General Pershing.  (Rendering by Waggoner & Ball architects, via nola.gov)

A rendering of proposed St. George’s Episcopal School early-childhood buildings in the 900 block of General Pershing. (Rendering by Waggoner & Ball architects, via nola.gov)

The Louise S. McGehee School's future Mathilde Hall at 2318 St. Charles Avenue. (via the McGehee school)

The Louise S. McGehee School’s future Mathilde Hall at 2318 St. Charles Avenue. (via the McGehee school)

Two Uptown private schools — St. George’s Episcopal School on Napoleon Avenue and Louise S. McGehee School on St. Charles Avenue — both received approval Tuesday afternoon from city planners to expand their campuses, though the St. George’s request may involve the demolition of a shotgun house on General Pershing Street. Continue reading »

May 072015
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

Our usually right-on-point Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux has been in the news twice this week — first with his remarks that maybe more, better-paid police is not the answer to our crime problems and then about his proposed “divorce” with Police Monitor Susan Hutson. Now it is true that Quatrevaux is white and that Hutson, most of the police and the people they are sworn to protect are not. Does Quatrevaux just see things differently or is there more to his feelings than meets the eye? Continue reading »

May 062015
 
The shotguns in the 2400 block of Cadiz -- before their demolition (top left, via Google Maps), then during and after their demolition (by Jean-Paul Villere for UptownMessenger.com)

The shotguns in the 2400 block of Cadiz — before their demolition (top left, via Google Maps), then during and after their demolition (by Jean-Paul Villere for UptownMessenger.com)

Jean-Paul Villere

Jean-Paul Villere

In 2002 local musical impresarios Benny Grunch and the Bunch released a song entitled “Ain’t Dere No More.”  In it the group collectively bemoan, as only the natives may, the loss of landmarks around the New Orleans metro area.  It played in my head over these last few days as I watched yet more apparently salvageable dwellings, in this case double shotguns, meet their untimely demise in the 2400 block of Cadiz.  What was more upsetting to me was that their demolition was supposedly not going to happen, and the structures were to be saved by their new owner Arnold Kirschman.  Even be occupied by him.  Except guess what?  They gone. Continue reading »

May 052015
 
Children's Hospital's proposed master plan for the redevelopment of the former New Orleans Adolescent Hospital site. (via nola.gov -- click to enlarge)

Children’s Hospital’s proposed master plan for the redevelopment of the former New Orleans Adolescent Hospital site. (via nola.gov — click to enlarge)

City officials gave an initial endorsement Monday to Children’s Hospital’s plan to tear down a handful of long-dilapidated residential structures along the edge of the former New Orleans Adolescent Hospital campus and replace them with a new parking structure intended to unify the two medical campuses into one. Continue reading »

May 042015
 
The building that formerly housed the Newcomb College Institute at Tulane University is slated to be replaced with a new building, but its demolition will require City Council approval. (UptownMessenger.com file photo from May 2014)

The building that formerly housed the Newcomb College Institute at Tulane University is slated to be replaced with a new building, but its demolition will require City Council approval. (UptownMessenger.com file photo from May 2014)

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. Continue reading »

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May 042015
 

Owen Courreges

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. Continue reading »

May 012015
 
New Orleans police officers close an Interstate 10 on-ramp to divert protesters marching in support of demonstrations in Ferguson, Mo., on Nov. 25, 2014. (image via WWL-TV)

New Orleans police officers close an Interstate 10 on-ramp to divert protesters marching in support of demonstrations in Ferguson, Mo., on Nov. 25, 2014. (image via WWL-TV)

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. Continue reading »

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Apr 292015
 

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell takes notes during a meeting of the Bouligny Improvement Association in 2013. (UptownMessenger.com  file photo by Robert Morris)

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell takes notes during a meeting of the Bouligny Improvement Association in 2013. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

New Orleans City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell will speak to the Faubourg Avart Neighborhood Association tonight, as members discuss issues related to zoning, stormwater drainage, the proposed expansion of the city’s historic districts and other issues. Continue reading »

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Apr 272015
 
Three New Orleans police officers examine the crosswalk along Magazine Street where gunfire broke out on Wednesday morning. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Three New Orleans police officers examine the crosswalk along Magazine Street where gunfire broke out on Wednesday morning. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Owen Courreges

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. Continue reading »

Apr 212015
 
A T-shirt bearing the logo for Avery's Place from a Facebook page used as evidence during a hearing before the city Alcohol Beverage Control board on Tuesday. (via facebook.com/avery.manuel.5)

A T-shirt bearing the logo for Avery’s Place from a Facebook page used as evidence during a hearing before the city Alcohol Beverage Control board on Tuesday. (via facebook.com/avery.manuel.5)

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. Continue reading »

Apr 212015
 
An image promoting the "Grand Opening of Latin Fridays" from the "Cafe Ra" Instagram stream, which advertises events at 1379 Annunciation Street. (via instagram.com/ra_nola)

An image promoting the “Grand Opening of Latin Fridays” from the “Cafe Ra” Instagram stream, which advertises events at 1379 Annunciation Street. (via instagram.com/ra_nola)

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. Continue reading »

Apr 202015
 
The apartment complex at 1900 Amelia Street, midway through its demolition. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The apartment complex at 1900 Amelia Street, midway through its demolition. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

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. Continue reading »

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Apr 202015
 

Owen Courreges

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. Continue reading »

Apr 102015
 
The Our Lady of Lourdes church on Napoleon Avenue. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The Our Lady of Lourdes church on Napoleon Avenue. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

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. Continue reading »

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