An architect’s plan to tear down an Octavia Street house he uses as a rental property and replace it with a home for himself that he described as more in keeping with the neighborhood drew mixed reviews Monday from the city’s demolition panel, who sent it with a split vote to the New Orleans City Council for a final decision.
Children’s Hospital won permission Thursday to tear down six buildings on the former New Orleans Adolescent Hospital campus along Henry Clay Avenue, but has agreed to participate beforehand in a federal process to determine whether their loss can be minimized or mitigated.
A nearly 80-year-old building on St. Charles Avenue that was once a gas station, bagel shop and more recently a fountain store is slated to be torn down and replaced with a new house, less than a year after neighbors successfully protested plans for a condo development there.
The former Carrollton Courthouse awaiting a decision on whether it will be headed to the auction block is included on the Louisiana Landmarks Society’s 2015 list of most endangered historic places in New Orleans, along with a former utility building on Napoleon Avenue and two privately-owned Uptown homes.
One of Aesop’s fables is that of the young crab and his mother.
“Why in the world do you walk sideways like that?” said the mother crab to her son. “You should always walk straight forward with your toes turned out.”
“Show me how to walk, mother dear,” answered the little Crab obediently, “I want to learn.”
Mother crab tried in vain to walk straight forward, but she could walk only sideways, like her son. When she wanted to turn her toes out she tripped and fell on her nose.
The moral of the fable? Don’t tell others how to act unless you can set a good example. And local government could learn something from it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The former Le Roux banquet hall on Louisiana Avenue that was damaged by fire last year has been approved for demolition, and the owner is considering replacing it with a new condo development.
Prologue: Each Saturday at noon on WTUL 91.5 FM in New Orleans, Mark Tobler’s DJ set almost always opens with John Hartford’s song “Back in the Good Old Days.” The song is a projection of a future population residing at a city dump, and while there — though they may imbibe as a community — the topic of discussion and conversation will be remembering when things were better and wondering how things became what they are.
The 21st century has been a veritable roller coaster thus far for the Crescent City. Storms, diaspora, growth, crime, food highs, political lows, Hollywood South, hospital hubbub, even an entrepreneurial hotbed too. It’s downright dizzying at times. And then there’s our blight — and the quest to remedy that scourge, often via demolition. We as a city often decry the Big Easy brand as slipping away via noise ordinances, smoking bans, whatever legal challenges and changes that float through City Hall. But removing the landscape in the name of the greater good? To be sure, there’s no faster way to becoming Anywhere, USA.
Issues relating to the demolition of historic buildings dominated Thursday’s meeting of the New Orleans City Council, culminating in the quiet restructuring of the city panel that oversees them to protect its decisions from court challenges.
Thursday’s meeting there on Thursday, however, included intense debates over whether preservation laws accelerate the loss of property by original owners, or if city bureaucracy is actually impeding preservation efforts – and ultimately suggests a widening philosophical rift among City Council members over the role of architectural preservation in New Orleans.
I’ve written a lot of columns since I started to write for Uptown Messenger in January of 2011. Sometimes I look back over them and realize: “You know, there have been some interesting developments with this since I put pen to paper.”
Accordingly, every now and again, I revisit a few old columns to provide brief updates on some of the topics I’ve written about. Some have happy endings, some less so.
So, without further ado, I give you The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
In early 2013 — barely a month after she was sworn into office — City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell issued a statement forcefully proclaiming her opposition to the demolition of a century-old house at 820 General Pershing that was essential to the “the residential fabric of the community,” she said.
On Thursday — citing an impasse that fellow Councilmember Stacy Head described as a more of a “hostage” situation — Cantrell voted to approve the demolition of the same property. Cantrell declined to explain the reason for her change of heart, but residents who met with her extensively leading up to the decision said it may have to do with concerns about the viability of the city’s overall process for denying the demolition of historic properties.