Currently a major battle between Neighborhood and Historic Preservationists to stymie Louisiana State University from demolishing the old Charity Hospital (a MILLION square foot Art Deco gem) and building a new medical complex smack dab in the middle of a residentially zoned historic area. This is finally getting some national attention.
That is really a beautiful building. I can't imagine why they are always wanting to tear down things like that. It is totally possible to merge historical buildings with necessary modern infrastructure -- it might take a little more money, but it improves the quality of life for everybody.
Even people not familiar with the city of New Orleans can imagine the sheer scale of destruction LSU proposes by looking at this map:
(this is approximately 70 acres)
The first link in the OP contains a list of the 11 most endangered historic places in the US. Many of those places are endangered by decisions of the federal government, as is the mid-city neighborhood in New Orleans.
25 blocks and 200 homes would be demolished to build a complex that's not even appropriate for the city's needs. Even not considering the human and cultural losses that taking over mid-city would cause, the difference in revamping Charity and building a new complex is shocking: $136 million less in cost and it would be ready two years sooner.
We all look at the pictures of a decayed and abandoned Detroit and wring our hands. If you are a US citizen, please click on the "Take Action" tab of the link in the OP.
This issue is going before the City Planning Commission tomorrow. I am hoping for huge attendance and will most certainly be there . Some feel that the "fix is in" but that may be a ploy to discourage people from attending. I'm familiar with these tactics. Have a well worn path down to City Council Chambers if I don't get diverted onto a bridge. Will plan for other transport perhaps. To be continued. As the River Bends... Hopefully the local media will hype it before instead of after.
Yes, this is STILL going on...This past Monday we had a second line rally down there in front of Charity Hospital and we marched two miles into the neighborhood that is proposed for the hospital site. We had about 1,200 people show.The battle rages on. The huge building in the background about 2 minutes into the video is Charity Hospital.
Is the present administration still harping on about the impact it will have on the city with the construction jobs it'll create, not to mention all the ancillary jobs?
I wonder if that's why all those buildings (that used to be hotels) are still sitting empty just on the other side of the Claiborne Bridge? Nobody's going to develop them, just to see it swept away under progress.
I've seen the proposal, and it's positively massive. I fail to see how officials think they're going to fill all those beds? Having received care at Charity (and during a hurricane!), it would be sad to see it go.
Personally, I would see Charity rebuilt/remodeled/whatever and take that $136-million in savings and apply it to, say, subsidizing health care in the city.
The current administration has not been as vocal of late.City Council President Arnie Fielkow(AKA Field cow) does support the proposal though. With an election year coming up there''s going to be all kinds of promises,veiled threats etc.
The bottom line is it's a land grab. The proposal is horrendous,yes,those vacant hotels will be demolished.13 blocks would be home to 7 surface parking lots and 1 parking garage. That's 62% of the site.
Have you contacted your local politicians to voice your opinion nic? 'Tis important
I am so horrified visiting so many cities in the United States with those huge parking lots marking out where major buildings used to be. New York City consistently shocks me, but my trip to San Antonio last year was perhaps even worse, because the 'parking lots' just seemed to stretch on forever. Oh yes, and Houston also. Is that really how they want the central business district to look?
If I were really smart, or just prescient, I would've invested in parking structures years ago. Or, my father should have. You'd make some serious money!
I agree though, K2. It is horrendous. It's the continued 'suburbinization' of our urban spaces. Urban sprawl in other words; and we wonder why it's so damn difficult to get proper public transit? We keep attempting to accommodate the car.
Texas & the American Southwest are the worst examples.
That is true, and despite all the problems cited about New Orleans, one of its major achievements is that it was a place people could live and work without a car (this is also true up here in Montréal to a great extent). l
Have we learnt nothing? Very close to me, there was a beautiful turn of the last century Children's hospital, Hôpital St-Justine on St-Denis just south of the Beaubien métro station. It was demolished, and lay empty for years, then became an ugly youth court building. This was a building that could have continued to house medical clinics and health centres (there was a pool!) as well as anything from businesses, cultural amenities, housing...
kerouac, I'm glad to hear you singing a slightly different tune about historic North American buildings. Obviously north of Mexico and the Ancients of the US Southwest, we don't have any structures over a thousand years old.
And nic, other than bicycles I crave trams as in Amsterdam. A Desire Named Streetcar...
Geography gave New Orleans that highly compact design originally. Bienville & Co. made smart use of the land they could develop; it's just too bad that there hasn't been that same kind of commitment since the invention of drainage pumps.
You mean you're not happy with the City Bus Named Desire, lagatta?
While the route hasn't been active since the Federal Flood, the Desire Streetcar is supposed to be coming back in the immediate future.
I love that yelllow bus livery, but trams ride so much better than buses. I can't read on buses, get carsick (or bussick?) While the old streetcars are quaintly charming, the sleek modern ones are fully accessible to disabled and elderly people, and parents taking children in prams or strollers. And they have a much greater carrying capacity.
This hasn't gone away yet. This Tuesday 2/23,the very first public hearing before the City Planning Commission will be held. I anticipate a huge turnout,it is going to be a long day...Everyone that signs up is by law allowed to speak.This,as you can well imagine becomes very tiresome,at times,very amusing. I always try to bring along something to read or amuse myself with without appearing too bored or irreverent. I don't knit. To be continued...