Wednesday, September 30, 2009

321 S. Galvez


A Lot...of Parking Lot

The colors are a bit more appealing, and it appears from all the hopeful green blotches that the trees won't be moved to a tree museum.  But the revised hospital footprint as of August 18 (thanks to Jonah at Save Charity for getting us up to speed graphically) remains true to the original footprint reported by the Times-Picayune in one key regard: it's replete with parking lots.

Inner city regions are characterized by a certain density, even more so in historic sections of New Orleans.  Demolishing existing homes and businesses to make way for vast expanses of single-level parking lot is not only unwise given the loss of historic structures, but also degrading to residents in this case.  It's salt in the wounds - making way for a hospital is bad enough, making way for a field of asphalt is worse yet.  The property rights of those whose land would be subject to a government taking might get compensation, but is the ends of this planned government taking really a permissible "public use" in the first place - the paving over of multiple city blocks for parking?  And even if it is found legally permissive, is it defensible, generally?

When Constitutional rights are involved, as well as an entrenched popular and legal concept like property, one would think that planners could find a way to concentrate the parking needs of the facility rather drastically and, correspondingly, minimize the need to employ eminent domain.  A quick review of the existing Mid-City neighborhoods that surround the footprint should, one would think, give architects and planners an idea that the aesthetics endemic to Mid-City are a little different than, say, suburban Iowa.  Apparently, all the ruckus that preceded the Section 106 meeting back in August fell on deaf ears, however.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

2221 Banks Street

Under the proposed plan, this existing business, somewhat ironically, would be part of a new structure block designated "retail" - or part of the landscaping/internal roadway that would be moved in farther from Tulane Avenue than the present Banks Street.

A View From Afar

The Twin Cities' Star-Tribune takes a look at the LSU/VA Hospital demolition controversy by zooming in on one aspect of the 70-acre site, the lively node at 200 S. Galvez, Deutsches Haus.

ht/ Humid Beings

223 S. Galvez Street

There would be no more birthday parties at 223 S. Galvez--instead, the VA Hospital.

Monday, September 28, 2009

230 S. Miro Street

A resident of the neighborhood that would be no more.  Note the new post-Katrina investments: window, door, and paint job.

Corinthian on Cleveland Avenue

2314 Cleveland Avenue. This property would become part of a parking lot under the proposed plan.

2400 Cleveland Avenue

Under the proposed hospital plan, this location would be part of a large parking lot.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

"The Footprint"


Our Purpose

We seek to document the "footprint" of the proposed LSU-VA Hospital slated for construction in Lower Mid-City in New Orleans, Louisiana.

We believe locating the hospital(s) in other downtown locations, such as the vacant Charity Hospital, represents a better plan for moving forward - one that does not involve the eviction of numerous individuals and families who returned after Hurricane Katrina, the destruction of viable businesses, and the elimination of many historic structures.

While much of the footprint is in tough shape by a number of measurements, we hope to focus on the many aspects that nonetheless show that the neighborhood's wholesale elimination to make way for vast swaths of parkings lots, for example, is unwise and should be avoided.