STATEMENT FROM JOHN HILDRETH, DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL TRUST FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION’S SOUTHERN OFFICE
The National Trust continues to oppose the deeply flawed plan for the VA hospital in Lower Mid-City—a suburban-style plan that displaces what was a viable historic neighborhood containing well over a hundred historic homes and businesses painstakingly renovated since Hurricane Katrina. Despite our objections to the VA’s overall plan, we support moving as many homes as possible from the VA footprint to other nearby historic neighborhoods in the city, rather than seeing them demolished and dumped in a landfill, and we commend Mayor Landrieu for his leadership in initiating this effort. The National Trust has provided technical assistance to Builders of Hope, and we remain willing to provide whatever assistance we can to ensure that as many homes as possible are saved. Faced with the choice of demolishing or moving houses, we believe that moving them is a better, more sustainable option. However, we continue to believe that the destruction of this historic neighborhood could have been easily avoided if better planning had occurred at the outset of this process.