Yesterday, I happened upon a harried family loading a Uhaul and minivan with belongings in the LSU Footprint. The mother was none too happy about her relocation assistance package as I rolled up to chat.
One more family set off, displaced by the irresponsibility and belligerent insistence of state officials, the overloaded vehicles crammed with boxes, bags, and tubs. As I biked along, the wave of senselessness struck me yet again.
There's a major disconnect here between the policymakers and the people affected - a willing ignorance on the part of the movers and shakers in government and various community institutions who are pushing the hospitals project that is very literally destroying nearly 70 acres of dense, urban neighborhood. There's been a simple failure to ponder what even a First Grader would wonder: how would you like it if someone came along and forced you out of your own home when they didn't need to do so? (and yes, the hospital is not fully financed, it takes up far more land than it needs because it's not vertical enough, there were viable alternative sites including Charity hospital, and eminent domain is being used against those who don't sell).
Even architecturally speaking, the family in flight departs a great, viable structure that oozes New Orleans character. Here's what architectural historian Sally Reeves had to say about the blue house on S. Prieur Street:
"A well-designed two-story galleried double in the style of the 1870s. The single-level gallery with railing above combines with the segmental openings and projecting overhang to suggest that decade."
The house features cypress drop siding, decorative quoins, and intact transoms over the doorways.
Around the corner, site preparation evidently continued yesterday in the LSU Footprint, as the lot was cleared from the prior day's demolition at about 1913 Palmyra Street: