Saturday, February 12, 2011

Roundup: Footprint-related News Items

+ Times-Picayune: "Early 20th Century home of prominent African American relocated from VA hospital footprint"

This piece does a good job of digging into the life of S.W. Green, covering the mechanics of the move, and noting that the building was not accounted for in the federally mandated Section 106 process - it was a citizen-sparked effort that saved the house.  Still, after opening with the lines "In a victory for local preservationists" - the piece doesn't quote a single preservationist.  Or tell the story of how the diamond in the rough actually came to be rescued.

+ The Lens: "Transplanted medplex houses in need of life support"

I'm a supporter of the house moving effort that happened in the VA Hospital Footprint, as you'll know from reading this blog.  Ideally the neighborhood would have been left intact.  Ideally, as a fallback, individuals would have moved with their homes to acceptable locations.  Most of the concerns about the house moving as it played out, though, tie back directly to the poor site selection for the VA hospital and the timeline imposed on all the parties that worked to pull off the house moving effort.  I'm thankful to Builders of Hope, Tim Clark, Orleans Shoring, the City of New Orleans, and partner groups like Providence Community Housing - they worked within a set of major constraints to make this incredibly complex undertaking work. 

My opening quote in the piece, like my second quote, was in reference to one property - the red house from S. Galvez that is now on Palmyra near S. Dorgenois - not the entire house moving effort, just to be clear.  While I had concerns about salvage and preparation, most houses had salvage conducted.  I recognize that getting the houses back up to speed will be a process, and I hope that all the parties involved can move to get all the homes re-roofed as soon as possible.  Many of the moved houses do look a bit better than some of the ones portrayed in the piece (which are admittedly in rather tough shape in the interim) and a good number now have roofs on.  There's also a great chance to improve with the LSU Footprint moves, as Ms. Stokes noted.

In the end, I'm glad The Lens is keeping an eye on the undertaking.  In the LSU/VA affair, there's certainly a need for greater oversight and public attention to the many aspects that weave into it - both positive and negative.

+ Fox8 News: "Concern historic houses were jeopardized"

This TV news piece complements the article from The Lens.

No comments: