Friday, June 10, 2011

The Idiocy Continues - State, UMC, Jacobs, subs proceed with multiple demolitions in UMC Footprint despite growing uncertainty

This great house on S. Prieur Street, a wonderful example of New Orleans architecture from circa the 1870s, in good shape and occupied until recently by multiple families, is now gone, demolished for a proposed hospital that may never be built in the LSU Footprint.

The two-story building (at right above) stood immediately next to the still-in-danger McDonogh No. 11 School (the City Council, at last week's June 2 meeting on street revocation, watered down the City Planning Commission command to save or move the building...the state now only has to "use best efforts" - which functionally means that the state will likely demolish it).

Thanks, City Council members, for not making UMC street revocation contingent upon the state agreeing to move all remaining historic structures off the site.  You had a point of leverage that could have stopped this, and you did nothing.  While there are a cast of characters to blame in this steaming heap of stupidity piled up over years, you're to blame for this particular loss.  This one's on you.

If I sound bitter, once again, it's because this sort of squirming by public officials in the face of alternatives makes a person bitter.  Throughout this saga, there has been no champion for what's right on the City Council - the one body that should be looking out for neighborhoods, for residents, and for the city's architectural heritage.  There have been many nods and poses, many excuses, and several half-attempts.  But no member decided to suck it up, do what's right, and vote "No" on anything related to the LSU/VA project.

That's shameful, and I hope it's not forgotten.

Also lost this week:

The corner two-story building at S. Prieur and Canal, former home of a Zulu King.

Here's what it looked like as crews started inside on May 16:

The Canal Street Guest House, too, is gone. The irony is deep and dark - given that the Landrieu administration touted the concessions it got from the state last week, including the possible inclusion of a strip of commercials space along Canal...right where the Canal Street Guest House used to stand.

No comments: