Notes from the Field: New Orleans

Posted on: December 3rd, 2007 by Walter Gallas

The Housing Authority of New Orleans approved nearly $31 million in contracts for demolishing the four largest housing developments, with a HANO spokesman saying demolitions will begin December 15.

I spoke to the deconstruction program manager of Mercy Corps, who told me he was waiting for another meeting with a representative of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the State Historic Preservation Office to find out whether there will be any salvage of the mountains of material. Mercy Corps has looked at all four developments and of course there is plenty to save—windows, doors, terra cotta tile roofing, not to mention millions of bricks. No one has answered our questions about where the demolition materials might go.

I joined some public housing activists on the steps of City Hall, who vowed they would stop the demolitions.

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