I recently spent an afternoon in the field with FEMA historic preservation staff assessing buildings for selective salvage. This was the latest group of 37 contributing properties on the demolition list. There are still many more to come as they are presented by the city and evaluated by FEMA. Michelle Kimball of PRC, and Wilbur Walker, PRC’s warehouse manager also took a shift. While there were buildings which clearly warrant demolition, we also saw a few that we questioned—either because they appeared to be structurally sound or because they were cases of pre-Katrina blight (which means FEMA recovery funds shouldn’t be paying for their demolition).
We also visited a house in the Gentilly Terrace neighborhood which was still on the list, even though it was repaired and occupied. I sent an email to FEMA with our challenges. The materials salvaged from these houses will go to the Preservation Resource Center warehouse for PRC and Trust projects and also for public sale.