Last Friday, at St. James AME Church, we announced the completion of the five New Orleans Partners in Preservation projects, whose grants were announced in May of last year.
Each of the grant recipients was facing different challenges with their historic property. Through the assistance of these grants, they were able to achieve things that they wouldn’t have otherwise been able to do – or at least wouldn’t have been able to do so quickly
This is a program which consciously shines a light on “community anchors,” important places in the community that serve as gathering places, help define their neighborhoods, and also help all of New Orleans take further steps to recovery and revitalization. There is plenty more to do, but thanks to Partners in Preservation, our grantees were able to complete their intended work, and we are thrilled we could be a part of that.
At St. James AME Church in Mid-City, a $100,000 grant was used for the repair and replacement of the pressed tin ceiling and plaster walls of the sanctuary. At St. Alphonsus Art and Cultural Center in the Lower Garden District, an $80,000 grant was used for the restoration of the 1891 front portico of the church building, which included replacing the roof and repairing stucco, millwork, and columns. At St. Augustine Church in Treme, a $75,000 grant was used for the parish hall to replace the shingle roofing and repair rotten and termite-damaged wood to the second level balcony floor and ceiling. At Odyssey House, a $75,000 grant was used for window and shutter replacement in order to improve the building’s appearance and also protect this important Esplanade Ridge-Treme institution from future storms. At Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 in the Garden District, a $70,000 grant was used for the stabilization of the perimeter wall and wall vaults, as well as the installation of a drainage system to prevent future deterioration of the wall vaults.
You can find more information online at the Partners in Preservation's website, including updates on all five sites.
Joining me at the announcement (from left to right in the photo above) was Linda Ibert of St. Alphonsus Art and Cultural Center; Rachel Witwer, executive director of Save Our Cemeteries, Inc.; Rev. Otto Duncan, our host at St. James AME Church; Linda Harris of Augustine Church; Billy Groome, president of Odyssey House; and Tina Pearson of American Express. We also owe a special thanks to Meg Lousteau for all of her assistance as project manager, liaison, and grants manager on the ground.
Walter W. Gallas, AICP, is the director of the New Orleans Field Office of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
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