Over the past four years since Hurricane Katrina visited its destruction upon New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, journalists have come from everywhere to interpret to the rest of the world what was going on here as the city came back from the brink of total disaster. The results in the various outside media have been a mixed bag, but overall writers and reporters have—if nothing else—kept the story of New Orleans in the public eye.
The impending closure of the New Orleans Field Office offers us the opportunity to look back at this unique effort of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, but also to look ahead at how the work of the National Trust will continue to affect the recovery of this special city.
In May, reporter Robert Bevan of Australian Financial Review Magazine came to town. Kevin Mercadel showed him our work in Holy Cross and gave him the big picture story. I spoke with him at length about the frustrations and challenges we face daily here due to a serious disconnect between what the political leadership wants, and what the citizens of this city want.
One quick note to readers: In the Bevan article, credit for the restoration of the second house shown in the before and after photos rightfully goes to our partner, Operation Comeback of the Preservation Resource Center. We couldn’t have done our HOME AGAIN! work without their full support.
Walter W. Gallas, AICP, is the director of the New Orleans Field Office of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.