Notes from the Field: New Orleans

Posted on: October 23rd, 2007 by Walter Gallas

 

The Dauphine Street house in Holy Cross looked like this past week.Last week, the Traditional Building Exhibition and Conference came to New Orleans -- a couple of years later than its originally intended dates in October of 2005. The Preservation Resource Center, the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s long-time local partner in New Orleans, and our base of operations, was in the spotlight this week through its Operation Comeback demonstration house at the corner of Dauphine and Jourdan in Holy Cross. The house was a centerpiece of the conference with tours delivering people to the Holy Cross neighborhood several times a day to see the work in progress.

The Dauphine Street house in Holy Cross in December 2005.During Hurricane Katrina, a 60-ton pecan tree fell on the house splitting the roof and nearly destroying the house. PRC’s Operation Comeback purchased the house and in in the final stages of its renovation as a single-family house near the Mississippi River levee. The house was also the site of the conference’s opening reception, which brought even more people to Holy Cross for a look at the neighborhood.

Walter Gallas is director of the New Orleans Field Office.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

1890 Amusement Park Will Stay Afloat

Posted on: October 22nd, 2007 by Margaret Foster

 

A historic oceanfront amusement park will reopen next year, its owners decided last week. Ocean City, Md.

Built in 1890 in Ocean City, Md., the three-block-long Trimper’s Rides almost closed last summer. Doug Trimper, vice president of the park's operator, said the company will continute to appeal its high taxes in the hopes of staying in business rather than selling to a developer.

Last spring, when the park announced last spring that it was considering shutting down because its property taxes have tripled in recent years, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley visited the park to explore its financial options, including a “historic amusement area” designation with lower taxes. Property taxes jumped from $400,000 to $900,000 this year, according to the company. ... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Museum of the Confederacy Unveils New Plan

Posted on: October 19th, 2007 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

Museum of the Confederacy, RichmondAlmost broke and very controversial, Virginia's Museum of the Confederacy announced a new battle plan last month for staying relevant—and in business. Formed in the 1890s, in the last decade the Richmond-based museum has teetered toward financial collapse, endangering its research archive, artifact collection, and its home, the 1818 mansion known as the White House of the Confederacy. With an emergency room as a next-door neighbor, the museum, claiming that the downtown medical complex had made its location untenable for visitors, has begun floating a plan to build a satellite system of museums at the battlegrounds of Appomattox, Chancellorsville, Fort Monroe, and a fourth naval site near Hampton, Va.

"Moving some of the museum's collection—for example, [Robert E.] Lee's boots, tent, and sword—to Appomattox, there they would be appropriate and well displayed," says Nicholas Muller, former National Trust trustee. "This may be a clever plan." Muller led a review that told the beleaguered organization it had little time and room to maneuver if it wanted to survive.

What the museum's new plan fails to address is whether its continued existence will generate controversy. ... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.

Notes from the Field: New Orleans

Posted on: October 19th, 2007 by Walter Gallas

 

St. Thomas Housing Development, New OrleansThis past week, I saw for the first time the renovations to the five surviving buildings of the St. Thomas housing development in the Lower Garden District. These five had been set aside as a mitigation measure when the rest of the development was demolished and redeveloped beginning, I believe, about seven years ago. The buildings were mothballed, and talk was that they might be used for offices or some other community function -- but certainly not housing. Today, the five buildings are almost ready to go -- as housing units. It appears that there might be anywhere from 40 to 50 units of housing available in these late-1930s buildings.

This is all so remarkable because the Housing Authority of New Orleans and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development have insisted that none of the big four public housing developments remaining in New Orleans can be renovated for housing due to the high cost and the obsolete interior configurations of the units. If nothing changes, we are about to witness the demolition of hundreds of buildings like these in New Orleans, and will await their replacement with buildings fashioned from materials not nearly as resilient as these brick structures.

Walter Gallas is director of the New Orleans Field Office.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

DOE Approves Two Power Line Corridors

Posted on: October 18th, 2007 by Margaret Foster

 

Fauquier County, Va.The U.S. Deparment of Energy designated two power line corridors earlier this month, to the dismay of environmentalists and preservationists.

There are 55 national parks and 14 heritage areas within the Mid-Atlantic National Interest Electricity Transmission Corridor (NIETC), which the agency approved on Oct. 2. That area also has African-American historic sites, numerous scenic rivers and byways, and the nation's greatest concentration of Civil War battlefields. The other corridor, the Southwest Area Corridor, passes from Arizona to California.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.