Squandered Heritage Vintage

"Dead House Walking"

For the last several weeks we have been trying to analyze the Imminent Danger List, as defined by the City of New Orleans.

This map was created using the notices in the newspaper.

Todays Imminent Danger List

It is no news to anyone who lives in this City that there are a great number of houses that need to come down. Some of us live next to or near a property like that.

The name of this list suggests that we would find those properties on this list.

Among the obvious listings we have found a number of homes which are not in imminent danger to health and safety, and the homeowners would like to remove them from the list.

4666 St. Roch

This house is owned by a 97 year old woman, she stayed during the storm managed to get herself to the I610 and spent days baking there in the sun. Her house took on a few inches of water, there is minimal damage.

St.Roch bathroom

Another story comes from Broadmoor.

Another elderly homeowner trying to save her home.


Here are some signs she has placed on her front door.


Another house right around the corner…


And the sign that greets you.

GO away!!

Another property owner, who by the way has moved a house to save it, is now fighting down the Demo machine.

4007 Erato S.White

These signs have been posted to ward off the Bulldozers. It seems that Entergy came by and cut the gas lines which is a very bad sign.


This shotgun in Black Pearl was damaged by the Tornado in February. The owner recounted for me the steps she has undertaken to repair this house, including an engineers report from Abry Brothers, a contract and building permit, and an endless stream of communication with City Hall that leads nowhere.

Garfield Exterior

The City has no clear direction to have your house removed from the list. For example they can call your house an “Imminent Danger” with no engineering report, but then require you to supply one to get OFF the list. At this point in time the list may be in the hands of FEMA and the Corps.

The owners of this home on Washington Ave were shocked to find themselves on the list. And shocked again to find that someone at City Hall had changed the Damage assesment for 48 percent to 93 percent.

3519 Washington St

We have put a request into the City to see the entire list, updated and easily viewed .This tool would allow Neighbors and Neighborhood Organizations to identify the status of nuisance properties and catch the errors that seem to pepper this list.

8612 thru 8618 Colapissa

A row of Houses slated for Demolition

4678 St. Roch


Clcik here to see more houses

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About Karen Gadbois

Karen Gadbois co-founded The Lens. She now covers New Orleans government issues and writes about land use. With television reporter Lee Zurik she exposed widespread misuse of city recovery funds and led to guilty pleas in federal court. Her work attracted some of journalism's highest honors, including a Peabody Award, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award and a gold medal from Investigative Reporters and Editors. She can be reached at (504) 606-6013.

  • Anonymous

    This is truly frightening. I would suggest that each person who reads this entry considers what he or she would do if the federal government or the City determined that their house should be demolished – with no explanation of the decision and no compensation for the loss of value.

    It is a scary thought.

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  • G.Jenkins

    Here is the scary part.Suppose they tear the house down even though you have done all they have told you to do !Who are you going to sue?You can’t sue the government and you can’t sue the city they have no money………So just pay the demo. bill when you get it and leave a vacate lot.I guess this is just another way to keep people out of New Orleans.

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  • David Dachowski

    What I find alarming is how many of these homes are highly raised. How much damage could a home receive if it is raised a full story off of the ground? The added irony is how many delapedated buildings the city left to rot without demolition pre-Katrina vs. the apparent desire to fast-track demolitions know. I smell bad-money.

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