Squandered Heritage Vintage


When will the City get it right?


2626 Banks St

Speaks for itself.

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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 for Squandered Heritage. For her work with television reporter Lee Zurik exposing widespread misuse of city recovery funds — which led to guilty pleas in federal court — Gadbois won some of the highest honors in journalism, 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.

  • BillygoatPark

    What’s wrong with the 2-bay Eastlake cottage at 2626 Banks? It looks well-kept and freshly painted. It is, however, located on the immediate periphery of the proposed hospital footprint, on the Uptown side of Banks, between Dorgenois and Broad.

    No fewer than four residences were standing in this block of Banks (1/584) when the Robinson Atlas was compiled in the late 1870s. Some of the buildings that remained standing in this block post-K are certain to date from 1880 or earlier. Approximately 19 of the structures to survive Katrina in this split block, which includes Manassas Alley, can be found on maps dating from 1909 or earlier and are likely to be in excess of 100 years of age. Historic review is most certainly warranted.

    What about that high-rise visible to the left rear of this condemned cottage? Isn’t it an abandoned municipal building on Tulane? Where are that public building’s damage report, repair estimates or notice of demolition? What are the plans for that public building? Do any of those plans involve its periphery?

    The proposed LSU/VA footprint’s Rocheblave Street boundary has always seemed a rather odd choice, when a major street (Broad) is so close. Have the city and developers been less than open about the full extent of their redevelopment plans for Lower MidCity?

  • e

    A model of efficiency!

    Any minute now, they’ll turn this city around.

    Any minute now.

  • You’re on the trail. I’d like to help integrate these 3 things: addresses for the houses slated for demo in the VA area, photos of those properties and place them on a digital Sanborn map. Show the history. Make a case for the historic preservation of a back-of-town New Orleans neighborhood.

  • BillygoatPark

    Footprints of buildings demolished in conjunction with biomedical expansion in the 1970s or 1980s remain clearly visible in aerial views of the area roughly bounded by Perdido, S. Prieur, Bertrand and Poydras. Why has nothing whatsoever been done with these squares since the time they were razed more than a generation ago?

  • This is insane, bat-poop insane.

    They want the property for the the VA Complex, and though I need the VA hospital to be rebuilt, this is the wrong way to go about it.

  • BillygoatPark

    Is private land being expropriated with public funds, but without meaningful public input, in order to present a swath of clear-cut land to entice developers to select a specific proposed location as the site for a major project? That is the real issue behind land acquisition for the LSU/VA project.

    Last last year, State Representative Juan LaFonta questioned why $50 million in bonds that was to be used for fire stations and infrastructure repair was reallocated, without discussion, to the LSU/VA project. That is a very good question.

  • BillygoatPark

    The next HCDAC has on its demo list two adjacent Tulane Avenue properties that fall close to the LSU/VA proposed footprint.

    2761-2763 Tulane is one of the very rare residences to survive “urban renewal” in the 1950s. It is typical of the homes that once lined Tulane. It dates from before 1909 and warrants further investigation.

    2765-67 Tulane is a two-story building that was originally a combined commercial/residential structure. A building was on this site in 1895 but extensive modification makes it is unclear if the current building may have been raised or could contain elements of a 19th century structure.

    Major residential development above Broad generally took place after 1909 while residential development BELOW Broad began in 1840s with many homes having been built in the 1850s, 60s, 70s and early 80s. This particular block, however, is an exception to this general rule. Just above Broad, it was well-developed by 1880.

  • BillygoatPark

    The city’s May 19th demo list includes three properties in and immidiately adjacent to the proposed LSU/VA footprint:

    1808-1810 Cleveland (in footprint)
    223 S. Tonti (in footprint)
    2732-2734 Banks (just beyond the footptint)