When did these buildings become historic? : preservation meets public housing in post-Katrina New Orleans
Author(s)Manville, Laura (Laura Maria Egan)
Preservation meets public housing in post-Katrina New Orleans
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
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This thesis examines the impact of historic preservation on public housing revitalization efforts in post-Katrina New Orleans. Through this case study, I analyze the possibilities for a more expansive and social justice-oriented approach to historic preservation at complicated sites through broadening the concept of significance, which determines what we act to preserve in the urban landscape. New Orleans' first public housing complexes were nationally recognized for their low-rise, courtyard designs when completed in the early 1940s. B. W. Cooper, C. J. Peete, Lafitte, and Saint Bernard were four of these early developments, and came to be called the "Big Four" because of their size and importance. Mismanaged for years by the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO), the historic developments struggled with persistent violence and poverty. When Hurricane Katrina struck in August of 2005, the developments were emptied as residents evacuated the flooded city. Most would never return to their former units: HANO and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced redevelopment plans in early 2006. The Big Four would be demolished and replaced with new mixed income communities financed by private-public partnerships. Before HUD and HANO could complete the planned demolitions, they were required to undertake a public consultation process called Section 106 to discuss negative effects on historic resources and to offer strategies to mitigate these effects. Pursuant to the Section 106 reviews, the developers at each site preserved several historic buildings and took other steps to document demolished historic resources. Despite these outcomes, my research shows that the Section 106 public review process did not rise to a substantial level of consultation and impact. Historic preservation was not incorporated in the planning process for the sites, but included as an afterthought. The reviews were initiated too late and suffered from narrow participation. Most importantly, the Section 106 process did not educate or give space to New Orleanians for problem solving on a key contemporary issue for the city: how to encourage development practices that promote economic revitalization while also protecting communities and historic buildings. To help frame this issue for the preservation movement, I propose a parallel strain to historic preservation called community preservation, which advocates for the protection of social networks and cultural traditions alongside building preservation.
Thesis (M.C.P.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, June 2011."June 2011." Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 113-125).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.