This week, Untapped Cities reader @caseytweeted asked us “Any good suggestions for exploring New Orleans aside from the abandoned Six Flags?” It got us thinking that it was high time we put together a guide to New Orleans from an urbanist perspective. We asked two NOLA experts, Mary Rowe of the Municipal Art Society who was formerly at the New Orleans Institute for Resilience and Innovation and Michael T. Martin of St. Claude Main Street, a non-profit organization in New Orleans.
We asked them for places that tell the story of New Orleans from an urban planning and architecture perspective:
Surreal, a metaphor for what went wrong.
2. New Orleans Charity Hospital
Art Deco, shuttered and on National Trust for Historic Preservation’s most endangered list in 2008. New Orleans built a new hospital for all the wrong reasons.
3. The Lafitte Public Housing Development and the Tremé neighborhood
Lafitte is the only historic housing development still standing, though it is undergoing a major rehabilitation after Katrina that was designed by residents, who chose to reconnect the street grid.
4. Lower Ninth Ward and the Industrial Canal
Image by Kiki Whang for Untapped Cities
The Ninth Ward suffered catastrophic damage when the canal was breached. Two years ago, on the last Untapped Cities coverage of the neighborhood, much was still abandoned but some areas are redeveloping.
5. Seabrook Floodgate Complex
A post-Katrina initiative, the Seabrook Floodgate Complex protects the Industrial Canal and neighboring areas from a storm surge from Lake Ponchartrain.
Image by US Army Corps of Engineers via Wikimedia Commons
6. Iberville Housing Projects: A current Choice Neighborhoods grant recipient from US Department of Housing and Urban Development, currently under construction
7. St. Thomas Housing Development: A HOPE VI recipient, completed but controversial.
8. Broad Street Pumping Stations
10. City Park: specifically the entrance with classic City Beautiful design
11. LSU/VA Hospital complex (between Canal St/Tulane Ave): A controversial project which destroyed a historic section of mid-City New Orleans.
12. Freret Street: “The New Freret” is its brand, a typical entertainment district
13. The Captain’s Houses in Holy Cross
14. The Milne Boys Home: vacant/blighted grand buildings
15. Claiborne Overpass: walk below highway on Claiborne Avenue if you’re interested in the sounds of the city
Also check out www.nolalens.org and follow the work of Karen Gadbois and her Squandered Heritage project