Tuesday, April 1, 2008

New Orleans Civic Center

, originally uploaded by .
De Lesseps “Chep” Morrison’s tenure as mayor of the City of New Orleans was characterized by a wave of new construction – highways, bridges, schools, etc. The crowning achievement in this building frenzy was the Civic Center, serving as a physical manifestation of the transparent, efficient, streamlined and functional government he sought to give the people of New Orleans. Comprised of City Hall, the State Office Annex Building, the Civil Courts Building, and the Main Library, the Civic Center was an $18 million investment. The list of architects who collaborated on the complex reads like a roster of the most notable practitioners of the modern style in this city: Goldstein, Parham & Labouisse; Favrot, Reed, Mathes & Bergman; August Perez and Associates; and Curtis & Davis. Now, with two of the buildings on the verge of being demolished, one wonders how the built integrity of the entire complex as well as the legacy of Mayor Morrison, a politician who believed in the social potential of architecture, can fully be preserved.

by Megan Lubaszka

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