Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Regional Modernism needs YOU!

, originally uploaded by .
NOW is the time for all good architects, preservationists and active citizens to come to the aid of the Wheatley and Lafon Schools threatened with imminent demolition by the so-called Recovery School District. Submit public comments in support of preservation. Deadline Wednesday 9.30.2009.
-->www.crt.state.la.us/culturalassets/fema106/ -->

My statement on Wheatley follows. Statement on Lafon coming soon.

I support the preservation and adaptive reuse of the Philis Wheatley Elementary School, the master work of the architect Charles R. Colbert, and one of the most important mid-century modern buildings in the state of Louisiana. I encourage the planners and architects of the Recovery School District to open their hearts and minds to consider the renovation of this historic structure. I would like to remind them that the Wheatley School has been deemed eligible to National Register of Historic Places. This means tax credits and good karma! The Wheatley School can be saved AND the Treme neighborhood can have a new school at the same time. It's not an either/or proposition. Docomomo Louisiana has presented the RSD with a proposal for how to address issues of program on this site by adding a 3-story structure (traditional scale of most neighborhood schools) connected via elevated passage to the original and renovated school building. Architects are educated to solve problems with creativity and technology. In the past fifty years, engineers have developed numerous advances is glazing technologies (impact resistant, energy efficient, any range of translucency you desire). Architects can solve any perceived negative condition and maintain the luminous spirit of the school. Give the children of the Tremé the opportunity to witness the resurrection of an abandoned building. Give them the opportunity to see the future reborn. This piece of architecture is a gem - a true diamond in the rough. Let it shine.

No comments: