Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Gulf Coast ReBuilding

Read about the effort, volunteerism, and construction of this family's new Pass Christian, MS home in an inspiring story from Cottage Living magazine.

The local organization, Mercy Housing and Human Development partnered with Lowe's, Cottage Living, the Mennonite Disaster Service, and the Gulf Coast Community Foundation in the project. If you feel inspired to help, donate to the Cottage Living Building Fund through the Gulf Coast Community Foundation.

Ocean Springs Cottage Square in
Ocean Spring, MS. The development was designed by local firm, Tolar LeBatard Denmark Architects and has won a 2007 Charter Award.

New Orleans' Projects

Here is a great New York Times article and slide show about the variety of design styles being used to rebuild New Orleans.

From the article, the sentiment I completely agree with is this statement:

"Among the ideas advanced by architects and urban planners is permitting New Orleans to come back as a smaller city, with some heavily flooded areas left undeveloped; commissioning innovative 21st-century architecture for new public and residential buildings, even as the city’s treasured historic structures are preserved; and rebuilding low-income housing on higher ground."

The uproar that the city/state would even suggest not rebuilding some of the flooded areas seemed more political than sensible. Why even take the chance of this tragedy happening again? Some low lying areas should be left alone as they will always be too dangerous. This does not mean those people should not be provided housing in New Orleans, just that it should not be there.

The Tulane Gravier and Tremé/Lafitte New Orleans neighborhoods are to be reconstructed with help from
Providence Community Housing and Enterprise Community Partners.

N.O.'s Central City area project designed and built by the Tulane School of Architecture in conjunction with Neighborhood Housing Services of New Orleans.

Photo courtesy of

Global Green USA, Brad Pitt, and the Home Depot Foundation project in the Lower Ninth Ward Holy Cross** area. Each home will cost about $150,000. Applicants must have previously owned property in the ward to be eligible and will be expected to contribute whatever they can afford.

In my personal opinion, these last two groups missed an important component in developing these environmentally sustainable and modern designs for the people of the Gulf Coast. They forgot to honor and preserve the history, attitude of the area and its people. I am a strong supporter of the green building movement, but in this case, I think more emphasis should have been focused on the importance of the exterior design of these projects. I was strongly disappointed in the designs as I see no connection to the regional architecture of the homes that they will be replacing.

**As of 11.21.07, the first home in Holy Cross (which will be used as a visitors center) has not been finished. More information via this incredible site from the neighborhood,


amy purple said...

I agree, all those beautiful shotgun houses are not being replaced and the architecture will be forever lost.

Anonymous said...

I soooooo agree with your opinions in the last paragraph!

miss dbl a

Leeza said...

Hello amy purple how are you any reason back of your comments i didn't see any agreement in this paragraph.