New Orleans Nine in the News

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S&WB infrastructure, Circle Food Store among 'New Orleans Nine' most endangered sites

New Orleans Advocate, June 15, 2019

Jeff Adelson recently profiled the 2019 New Orleans 9 Endangered Historic Sites for the New Orleans Advocate:

New Orleans’ often-unreliable water infrastructure, an Art Deco landmark that now fronts a junk yard, a closed historic school, a grocery that was a cornerstone of the Treme and 7th Ward communities, and the city’s neighborhood theaters are among the most at-risk historic features in the city, according to the Louisiana Landmarks Society.

The “New Orleans Nine,” a list of nine architectural or historical features put out annually by the society since 2005, aims to call attention to physical aspects of the city that are endangered but can still be saved.

As in the past, this year’s list is a mix of specific buildings chosen for their architectural, historical or cultural significance and broader aspects of the city’s built environment.

Perhaps the most widespread of those elements this year is the society’s frank warning about the state of the Sewerage & Water Board’s infrastructure, something that will likely resonate with residents forced to deal with repeated flooding and boil-water advisories in recent years.

“Recent decades of neglect and political maneuvering, coupled with a lack of investment and prioritization of the infrastructure, have led to precarious storm and drinking water systems,” according to the society. “Repeated episodes of flooding and boil-water advisories threaten our historic structures, resources, culture and tourism dollars. We are at a critical juncture that requires heavy investment in our infrastructure.”

The S&WB’s inclusion on the list comes as Mayor LaToya Cantrell and the utility’s leadership have raised similar alarms. A deal reached during this year’s legislative session is poised to see the S&WB reap tens of millions in new tax dollars, largely from hotel and short-term rental guests, but officials have warned that much more is needed. Keep reading