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||New Orleans, LA
|Thomy Lafon Elementary School
||I am dismayed that the Recovery School District (RSD) has consistently sought rejuvenation through demolition and waste rather than seeking environmentally and socially responsible solutions.
When New Orleans architects Charles Colbert, Buster Curtis and Arthur Davis designed local schools, they did so with utopian sensibilities about the role of education in an urban society. They employed innovative design configurations that promoted creative learning and play. They developed structures that both diminished the threat of flooding and allowed outdoor recreational spaces for the children and the surrounding neighborhoods. Their interior space configurations were well suited to a sub-tropical climate, with cross ventilation of primary concern. Their designs garnered international acclaim, winning accolades from professional architects, designers, and educators.
As this city and nation are challenged to create a more sustainable future, saving this structure for reuse as a school or neighborhood center is the most responsible solution. A renovated school, rich in history and cultural memories, exemplifying an economical and mindful approach to our resources, is the most valuable model for our children.