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FEMA Section 106 Notices for Louisiana
Comment on "Notice of Proposed Expansion of New Orleans Historic Districts"
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Name: Suzanne ONeill
City: New Orleans, LA
Comments: In viewing the limited number of comments by residents or concerned parties listed at this site, it seems apparent that this is an ineffective method to invite public comment. There has been virtually no publication of this information, and thus no way for people to even know this exists. Furthermore, the devastion to our neigbhorhoods includes total elimination of internet access. Lastly, the limited amount of time allowed for comment guarantees that those affected by these proposed changes are nearly completely excluded from the process.

I am a resident of the neighborhood proposed for the expansion of the Esplanade Ridge Historic Area. I support this expansion. I base support not on political, social or economic reasons, but on this simple fact that this area includes many historic properties which should be recognized as such. My home that I currently reside in was built in the late 1800's and includes many of its original fixtures as well as some added on during the Victorian period. I understand there are many similar properties in this area built by skilled African-American craftsman who traded labor in constructing these homes. Since they did not possess wealth or access to credit, they built the houses sharing and utilizing the skill and knowledge they gained from building structures in what are now recognized historic districts. Many of these homes do posses the character and structure of historic homes built in other recognized historic districts, and deserve the same recognition and protection.

I would also like to address comments to those that feel such an expansion would have a negative effect on African-Americans. Gentrification is a concern of mine. I am proud to live in primarily African-American neighborhood and hope this does not change. But preventing people's homes from being recognized as the historic properties with the concurrent benefits is not a solution. We deserve to have our property valued truthfully. And when that happens we will reap the benefits. We must encourage and support all our fellow citizens to maintain ownership over our neighborhoods. This of course is the critical factor as we begin to rebuild our damaged community.

I believe having our community designated a historic district can only aid us in our efforts to rebuild our homes. Certainly it would prevent government decisions to not allow us to rebuild and preserve the integrity of our historic structures, and possibly it would provide opportunities for financial support to renvoate these homes to their original condition.