DHS Seal - FEMA    
 
FEMA Section 106 Notices for Louisiana
Comment on "Public Notice Regarding Historic Review of the St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church, 5500 Paris Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana with linked PDF attachments "
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Name: Name redacted at the request of the author
City: New Orleans
Specific
property
affected:
5500 Paris Ave
Comments: What's up with such a large percentage of those calling for the preservation of the Cabrini building chiming in from Austin? Not that they don't have a right to comment just like the people who will actually be effected by the decision, of course...I'm sure they've seen photographs of the building sent to them by their NOLA preservationist friends, so they're well versed on the entire issue. I look forward to having my opinion asked when the last 1950's era supermarket in Austin is slated for demolition to make room for a hospital expansion or something. I'm sure it won't be particularly historically significant...but my God--it will be the only example left in town of medium scale 1950's commercial-retail architecture! Surely the architectural significance of that outweighs the needs of a bunch of sick people?!? Can't they just go get well somewhere else? Or better yet....make the hospital retrofit the supermarket to serve the same purpose as their proposed buildings would have served. That way, you can get the hospital to pay for the renovation and maintenance of the supermarket, since you don't exactly have anyone else lined up waving money around wanting to take responsibility for the "significant" supermarket. By the way....it would be good if the hospital would stay kind of flexible on things, and every now and then would allow the former patrons of the supermarket to come in and buy some canned yams and orange juice and such. Make 'em honor the original use of the building.

Sarcasm aside...I understand Curtis & Davis attained the status of demigods in the NOLA architectural community. That may have been well deserved. Thing is, designing a lot of significant buildings doesn't make every building you design significant. Sometimes Michael Jordan missed the last second shot. In the case of the Cabrini building one of the prime objectives in the design of any structure was completely fumbled--keeping the weather out. The wonderfully designed roof has failed to keep the rain out for practically the entire life of the building. The floor material has always been so slick as to be dangerous for the elderly to traverse.

This isn't the building to save as an example of the architectural significance of Curtis & Davis. There have been better examples of their expertise.