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FEMA Section 106 Notices for Louisiana
Comment on "Public Notice Regarding Section 106 Review of State of Louisiana, LA Dept of Education/Recovery School District (RSD) Proposal to Demolish and Replace the Phillis Wheatley Elementary School, 2300 Dumaine St, New Orleans, LA - Seeking Public Comment"
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Name: Lindsey Derrington
City: New Orleans, LA
Phyllis Wheatley
Comments: In a city which has led the nation in preservation efforts for decades, I'm shocked and saddened that officials are so willing to throw away mid-century modern masterworks as Phyllis Wheatley Elementary. Charles Colbert was one of New Orleans' most important architectural minds in the latter part of the 20th century - he was a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, won AIA Louisiana's Medal of Honor in 2007, was a leading educator, and his designs stand among the finest mid-century works in the nation. And they are being destroyed at an alarming pace out of short-sightedness and a willful lack of vision. With the proper rehabilitation and standard maintenance, Wheatley could and should be a fully functioning school once more. The building offers shade to play in, light-filled classrooms, and the opportunity for students to learn in a building which connects them to their history and sense of place. More over, the cost of demolishing Wheatley, a perfectly sound and reusable structure, and replacing it with a generic new school would be FAR more than rehabilitating the existing structure. The RSD is responsible for making the best fiscal choices for New Orleans students, and replacing Wheatley would not be one of them. Please do not demolish this building.