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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: John P. Klingman
City: New Orleans, LA
Comments: I chair the Architectural Review Committee of the New Orleans Historic Districts Landmarks Commission. For the past decade I have written the only ongoing series of reviews of the best contemporary architecture in New Orleans in an annual issue for New Orleans Magazine. I am a Favrot Professor of Architecture at Tulane University and have been teaching and practicing here since 1983.

St Francis Cabrini is architecturally significant and worthy of National Register status.

The beautiful interior sanctuary reflects the ecumenical spirit of the Vatican II era of Catholicism. The building is an intact example of the design sensibility of Curtis and Davis, a New Orleans firm that achieved major national recognition for innovative high quality design.

Neither neglectful maintenence, change of ownership or the vageries of fashion diminishes the architectural importance of a building. Think of Pennsylvania Station in New York, Frank Lloyd Wright's Larkin Building or Loius Sullivan's great Marshall Field Building in Chicago, all demolished and all now acclaimed as masterpieces.

Prior to the Katrina disaster St. Francis Cabrini was featured in Professor Karen Kingsley's book, Buildings of Louisiana. This book is one of an extremely important series, under the auspices of the Society of Architectural Historians to document the most important buildings in each state.

There is no reason that this building cannot be saved, and it must be.