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 "
Click here to close this window

Name: Shelly Raynal
City: New Orleans La
5500 Paris Ave
Comments: It is quite evident that emotions run high on this issue. As I read the post I see several positions being taken. We have those that have waited in angst for an end (parents of HC students), we have those that LIVE in the area and await word to decide if they will rebuild or sell, we have those that treasure style over function (architecture students/many non residents), and we have those that cherish the memories shared in pre Katrina New Orleans (displaced locals and some SFC Parishioners).

For those that want to salvage the building I say look around the neighborhood. I didn't see much renovation before the HC decision yet I have seen increased activity since the announcement. The facts are SFC church was badly damaged, it had a decreasing congregation (pre Katrina), and for whatever reason the ARNO decided to close the doors. The ARNO allowed the Parishes with large active congregations to rebuild and close those with smaller congregations or in close proximity to larger ones (St Dominic / SFC). Although we may not agree with this it is a sound business practice.

To those that say compromise is the answer, I ask would HOME DEPOT, LOWES, or even DOLLAR GENERAL build on these 17 acres with the structure in its present location? The answer is simply NO. The church sits on the prime frontage of the land. Can we tell Holy Cross to build around it? Sure. But they can say "No thanks" and go elsewhere. Just like other institutions and businesses. Who wins that one?

I'll agree that many people shared wonderful memories in the building. This statement goes for the St Bernard housing development and the Plaza shopping center in NO East. Both were anchors of their Pre Katrina communities. One is being destroyed as we bicker and the other is slated for demolition soon. I cherish the memories of my 10th birthday, ice skating at the Plaza. Who doesn't? Do we realize it was built only 9 years after SFC Church? That's right 9. I guess the city is full of these anchors! Many preventing New Orleans from moving forward.

As for those New Yorkers, Texans, and Iowans, I agree you have a "dog in the fight" (your tax dollars). How does this really affect you? It shouldn't. Either way we all pay. The difference is if the deal falls through some will pay longer than others (Gentilly). Eventually, the Preservationist will have a white elephant on its hands and will seek tax dollars to feed it. Bottom line is you could certainly impact your local community more by choosing a charity, school, and playground in your area and get involved with it.

Regardless of the decision New Orleans has a long way to go. We have our work cut out for us. The decision is simple, use common sense. But this seems to be lacking in all phases of government these days. Please allow the removal of the building and at least give Gentilly, New Orleans, and Holy Cross a shot at rebounding.