This past spring the members of DOCOMOMO US/Louisiana have been busy bees. We believe we may have peaked in performance this past week, though there is still more activity planned in the near future. My only regret is that I do not have enough time to write about each individual event properly, but offer you this quick recap.
Tuesday April 12: Exhibition planning meeting at The Columns (our favorite satellite office). We will exhibit New Orleans School Designs from the 1950s at the Preservation Resource Center in May. Details to follow.
Wednesday April 13: Preservation Roundtable meeting at the PRC. National Trust President Stephanie Meeks met with local preservation leaders. Thanks to PRC for hosting this important conversation.
Thursday April 14: Society of Architectural Historians annual meeting. I met with David Fixler, SAH preservation officer and president of DOCOMOMO-US/New England and we test drove the route of the Modernism in New Orleans tour. Many thanks to the board of SAH who voted to support the preservation of Phillis Wheatley Elementary School and wrote a letter to Mayor Landrieu.
Friday April 15: DOCOMOMO Roundtable meeting at SAH. Keli Rylance and I led a discussion of some the challenges the chapter faced in the past years, especially problems with the FEMA 106 process. We discussed recent and currently threatened buildings and neighborhoods and how we are adjusting our agenda for the future to focus more on education. Great turn out and lively discussion.
Saturday April 16: Modernism in New Orleans tour for SAH. Keli Rylance and I led this tour up Canal Street through Mid-City and then over to the Treme to view the Phillis Wheatley Elementary School. We then set out to the Lakefront and walked through one of the garden lanes of Lake Vista to the central park on the levee. The tour culminated with a reception at the house of native architect Albert C. Ledner. We had a fabulous time and hope to lead a similar tour again in the fall.
Sunday April 17: Hands Around Phillis Wheatley. We gathered at noon to express our support for the preservation of this most significant and severely threatened school. Phyllis Montana-Leblanc (a former student, now author and actress) read a powerful poem she wrote for Phillis Wheatley. John Stubbs (Vice President for Field Projects for the World Monuments Fund) reaffirmed the World Monuments Fund support for the cause. John Klingman (architect, author and educator) spoke about the architectural significance of the structure and its relationship to site and climate. Karran Harper Royal (founding member of Parents Across America) suggested we appeal not only to city leaders, but to the state. We will post more information and suggestions for how you can help the cause soon. If you have not already done so, start by signing the petition to
Monday April 18: Met with David Robinson of Tulane Technology Services to review the penultimate draft of the New Orleans Regional Modernism iphone app - a collaborative project of Tulane University and DOCOMOMO US/Louisiana. This Thursday April 21, Maryann Miller (PRC) and I will we interviewed at the Columns Hotel at 4 pm by Grant Morris host of It's New Orleans. Come join the Happy Hour party /podcast and get your first glimpse of the app in action.
If you would like to support our activities, please consider becoming a DOCOMOMO US member today.