Sunday, June 19, 2011
Friday, June 17, 2011
Dear Friends of DOCOMOMO-US/LA,
We regret to convey that Charles Colbert's lauded Phillis Wheatley Elementary began to be demolished on Friday 17 June 2011. Hannah Miet has covered the story for the Times Picayune. The structure is still standing, although battered by neglect and preliminary demolition work.
In this video clip from nola.com, former Phillis Wheatley Elementary student Phyllis Montana-LeBlanc, an actor and preservationist, witnessed the bulldozing. She has been a powerful advocate for saving the building. As we reported earlier this week, The Roots of Music envisioned renovating Phillis Wheatley School as the new headquarters for its nationally acclaimed youth program. DOCOMOMO-US/LA supported this proposal, canvassing Mayor Mitch Landrieu and new RSD Superintendent John White with pleas to preserve the innovative structure -- the site of historically significant music education programs -- for adaptive reuse. Despite such efforts, on 16 June, DOCOMOMO-US/LA supporters received letters advocating demolition from Mr. White, and bulldozers circled the next day.
While we are greatly saddened by this news, we want to convey our sincere thanks to all of you who lent your support!
For this year's DOCOMOMO-US Tour Day Event, DOCOMOMO-US/LA is planning a special tour of modernist buildings on St. Charles Avenue. For a quick preview of some of the tour sites, check out Regional Modernism on flickr. For other cities' tour destinations, see the DOCOMOMO-US "Tour Day" page here.
Monday, June 13, 2011
A University of Virginia Proposal for the Renovation and Adaptive Reuse of the Phillis Wheatley Elementary School.
DOCOMOMO US/Louisiana is proud to stand with The Roots of Music and support their vision of the renovation and adaptive re-use of the Phillis Wheatley School as the new headquarters for their nationally acclaimed youth music program. This proposal for the Roots of Music Center at Phillis Wheatley honors the continued legacies of educational innovation and preservation in New Orleans. Join us in supporting this synthesis of visionary architecture and musical education in the heart of the Treme.
Please email your support for this proposal to Recovery School District Superintendent John White and Mayor Mitchell Landrieu. This is our last chance to dance!
Friday, June 10, 2011
a little background on a big idea...more coming soon ... stay tuned!
from Filmmaker Jack Cochran, University of Virginia, School of Architecture:
The film documents my studio’s trip to New Orleans this past September, where we met with The Roots of Music, a non-profit music education program in need of a larger facility to accommodate the high number of students currently on their waiting list.
New Orleans modernist Victor Bruno passed away on Sunday 5 June after a prolonged illness. A graduate of Alcée Fortier High School as well as Tulane University (BA Science & Engineering 1943; MA Architecture 1947), Mr. Bruno was especially noted for his residential buildings.
The child of Tunisian immigrants, Bruno apprenticed in his father's cabinet-making shop before pursuing studies in architecture. Frank Lloyd Wright's work proved such a significant inspiration to Bruno that he followed the Prairie School architect's advice that one needed to build to really be an architect. Bruno's earliest post-graduate professional work was as a contractor-builder rather than as architect per se. After working for Blue Plates Foods contractor Lionel J. Favret, Bruno established his own architectural practice. Projects such as the Gallery Apartments (2511 St. Charles Avenue; 1962) garnered regional acclaim.
Recently, DOCOMOMO-US/LA President Francine Stock visited the architect in his Fontainebleau Drive home, where he posed with a series of holiday cards he designed over a sixty-year period [detail shown above]. To see more photographs, consult her Regional Modernism flickr set here; to read John Pope's Times Picayune obituary, click here.
The petition to
has over 1900 signatures. I encourage you to sign the petition AND email a letter of support for preservation of Phillis Wheatley Elementary School to the following.
John White, Superintendent of the Recovery School District firstname.lastname@example.org
Mayor Mitchell Landrieu email@example.com
Scott Hutcheson, advisor to the Mayor on the cultural economy firstname.lastname@example.org
And stay posted for an update soon!