Still Broken Down in New Orleans

Summer growth at an abandoned house.
Summer growth at an abandoned house.

Back to it.

Broken. Rotting. Falling Down. Abandoned.

There are thousands of these buildings all over New Orleans. Some were badly damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Others have been rotting for decades. Sometimes, the buildings that have been left abandoned for years are said to be “being demoed by neglect.” That’s kind of an easy way out for a property owner who ran out of money. Leave the building. Leave the city. Don’t pay property taxes. Let somebody else deal with it. Usually, that’s the city. There is a big, long process to either tear the building down or sell it for back taxes. After all, this is city government we are talking about. There was an auction of vetted, abandoned properties the other day. Oh no you don’t. Not me. A falling down building is about the last thing we need in this house. Besides, I already have one. Not the house the house we live in. The other one.


This is a little collection of pictures I made the other night. This is just a classic situation. There is a beautiful church next door. The houses in the neighborhood are in great condition — I’ll show you in the next few days. The church too. Then, there’s this place. It looks like somebody made an effort to restore and renovate it. They probably ran out of money too.  Just like the owner. Or maybe, the work was done by the owner. Now, summertime nature is taking over. The house is becoming rapidly over grown. If I remember, I’ll check back during winter. I’ll see how the place really looks.

The pictures. Yes. I did some work in post production. I wanted the pictures to look aged. A little old and weather-beaten. I think that I got there. Hopefully, I’ll just keep rolling. This is part of a long-term project that just sort of petered out. Like a lot of things.

Nature returns.
Nature returns.
Abandoned windows.
Abandoned windows.


  1. Very good images with a life of their own. I love that door with the vine ( is it Boston Ivy? ) carefully climbing without barring an entry… respectful. Great post. It really touched me.


  2. Thank you, Vera. I was just thinking about you. I have no idea what that ivy is. Remember, I’m the guy who, when asked what kind of flower I just photographed, replies ” a red one,” or “a yellow one.” 🙂


  3. There’s at least one of these on nearly every block even among uptown neighborhoods. I always imagine they have some great story behind them but then reality sets in as merely a product of neglect.


      1. Here and there. I was particularly thinking of a house I saw between Magazine and Tchoupitoulas near Whole Foods in that area. It was nestled between beautiful houses in a great neighborhood. Just kind of forgotten about.


      2. I’ll bet that’s been sold. Houses like that usually sell for about $250K, take another $250K in renovation and restoration and flip for $750k. Even the little ones in that neighborhood. Uptown has gotten seriously popular with new people in NOLA. There just isn’t that much available housing stock. Even Central City is starting to gentrify. Take a walk down OCH. It doesn’t look anything like it did even three years ago.


      3. Do you feel like the gentrification and influx of new people in that area is helping or hurting the city or just neither here nor there?

        I get a lot of opinions on it from different people. Mostly of negative but sometimes of a sort of love hate kind of stand on it.


      4. Sorry. Didn’t see your reply. Depends. People move to New Orleans because the city has a special quality to it. Then, they immediately set out to make it like the place they came from. For instance, I photograph a lot of neighborhood second lines, which are somewhat different than the ones in the Quarter. I hear “new” people complain about the noise, the crowds, traffic jams… Huh? That’s a huge part of what makes the city what it is. As far as housing stock goes, fixing up the wrecks is a good thing. I suppose that I look at it from the perspective of a home owner. We need the tax base. One day, I’d like to drive down my street without hitting on of the 1,342,587 potholes and sinking patches that are there.

        Liked by 1 person

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