It still looks this way.
Nothing has been done to this building since Hurricane Katrina flooded the neighborhood. Eleven years ago.
That’s not to say the building was in good shape then. In fact, the entire corner had fallen on hard times well before the flood.
Luckily for Bohn Motors, a well-known local car dealer, they’ve been on the Westbank for years. This building has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 2011. It was built in 1926. Rhodes Funeral Home bought it in 2005 for future development. Two weeks later the storm flooded the city. Redevelopment was scheduled to start in summer 2012.
So far, nothing has happened. Four years later.
This is the place the Rhodes family said is the crossroads of New Orleans. So much for the crossroads, I guess. Despite many signs to the contrary, maybe New Orleans hasn’t really recovered yet. After the storm damage was assessed, the Urban League said it would take about eight years for the city to recover. I’ve learned a little bit about project management in my career. The rule of thumb, when I learned it, was to plan for three times the predicted schedule time. Twenty four years. That sounds about right. We are less than half way through.
The picture. More experiments. More tinkering. More starts and stops. I wanted to make it really, really dark. But, the picture looked too evil. So, I went in the other direction. I think it works.