Friday, September 14, 2007

House of Bricks

Dr. Treadway's former office

Our kitchen window looks out onto Dr. Treadway's former office—or it did until today. Dr. Treadway was the beloved pediatrician of countless New Orleans children, but several weeks after the storm, with his business and his home in flooded ruins, he killed himself. For two years, the modest brick building has stood empty, and the weeds have grown tall around it.

This morning, the family watched from across the street as the backhoe, with amazing violence, smashed its first blow into the roof, then another, and another. It surged forward, mounting the wreckage to demolish more, churning through the rooms. In ten minutes, it was over. The building was a mound of debris. The driver turned off his engine, took one last swig of Coke, and tossed the empty can on the heap. In the new silence, each family member stepped forward and took a keepsake brick.

It was one of the saddest things I've seen in a while.


  1. Anonymous9:36 PM


  2. It's one of the saddest things I've read in a while...

  3. He was the attending pediatrician at my birth and my brother's birth. Most of my set of Uptown babysitting clients were Dr. Treadway's patients and his name and number were taped up with the emergency numbers near many a kitchen phone. Thanks for writing about this. There are so many unfinished stories that need to be told.

  4. Anonymous1:06 PM

    He was my son's pediatrician. I understand that his son will be re-opening the practice next summer?

  5. Anonymous12:24 AM

    My son was born premature with breathing problems in 1987 and Dr Treadway was his pediatrician (at this same office). I remember him as a young vibrant man who loved children and a was wonderful doctor and human being. 20 years gone by and I still remember him fondly enough to google him this random evening. I was so sad to read this but so glad to have known him for this brief time. BTW - my son is now healthy due in part to Dr Treadway's excellent care and is currently serving in the Army. God bless his family and all those who's life he touched.