Thursday, April 10, 2008

They're demolishing the old Magnolia Projects down the street from us. The demolition of these and other New Orleans projects has sparked a heated local and national debate, with former residents and advocates arrayed on both sides. My own feelings on the subject are very complicated (and I won't enumerate them here). But politics and policy aside, I'll just say that the sight saddens me. Despite its abundant woes, Magnolia was a vital neighborhood, home to thousands of people, the only home many had ever known. (I've mentioned it before, but this video is an amazing visual document of pre-Katrina Magnolia and its surroundings.) Now the residents are scattered. And now the old buildings lay in heaps. It is, at present, a gaping hole in the heart of the neighborhood. (I'm a sentimentalist. I stole a brick as a keepsake.)


  1. What are they building in its place? And will the new development accommodate those who have left?

  2. Mixed-income housing. It will accommodate some of those who left, though what percent of the former occupants, I'm not sure. (The details very quickly get very complicated, and the details, of course, is where the devil is.)