Notes from the AIA: Lower Ninth Ward

A damaged home in the Lower Ninth

Make it Right homes

While at the AIA convention we ducked out for a few hours  to explore New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward, the area most devastated by Hurricane Katrina. While much of New Orleans has recovered pretty impressively, the Lower Ninth is still in horrible condition. Countless houses have been abandoned—boarded up and rotting—and many still have rescue workers’ markings on them from the flood six years ago. Then right around the corner is Brad Pitt’s Make It Right houses, 75 of which have been completed. In case you haven’t read any design magazines lately, they’re contemporary, and sustainable, takes on local architecture from the likes of some of architecture’s biggest stars.

Say what you will about the architecture of Make It Right (in my opinion some is inspired and some is a little over the top) it’s gradually becoming a nice little neighborhood, with people sitting on their porches, enjoying their brand new homes. Unfortunately the rest of the Ninth needs serious help. Make it Right’s Executive Director Tom Darden told AN that the organization would like to expand the program, but are waiting for more funding. But even 100 more houses wouldn’t be close to enough. This neighborhood needs help fast. More pictures in the Lower Ninth below.

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