Preservation

The current LSU/VA plan abandons Charity Hospital, one of New Orleans' most iconic architectural and cultural wonders. The plan also calls for the destruction of 249 historic homes in the Lower Mid-City neighborhood. The National Trust for Historic Preservation named Charity Hospital and the adjacent Lower Mid-City neighborhood to its 2008 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. It is believed that the German immigrants who settled Lower Mid City in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries provided the brass influence that helped foster the development of Jazz, arguably the most important musical movement in American history. Charity Hospital itself has been the birthplace of many of the artists that have established New Orleans as one of the nation's most unique and irreplaceable communities.

Below you will find a collection of articles pertaining to the preservation issue:

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New CEA between City and State

The new Cooperative Endeavor Agreement by and between City of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana through the Division of Administration and Louisiana State University.

"Where I took my first breath of life" - Musician and Community Leader Gregg Stafford

Gregg Stafford is the beloved New Orleans trumpet player, community leader and co-founder of the Black Men of Labor social aid and pleasure club. Here Mr. Stafford talks about the importance of Charity Hospital in his own life, and the life of his City of New Orleans. Charity is "where I took my first breath of life," he says. "We're trying to rebuild the city and a lot of people need Charity Hospital to reopen." See the full video here.

 

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"Charity is a central part of the community" - New Orleans Author Tom Piazza

Tom Piazza is the New Orleans-based author of City of Refuge and a writer for the upcoming HBO series Treme. His book Why New Orleans Matters, written immediately after Hurricane Katrina, received the 2006 Humanities Book of the Year Award from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. Here Mr. Piazza speaks from about the importance of Charity Hospital from the porch of a Lower Mid-City home. "Charity is a central part of the community," he says. "New Orleans seems to be based, in large measure, on a respect for and an understanding of the past. If you lose that, you lose a lot of what makes the city what it is." See the full video here.

 

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James Gill: "LSU hospital's prognosis gets worse"

LSU says its spiffy new medical complex, after gobbling up a vast tract of Mid-City, can be ready to open in 2013. If LSU says it, that should be good enough for anybody. It won't open in 2013 for sure. Whether it ever will is the question. The answer looks increasingly like no.

Perhaps this is a shame; with the up-to-the-minute plant envisaged by LSU, New Orleans could pack in more invalids than Lourdes. The streets would be thronged by doctors, medical researchers and students. The economy would just hum along, and the old town would enjoy new prestige across the land.

So say proponents of the new complex, and nobody can deny that we could use the boost that would come from a medical campus also incorporating the new Veterans Affairs hospital, which is due to open in 2012. That date is a real one, for the VA has its money lined up. Not so LSU.

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Picayune: "LSU won't let facts get in hospital's way"

Times-Picayune: "LSU won't let facts get in hospital's way"
by James Gill

The allegation that state and LSU officials are telling a pack of lies in order to screw the feds out of several hundred million dollars does not come from a source with any claim to disinterest.

It comes from a coalition that wants LSU to abandon its plans for a sparkling new medical complex and reopen Big Charity.

But the coalition has produced plenty of evidence that must require FEMA to consider the possibility of jiggery-pokery.

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Press release: NEPA lawsuit against VA and FEMA for environmental violations

Lawsuit by National Trust For Historic Preservation claims VA and FEMA failed to follow federal environmental requirements for New Orleans hospitals. Filed May 1st, 2009

Tribune: "Charity is More Than a Hospital"

New Orleans Tribune: "Charity is More Than a Hospital, New Deal Era Idea and Art Deco Monument"
by Robert Tannen

Planning for the existing and new health and bio-medical district in New Orleans has so far failed to reflect a long history of respecting New Orleans unique neighborhoods, adaptive reuse of historic and vacant real estate, and working with citizens, stakeholders and property owners to develop a consensus on a workable plan for development.

Instead, a process characterized by planning behind closed doors, routine public meetings to meet federal and other requirements, ignoring citizen opposition, and failing to examine workable alternative plans for a critically needed medical district. No neighborhood, organization, preservationist, or planning group has expressed opposition to a health and bio-medical district. An unprecedented alliance of close to fifty neighborhood associations, preservation leaders, health industry representatives, and planners has called for a more transparent, rational and comprehensive analysis of alternative sites for two new hospitals, and an examination of best land use plans for the existing and proposed neighborhoods.

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