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Old Posted May 18, 2009, 2:59 AM
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ardecila ardecila is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: the city o'wind
Posts: 14,411
To be honest, I'm hoping for a scenario in which the current VA hospital is torn down - it's such an ugly building, and it recoils from the streets on all four sides like a society dame recoils from a bum. I think most people would agree that it has no architectural value - but I am open to any arguments about why it should be saved, since I don't want to make the same preservation mistake that has been made so many times before in New Orleans.

Charity, unlike the VA, is an amazing Art Deco complex that is, along with the State Capitol, one of the largest tangible representations of the Huey Long era, when state government commissioned beautiful Art Deco buildings in an attempt to bring Louisiana into the modern era, and give it its own monumental architecture that would embody the socialist big-government attitudes of the time. Even the building's purpose is, on the whole, a rather socialist one - health care provided free of charge to those who cannot afford it. Regardless of your feelings about socialism or big government, you can't argue that this building doesn't represent a crucial period in American and especially Louisiana history. You also can't argue with the RMJM Hillier study, funded independently, that projects that the renovation of Charity into a state-of-the-art modern hospital would be far faster and cheaper than the construction of a new hospital.

Lots of people have alternative proposals to the official one. The odd thing is that EVERY SINGLE New Orleanian (by this I mean city residents) that I've spoken with favors the preservation/renovation of Charity Hospital. On the flip side, I haven't heard a single good argument for the official plan. So why does the state/LSU keep pushing for a bad plan that is hated by nearly every single person who will be served by this new hospital?

As always, it's a pissing match between the power in Baton Rouge and the power in New Orleans. NO has a history of shrugging off state authority, and now the people up in Baton Rouge are willing to tear down an entire neighborhood just to show New Orleans who's boss. It's absurd.
la forme d'une ville change plus vite, hélas! que le coeur d'un mortel...

Last edited by ardecila; May 18, 2009 at 3:17 AM.
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