There is a set of beautiful townhouses on Florida Avenue in New Orleans.

florida townhouses

This is an area that has undergone many changes. A pre-Katrina housing authority article summarizes some of those changes. The demographics prior to Katrina were consistent with many public housing buildings in New Orleans.

Surrounding these townhouses were concrete fragments of removed houses.
florida town houses blocks

When we arrived in the city there were only three rows of townhouses left. Now there are two.

florida town houses 1 row gone

Today when I drove by I noticed that the boards had been removed from all the windows (glass lying smashed on the ground) and the doors were wide open. It seemed like an invitation.

The townhouses are multilevel. Upstairs the only damage is man-made; caused by the search teams or by removal of fixtures, appliances, baseboards, flooring etc. The flooding didn’t reach all the way up the stairs. The black mold shows what flooded.

florida town houses inside stairs

The living room, as seen through the front window, is destroyed but similar rooms upstairs are fine.

florida town houses inside living room

I did venture inside. It broke my heart to find this room….

florida town houses fan

florida town houses clock

florida town houses mardi gras

These were people’s home. People already living on the edges of civil society; pushed away by racism, classism and other forms of discrimination. Why are they being destroyed when it would be so easy to renovate the main floors……