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||54 Crane Street
|St Francis Cabrini Church, New Orleans
||In spite of all of the emotional diatribes posted on this site many people in the Lakeview, Lake Vista, Gentilly area want the church to stay. A small group of people, led by Clancy Dubos, the publisher of Gambit Magazine and the Director of the site selection committtee for Holy Cross School have rallied crony's and officials from Councilman Arnie Feilkow (who stays cloistered in the Garden District near his home with all of the other "sliver by the river" isolationists) to the Archdiocese of New Orleans, The Archdiocese which is supposed to represent all of Greater New Orleans including Kenner where they played to local Kenner officials as fools to leverage the hand in getting the city to agree to tear down a great church building to replace it with what, a fake stucco post Katrina cheaply built Holy Cross school. Clancy Dubos lives a few blocks away in Lake Vista on Tern Street. Lake Vista, were I lived until the storm, largely escaped damage, physical damage. But, we have been severly damaged economicaly by the reduction in our property values since we are surrounded on three sides by devastation and one side the lake - the Lakefront which has fallen into decay since the storm from neglect by first the Orleans Parish Levee Board and know the state. Clancy Dubos wants the school to boost his value, that's it. If you don't think so just as the real estate agent Joan Farbrough, she has used her clout to get people's property assessments lowered for years (always a perk that Joan could offer if you bought a house through her) and now she, Clancy, and others are behind the effort to "save" Holy Cross by tearing down Cabrini (even though the land has more than enough space for both. The ridiculous bias that people have to shotgun houses and plantation architecture in NOLA today is a joke. Most of the Lakefront areas are built, in what's known today, as "MID CENTURY MODERN" architecture, like Cabrini. Cabrini fits both culturally and historically to the area. Most of the "preservationists" in NOLA are just chubby little old ladies and effete men in bowties are care more about what waiter they'll get at Commander's or Galatoire's than about really knowing the city and its architecture, like the great examples of MID CENTURY MODERN and CASE STUDY and MEDITERRANEAN styles that are prevalent throughout the 'new' neighborhoods built north of the Esplanade Ridge after the invention of the Wood Screw Pump - and no people, it wasn't made of wood. Can you believe how many times I"ve heard that. Morons. It's not the Heat, it's the Stupidity...NOLA Motto). Could it be that Holy Cross was and is majority white and they'd rather have a white catholic school come in rather than a probable majority black public school? That's the lakefront community for you. They're enlightened as long as it doesn't effect their wallets.
And why do we need another catholic or private school anyway? I thought the great hope of Katrina was that the public schools would be renewed and all of the citizens could send their kids, the majority at least, to public school. Right? I mean, didn't we hear that that's why it's hard to recruit business and management professionals into town, the cost of tuition for their kids adds to the cost of living in New Orleans? Than shouldn't Clancy Dubos and the other residents of Lakeview and Gentilly be clamoring to get a public school, maybe a charter school, to send their kids? That is what the city needs to revive. If all the white parents and middle class blacks send their kids to private and catholic shools like Holy Cross then that just perpetuates the problem, doesn't it? Yes, it does. If you pull all the middle class and upper class kids out of public school you will never be able to get the city on the right track. Cabrini is right between Jesuit and Brother Martin High Schools. You don't need another catholic boys high school so close, Kenner and Metairie only have one boys catholic high. Let Holy Cross go there. If Maestri can shut down St.Augustine for lack of population in the vicinity he can certainly do it for Holy Cross. And, the reality is, Holy Cross will be like a spec of dust in a pond if built. It will not spur any real economic development. The area doesn't even have a grocery store, are the acne faced teenage Holy Cross students going to shop? No. And to destroy and great classical structure like Cabrini Church is just a sacrilige. Don't tear down Cabrini. Let Holy Cross build on the same land, or move to Kenner where it could be of more use.
Thank You FEMA for stepping in to stop this emotional histrionic filled lynching of a great structure. Remember, these are many of the same people who elected Kathleen Blanco, Edwin Edwards, and others like them over the years that got us in the mess we're in in the first place.