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|St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church - 5500 Paris Ave - New Orleans, LA
||February 26, 2007
I spent my childhood in St. Frances Cabrini Parish, living but three
blocks away from the school and the church; I attended grades K-8 at St. Frances Cabrini Elementary School, and was an alter server in church.
I watched the construction crews almost daily when the church was being built, and I have many fond memories of the church, school, and the entire neighborhood. As great as the church was, it has outlived its usefulness. Before Hurricane Katrina, it had become a maintenance nightmare. After Katrina, St. Frances Cabrini Church must be considered in light of the larger scope of the recovery of the City of New Orleans.
The best plans have been laid on the table: Holy Cross School has offered to purchase the campus, and to demolish the school and the church. Their plans then call for construction of an entirely new campus.
This planned redevelopment of the property will provide a nucleus and a magnet for redeveloping the surrounding neighborhoods, including
Legion Oaks, Oak Park, Vista Park, Lake Vista etc.. by offering an excellent educational opportunity in the tradition of the Holy Cross School.
The potential benefits to be gained for the community will outweigh the loss of an old church building. I cannot bring myself to call a building completed circa 1962 historic. I also cast doubt upon the wisdom of city officials who would lend an ear to certain architects and others who would claim that the architectural significance of the structure is so great that the building must be preserved.
Those that would have the old church preserved will not be contributing a dime to the cost of maintaing the building. Moreover, these same voices seem to imply that someone other than the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans has ownership rights in the property. Ownership trumps the whims and wishes of all other parties the last time I checked!
"Jeff" Elliot, CPA