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FEMA Section 106 Notices for Louisiana
Comment on "Public Notice Regarding Section 106 Review of State of Louisiana, LA Dept of Education/Recovery School District (RSD) Proposal to Demolish and Replace the Phillis Wheatley Elementary School, 2300 Dumaine St, New Orleans, LA - Seeking Public Comment"
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Name: Name redacted at the request of the author
City: New Orleans, LA
Specific
property
affected:
Wheatley School
Comments: The Cornerstones Project, a social and cultural landmarking project in New Orleans, has researched the intricate fifty year history the Wheatley School has had with its neighbors, especially the Lafitte housing community two blocks away. One of our interviewees, Michelle, a thrirty-five year resident of Lafitte that went to Wheatly in the 1960s described the relationship like this: "The school and Lafitte, they were one. When you said Phillis Wheatley, you said Lafitte." Michelle and others have vivid memories of an annual parade when school kids stepped to the Bell High School band and threw Mardi Gras beads to neighbors; they also recall directing younger students across Saint Ann Street when they worked as patrol guards in the sixth grade. The Lafitte housing complex that grounded this community has already been razed and now another community landmark is slated to be demolished. The effect on the community is devastating: "They're just removing all memory," laments Michelle, "They've taken all the places where I grew up. Now they're tearing down the school."