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FEMA Section 106 Notices for Louisiana
Comment on "Public Notice Regarding Historic Review of the St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church, 5500 Paris Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana with linked PDF attachments "
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Name: J. Kiefer
City: New Orleans, Oak Park Gardens 70122
Specific
property
affected:
5500 Paris Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70122
Comments: The Rivergate was torn down to construct a casino; why can't a vacant church be torn down to construct a school? Before Katrina school children could be heard playing in the school yard at St. Francis Cabrini School. In the afternoons, the Redeemer-Seton marching band could be heard practicing. Eighteen months after Hurricane Katrina, the only sounds coming from these two sites are the depressing sounds of silence. I want Holy Cross' students and marching band to break that silence.

I have many happy memories of Cabrini Church. I often attended Mass at the Cabrini Church with my grandparents who lived on Prentiss Avenue. My sister's high school graduation ceremony was held at Cabrini Church. I bought my first house around the corner from Cabrini Church. Every Friday during Lent, I would walk to Cabrini Church for the Stations of the Cross. Unfortunately, the Cabrini Church that I used to know no longer exists. It is now just a building that evokes memories of happier times.

My house was also a building that evoked memories of happier times. My wife and I made the decision to sacrifice our house for the betterment of the neighborhood, and we had our house torn down. Now a lot with freshly cut grass sits where our storm ravaged home used to be.

St. Francis Cabrini Church used to be the heart of a vibrant Gentilly-Lakefront neighborhood. Holy Cross School wants to resuscitate the heart of the neighborhood. The Parishioners of St. Francis Cabrini made a hard decision and overwhelming voted in favor of sacrificing their church for the betterment of the neighborhood. The Archdiocese of New Orleans, City Hall and the neighborhoods surrounding the church support the parishioners' decision to sacrifice the church building. FEMA, please join us in supporting the parishioners and allow Cabrini Church to be torn down.

FEMA, if you do not allow the church building to be demolished, who will pay for the mold remediation and restoration of this church building? What insurance company will insure this church building which was plagued with maintenance issues before being flooded for two and half weeks?

There are other examples of modern church architecture in New Orleans - St. Pius X and St. Clement of Rome are two. These are two vibrant parishes that can afford the maintenance costs associated with uniquely constructed church buildings. FEMA, if you want to add a modern New Orleans church that is LESS THAN 50 years old to the National Register of Historic Places, I suggest that you talk to St. Pius X or St. Clement of Rome Parishes. In the meantime, I suggest that you respect the wishes of the overwhelming majority of St. Francis Cabrini parishioners.