Lawsuit Aims to Prevent Razing of New Orleans Historic District
From Architectural Record, a story about a lawsuit that is attempting to stop the deconstruction of the Mid City Historical District to make way for a politically motivated project to build a new VA Hospital and an LSU Teaching Hospital.
Within the article is this statement
"The LSU facility would replace the university’s former teaching hospital, Charity Hospital (1939), designed by Weiss, Dreyfous and Seiferth. The Art Deco-style building suffered severe flood damage during Hurricane Katrina and never reopened. "
However, a visit to savecharityhospital dot com
tells us that the hospital was cleaned up by September 21, 2005 but then boarded up, probably by the crew who want the shiny new hospitals.
While Charity sustained serious damages due to Hurricane Katrina and the federal levee failure, only the basement took on flood waters. Within weeks of the storm, teams of doctors and guardsmen had pumped the building dry, decontaminated the first three floors, and readied the hospital to provide care to returning residents.
In a sworn statement by Dr. James Moises, an ER doctor at Charity Hospital and clinical assistant professor of emergency medicine for LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans at the time of the storm
"It took ten days to pump all the water out of the basement, while most of the workers, including me, were cleaning and decontaminating the first three floors, removing biodegradables from the first 14 floors, boarding windows and weatherproofing the building in a preliminary way. Specifically I recollect that the Navy Seabees boarded up every broken window in the building.
The cleanup was essentially complete by September 21. I observed at that time that the first three floors were spotless. Electric power had been restored, and the air conditioning was functioning..."
Retired Lieutenant General Russel Honoré ordered some of his troops from the 82nd Airborne division to assist in those cleanup efforts. Honoré has been outspoken about this and has written previously that the storm was "used as an opportunity to close the doors of Charity Hospital," a pretext or justification not based on the actual condition of the building. Just last week, Honoré went on the record again, excoriating LSU for continuing to base it's FEMA appeal on the false claim that Charity was beyond repair, "LSU needs to pay for its own damn hospital."
Staff Seargent James A. Johnson is a 20-year veteran of the United States Army in the 205th Engineering Battalion. A specialist in electric power systems and the restoration of electricity in disaster situations, Johnson served three tours of duty in Iraq and one in Afghanistan before being called in to restore order to New Orleans in 2005. Johnson has received military awards for his service here.
He has also given a sworn affidavit about his work to reopen Charity Hospital.
"Between September 7 and September 19, 2005, I personally witnessed and participated in the complete restoration of the first and second and parts of the third floor of Charity Hospital."
And recently, Congressman Joseph Cao sent a letter to President Obama stating
"Charity Hospital was completely destroyed by Hurricane Katrina..."
I'm not sure why a Congressman would make such an inaccurate statement unless he's in cahoots with the "let's build shiny new hospital" krewe. Shame on him if he is.
Go here to read why saving Charity Hospital and Mid City matters .