The University has proposed demolishing the old Anthropology Building (pictured) located on 1021 Audubon Street between Howard Tilton Library and The Boot.
I see no reason why the university would demolish the interesting stucco structure, which adds much needed architectural diversity to the block and the university's built environment generally, even if it was damaged by Katrina. The lot is small, random, and I don't see what better purpose the university would use the site for if it razed the present building - I think repair of the structure is feasible, contrary to what is claimed. The proper course would seem to be rehabilitating the building for use as classroom, support, or administrative space. But here's what Tulane has to say at this point:
Tulane has not determined if it will replace the Anthropology Building with a new building or if it will construct a surface parking lot on the site. Either of the proposals for the redevelopment of the site may affect the Uptown National Register Historic District. FEMA is seeking input from members of the public on ways to avoid, minimize, or mitigate the Adverse Effect.
A parking lot?! If it's parking that the university wants, then perhaps it should have refrained from eliminating a massive amount of parking by taking out McAlister Drive. And as far as replacing the pre-1935 building, I think a look across the street is instructive - we'll probably end up with a blase, indistinct property that certainly won't be worth saving at any point down the road. The Anthropology Building contributes to a better original sense of place - it says New Orleans, it says character, not pre-fab.
October 10 is the final day to give public written comment to FEMA on this site. I've already left my comment. Please feel free to leave your own.