By Patty Gay

This week marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, a devastating storm that affected the entire Gulf Coast. In this three-part series, we'll hear from three individuals—Richard Moe, Walter Gallas, and Patty Gay—who worked on recovery and preservation efforts in the wake of the storm.

4804 Dauphine Street in Holy Cross, in 2005 following Hurricane Katrina. | Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans

4804 Dauphine Street in Holy Cross, in 2005 following Hurricane Katrina. | Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans

Before Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in August 2005, the older neighborhoods throughout the city had experienced more than four decades of remarkable revitalization success, thanks to historic preservation programs and heroic efforts to reverse urban population decline. This phenomenon, which involves love of city and neighborhood and, consequently, incredible determination to restore, was key to the extraordinary recovery of the city from the devastating impact of the storm and subsequent flooding of three-quarters of the city.

The spirit that drives revitalization in New Orleans is contagious. Preservationists see blighted and un-recovered neighborhoods as opportunities for additional housing and commercial development and growth. Not to mention the thrill of restoring a building to its former glory, whether modest or grand.

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Katrina Revisited: Walter Gallas and Preservation on the Ground

Posted on: August 26th, 2015 by Special Contributor No Comments

 

Walter Gallas in Holy Cross. | Credit: National Trust for Historic Preservation

Walter Gallas in Holy Cross. | Credit: National Trust for Historic Preservation

By Walter Gallas

This week marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, a devastating storm that affected the entire Gulf Coast. In this three-part series we'll hear from three individuals—Richard Moe, Walter Gallas, and Patty Gay—who worked on recovery and preservation efforts in the wake of the storm.

It's hard to believe that it's been ten years since Hurricane Katrina. I was living in Washington, D.C., and working at National Trust headquarters when the storm hit on August 29, 2005, and I watched the initial blows of this powerful storm in horror. Little did I know that I would soon be back in New Orleans, having left just one year before.

Just a few weeks after the storm, the Trust's Richard Moe, Peter Brink, and John Hildreth made a reconnaissance trip to New Orleans, gaining access to the city through then-Lieutenant Governor Mitch Landrieu (today's mayor of New Orleans). Seeing the conditions firsthand, Moe made the decision to do whatever the National Trust could to help.... Read More →

Katrina Revisited: Richard Moe and the National Trust

Posted on: August 25th, 2015 by Elizabeth Byrd Wood No Comments

 

This week marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, a devastating storm that affected the entire Gulf Coast. In this three-part series we'll hear from three individuals—Richard Moe, Walter Gallas, and Patty Gay—who worked on recovery and preservation efforts in the wake of the storm.

Richard Moe presents a check to David MacGraw, who works as a cook at Gallatoire’s, a famous restaurant in the French Quarter. Mr. MacGraw’s specialty is crawfish etouffé. | Credit: Preservation Resource Center

Richard Moe presents a check to David MacGraw, who works as a cook at Gallatoire’s, a famous restaurant in the French Quarter. Grants and aid were part of the National Trust's recovery efforts | Credit: Preservation Resource Center

Ten years ago Richard Moe was vacationing in the remote Colorado mountains when he started getting disturbing snippets of news about Hurricane Katrina and the unfolding destruction that was taking place on the Gulf Coast. He recalls that he rushed into the nearby town to buy a newspaper and to watch the news on television. From across the country, Moe, the president of the National Trust at that time, watched a beloved and historic city, along with other communities along the Gulf Coast, devastated by wind and flooding.

In a recent interview, Moe, now retired and living in Santa Fe, New Mexico, said that he hurried back to DC determined to bring the full resources of the National Trust, and, indeed, the preservation world, to aid what he calls the “one of the most historic sites in America.” He says, “We had never faced anything like this before and we had to get involved and mobilized quickly.”... Read More →