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.
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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