A grass-roots effort led by an art dealer and a law librarian, Squandered Heritage highlights the unintended consequences of post-hurricane demolitions -- this time in New Orleans, but next time in Tampa or Pensacola or Key West?
After Hurricane Katrina, several New Orleans bloggers noted that buildings were being torn down when perhaps they didn't need to be. In some cases, these demolitions were funded by FEMA. In other cases, the overwhelmed city government simply wasn't following the proper notification and review procedures. With input from an active blogger community and concerned citizens, Squandered Heritage became a clearinghouse of information and an advocate for historic structures at risk of being demolished.
Squandered Heritage is Preservation Online's Story of the Week. A sample quote from the blog's co-founder Karen Gadbois: "People are using Katrina as a cover to do whatever they wanted to do. There was a lot of opportunistic demolition."