Letters From Our Readers

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Travesty Continues as Charity Hospital Sits Empty

This letter from land use attorney William Borah appeared in the Letters to the Editor section of The Times Picayune on December 1, 2012.

As reporter Richard Webster clearly illustrated in his excellent article (“Houses without a home; A plan to save historic properties goes to pieces,” Nov. 25) the tragedy — the destruction of a historic New Orleans neighborhood with 165 historic buildings — continues. And Charity Hospital, a million-square-foot facility eligible for listing on the National Register, sits abandoned, continuing to fall into ruin.

And Charity is the same hospital that RMJM Hillier, a nationally recognized architectural firm, found could be retrofitted to satisfy the current needs of a new state-of-the-art hospital. That firm also said the work could be completed three years faster and 34 percent cheaper that building a new facility.

New Orleans is a special American city — historic in character, pedestrian in scale, with a culture unique to this nation. In so many ways, a model for the rest of the country. When, if ever, will government officials and the business community learn that new development should complement the city, not destroy it in the name of progress?

William E. Borah

Land use attorney

New Orleans

Dec 9 2012