In a matter you'll be hearing about more from me soon, let me just say here that a proposal by CVS to replace the St. Louis Housing Authority building (and two others to the west) in the Central West End with one of their needless stores is a stupid idea. A suburban store with a drive through and all-too-visible parking lot is set to replace a set of buildings that took actual design thought and craftsmanship. Ugh. Did I mention the Central West End CVS would be located a mere block away from a Walgreens, whose own surface parking lot cost the Central West End a gem of a mid-century theater?
Well, here in New Orleans, matters sound surprisingly familiar. CVS is wanting a prime corner on a major boulevard--you guessed it--across the street from Walgreens. To duplicate its services, provide a visual blight, generate more vehicular trips, cause more air pollution, and contribute to flooding, CVS is only asking for the demolition of four buildings. Yes, one is mid-century and too important to be replaced by generic new construction that privileges cars.
Thanks to my friend Karen Gadbois of Squandered Heritage for giving us all the heads up.
On a somewhat related note, New Orleans is also contemplating the demolition of the incomparable Wheatley School, designed by none other than Charles Colbert, New Orleans-based architect who designed the now-demolished San Luis Apartments on Lindell.
May the thought of squandering of our built heritage be grave enough to keep these proposed CVSes from increasing their market share.
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