Andres Duany In New OrleansThursday, August 14, 2014
Here in the Bywater, unless you specifically knew these were Andres Duany designs...
They completely fit in the neighborhood. That's the whole idea, and Duany did this well. The cost to build was $186k for 1400sqft, not counting the cost of the lot. I think they're being rented right now. According to Zillow (which has some interior pics), this yellow home was only listed for sale once.
Duany is best known for his New Urbanism work (think: Seaside, which he worked on -- he founded Congress for a New Urbanism). From this quote in the NYT, it's apparent why his opinion of the work Brad Pitt with Make It Right has done in New Orleans is not particularly complimentary:
As for contemporary architects, Mr. Duany said they were welcome in New Urbanist communities, but only for public buildings like a town hall or library. "The star architect is confined to the civic building," he said. "The civic buildings are free of any constraint." Frank Gehry isn't designing any homes in a Duany neighborhood. The New Republic even ran a piece last year, about how the Make It Right project has its issues. Who didn't expect that, on something this scale? Even so, if you ever visit that neighborhood in the 9th Ward, it's a contemporary mish-mash of styles that's interesting but not cohesive, whereas in the example above, it's less *wow* but certainly more comfortable.
...I remember specifically when on a street in the Marigny I came upon a colorful little house framed by banana trees. I thought, "This is Cuba," (I am Cuban). I realized in that instant that New Orleans is not really an American city, but rather a Caribbean one.
Looking through the lens of the Caribbean, New Orleans is not among the most haphazard, poorest or misgoverned American cities, but rather the most organized, wealthiest, cleanest, and competently governed of the Caribbean cities. This insight was fundamental because from that moment I understood New Orleans and began to truly sympathize. Like everyone, I found government in this city to be a bit random; but if New Orleans were to be governed as efficiently as, say, Minneapolis, it would be a different place – and not one that I could care for. Let me work with the government the way it is.
It is the human flaw that makes New Orleans the most humane of American cities. (New Orleans came to feel so much like Cuba that I was driven to buy a house in the Marigny as a surrogate for my inaccessible Santiago de Cuba.)
When understood as Caribbean, New Orleans' culture seems ever more precious...
Also: I can't decide if living in Seaside would be dreamy (crazy-cute, beachy) or annoying (tourists) but here's where we dream.