As you may know, Brad Pitt helped create the Make It Right Foundation, which has the goal of building 150 new homes in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans. The area was decimated when the defective walls of the Industrial Canal gave way after Hurricane Katrina blew past, making the destruction part of the worst engineering failure in U.S. history.
No one can fault Brad Pitt for his efforts. But when the first few houses emerged from the ground, eyebrows shot up. What are these things, some people said? These structures were designed by some really famous architects, and you get the feeling the architects were trying to express themselves. That’s cool. I like to express myself, as well.
But some of the folks who were to move into these houses complained. According to an architect quoted in a New York Times article, the new owners may have been robbed of that feeling of “home” that they would get from homes in the historical New Orleans styles of creole cottages and shotguns houses. (See some old-school New Orleans homes here.)
So you hate to say anything negative about this Brad Pitt project. Few of us will ever do anything this powerful and meaningful. But as only a dozen or so houses have been built so far, it would not be too late, it seems to me, to change direction and build the rest of the houses in a traditional New Orleans style.
Or am I being a fuddy duddy?
What’s your take?