Saturday, January 22, 2011

St. Bernard Parish LA Houses

Every building in St. Bernard Parish LA, just south and east of New Orleans, was inundated during Hurricane Katrina. No building was spared. These homes, all within 3 blocks of the Mississippi River, are behind the levee and on slightly higher ground than those farther from the river, and all of these sat in water 8-10 feet deep (which came from the opposite direction, not from the river) for a period of up to two weeks. 

Almost all of the homes in this particular area in Old Arabi have been rehabbed. The crew with which I worked gutted a house here during our week in St. Bernard with Operation Southern Comfort. It was among the last to be saved before the Parish would have condemned it and taken it down.

Gutting a house means removing the interior down to wood walls, and beyond if there are termites (of which there always are some), pulling nails, taking up tile and linoleum, and hauling everything outside and into the biggest dumpster available. Next steps include steam cleaning for mold and fumigation against termites.  Then the rebuilding can begin.

Most of the houses are shotguns, meaning that, in the most literal sense, one could look through the front door and out the back door with 4-5 rooms between.

There are also double shotguns for two families. These were traditionally built for multiple generations of the same family, a couple and the parents of one of them, and later a child of the couple with his or her own family.

Shot-guns may have a camelback attached to the rear of the house...a single room addition, or two stories and several rooms.

The appearance of the front of the home, facing the street, remains the same. The effect is lovely. No two homes are quite alike; paint combinations are personal choice and pleasing; trim is unique. 

No comments:

Post a Comment