Ca­bildo and Presbytère renovation

With the best of intentions, workers applied elastomeric coatings to the Ca­bildo around 1998 and the Presbytère in 2004. Around the same time, the Old Ursuline Convent in New Orleans and the Old State Capitol in Baton Rouge received similar applications. But what was first seen as a state-of-the-art technique soon turned out to be a preservationist’s nightmare. As it turns out, exterior masonry and stucco require a certain amount of moisture to main­tain their structural integrity; without it, the exterior cracks and crumble.

“Elastomeric coats are designed to exclude water from buildings, and in theory they don’t cause problems as long as all water is excluded from en­tering a building. But that is impossible to do,” said Cangelosi. “Water can come from rising damp, hairline cracks, movement, interior sources includ­ing condensations, failure of adhesion of the stucco and other sources. And once in the moisture is in, it cannot escape, as the coating is designed to prevent the transmission of moisture.”

Trapped behind the paint, this moisture has no place to go except through the building’s interior plaster walls. But before this was realized, damage had been done. The Old Louisiana State Capitol building was one of the earliest buildings in Louisiana to report damage after it was discovered that the elastomeric coatings had been the culprit behind decay caused by trapped moisture within the building walls.

“Historic buildings and their fabric must be able to breathe,” Cangelosi said. “History has shown that any product which prevents that will have an adverse effect.”

Elastomeric coatings did not go from panacea to poison overnight, of course. But by 2005, the Vieux Carré Commission (VCC) rejected the Ur­suline Convent’s request to repaint an elastomeric fence. Staff analysts con­cluded that such paints “are disastrously inappropriate for historic masonry walls and structures in all high humidity/high temperature climates and especially in sub-tropical and tropical climes like New Orleans.”

These words proved prophetic, and work to remove the elastomeric coat­ings on the Cabildo and the Presbytère began in 2014. By that point, the dam­age done to those buildings by the coatings was severe. “”I received a video early one morning from someone passing the Cabildo as parts of it literally were exploding off the building as the trapped moisture was trying to escape,” Cangelosi said. “Not only did it cause extensive damage to the building, but someone could have been seriously hurt.” Koch and Wilson Architects was selected to oversee the work of associated waterproofing at the Cabildo, and Jahncke & Burns Architects was chosen as the architect of record for the work of advanced waterproofing at the Presbytère. Associated Waterproofing is the contractor of work on the Cabildo, and Advance Waterproofing LLC served as general contractor for the Presbytère‘s first phase of work.

At first, the plan was to remove the coating from only the front façade of each building. As the work proceeded, however, it quickly became clear that not only would the other sides of the buildings need to be stripped, but that stucco and masonry underneath the elastomeric coatings had suffered extensive structural damage and would need repair.

 

 

https://prcno.org/triage-jackson-square/

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EatNolaNoir

Why New Orleans Black Restaurant Week?

New Orleans Black Restaurant Week is a bi-annual chance to celebrate the city’s rich history of culture and cuisine and the contributions made by African-Americans and minority chefs and restaurateurs. Our efforts to support minority-owned businesses and chefs in New Orleans will stimulate economic growth and awareness for these businesses.

How long is New Orleans Black Restaurant Week?

New Orleans Black Restaurant week will begin February 12, 2018 and last for two weeks, ending February 24.  More details coming soon on future dates, pop-ups and events.

Reservations for Eat NOLA Noir are now open:
Nola Noir

 

IN THE SHADOW OF STATUES

My copy is preordered.

 

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/575468/in-the-shadow-of-statues-by-mitch-landrieu/9780525559443/

French Quarter as classroom #enrollatPlessy

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Why do Plessy School students take weekly walking field trips?

⚜️Because instead of reading about the Louisiana Purchase from a book, we can walk to the room (Cabildo) where it happened.
⚜️Because the science behind why yeast, flour, and water rise is easier to understand if you are eating beignets (Cafe du Monde).
⚜️Because learning to spell M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I is memorable if you are sitting in front of it (Mississippi River).

Save Our Sponge Concert Tonight

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On Thursday, February 1, 2018, Woodlands Conservancy will host a celebration of 17 years of the nonprofit land trust organization’s work to Save Our Sponge, the 800 plus acres of bottomland hardwood forest serving as a protective stormwater and wind barrier for the Greater New Orleans area.
The Patron Party begins at 6 p.m. with gourmet appetizers and spirits while listening to music by Harry Hardin’s Jazz Quartet and perusing an array of Silent Auction items. Patron Party admission includes VIP seating at the Save Our Sponge Concert and complimentary cocktails throughout the evening.
Doors open at 7 p.m. for guests arriving for the Save Our Sponge Concert. The SOS Concert begins at 7:30 p.m. with Tom McDermott on the Steinway Grand Piano in the Concert Hall followed by Lost Bayou Ramblers.
Proceeds benefit Woodlands Conservancy, a nonprofit, 501 (c) (3) land trust organization