The video does a great job putting the structure in context, both in terms of the neighborhood (it's in the African-American neighborhood of Tremé—and in fact the film is narrated by actor Wendell Pierce, of the TV show "Treme") and the history of architecture and architectural appreciation in New Orleans and the U.S. As John Stubbs, Vice President for Field Projects at the WMF, says in the film: "Preserving modern architecture in the United States is somewhat an uphill battle for historic preservationists because it's art and architecture of the recent past." He also points out, quite significantly, that "if Wheatley School is lost through demolition, it will be the first site on the monument Watch List to have died in our arms."
The video is essentially a call to action; at the end, Mather lists the phone numbers for the city's mayor and the superintendents of the school district and school board. Saving this school will cost the same as tearing it down and replacing it—and it's well worth preserving. Nice modernists unite!
Get the Dwell Newsletter
Be the first to see our latest home tours, design news, and more.