I recently received an email from filmmaker Evan Mather, alerting me to his most recent—and urgent—project, which I thought I'd share with you. It's a short video about the Phillis Wheatley Elementary School in New Orleans, which despite its standing as a rare and important work of modern architecture (one of the best examples of regional modernism in the city), and despite surviving the storms and levee breach of 2005, is currently slated for demolition this summer. DOCOMOMO Louisiana and the World Monuments Fund, which listed the school on its Watch List in 2010, are lobbying to save the building through adaptive reuse. The school was designed by architect Charles Colbert in 1955; Colbert considered it his highest achievement in architecture and planning. It incorporated both traditional and innovative design ideas, like an elevated structure for flooding and natural ventilation, and a playground beneath its cantilevered wings.
May 27, 2011