She was my first.
After Katrina the city of New Orleans was littered with abandoned properties. Schools, churches, homes, and entire neighborhoods lay in ruin. The city is back and booming, but blight has become completely ordinary, a way of life. But even so, a few buildings haunted me, called to me, begged me to enter. I first noticed the spires of St. Joseph from the interstate, the roof in ruins, neglected and abandoned. I had to get in.
I convinced a couple of friends to come with me. Most of the ground level windows and doors had been boarded shut. A quick climb on the fire escape led us to wide open windows. It was obvious that vandals had found their way in, but the place remained in pretty good shape.
This gorgeous building was built in 1906 and served as an all girls boarding school run by the Sisters of St. Joseph until the late 1950's, when it was sold to New Orleans Public Schools and turned into Andrew J. Bell Jr. High. The building was in use right up until Katrina and has been abandoned since. There was still writing on the chalkboard from the week before the storm...a haunting picture.
It has since been acquired by Art Spaces to be developed into 79 affordable apartments/work spaces for low income artists. I'm not sure where this project stands.
If you want to know much more, read the Preservation Resource Center's article featuring my photos HERE.
Just a reminder: I never break in - anywhere. If it's locked up, I simply move on my way. I take only pictures and leave only footprints. It's all about respect.