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Despite years of decay, these long-blighted buildings are ripe for renovation BY Nathan Lott PHOTOS BY Chris EVERY YEAR, the National Park Service publishes a report that tallies by state the projects that have utilized federal historic rehabil- itation tax credits. Louisiana consistently ranks among the top 10, alongside New York, Virginia and other states with cities and pop- ulations much larger than our own. This is testament to a culture of historic preservation and building reuse centered in New Orleans. Yet, as one travels around the Crescent City, marveling at reno- vations as varied as the Sazerac House and the Four Seasons World Trade Center, other landmark structures stand in stark contrast, decaying and empty for decades. It’s a tale of untapped potential: Remarkable buildings, underutilized, as the city embraces historic restoration projects all around. Many of these long-blighted struc- tures have been named over the years to the Louisiana Landmarks Granger Society’s annual New Orleans Nine Endangered Sites lists. Why have some buildings been lovingly restored, while others continue to languish, often in the same neighborhood? What ad- ditional tools or partnerships are needed? Preservation in Print will explore these issues in a new series of building profiles ex- amining challenged but beloved historic places. Each building has a unique story and particular hurdles, but taken together they can help us answer those questions. In the first installment of this series, we selected buildings that run the gamut, from historic school buildings, to a remarkable mansion built by one of the most successful African-American businessmen in New Orleans history, to an Art Deco master- piece which once served as a laundry. Help us pick more buildings for this series. Tell us about the blighted landmarks in your neighborhood by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or sharing your thoughts on the PRC’s social media: @prcno on Twitter, @prcnola on Instagram and find us on Facebook. FEBRUARY 2020 PRCNO.org • PRESERVATION IN PRINT 17