The question that seems to be on everyone’s mind – should we rebuild New Orleans or not? Interestingly, there has been quite some debate going on as the city resurfaces from the sickening flood. The city may be uninhabitable for at least six months and the people that have left may not return. It is thus important to ask, what parts of New Orleans should we preserve. It is a city along with San Francisco that is home to "the greatest collection of 18th-, 19th- and early-20th-century residential architecture in the United States…You’re talking about miles and miles of historic properties.", says Reed Kroloff, Dean of School of Architecture, Tulane University.
On the other hand, there are some people who do not favor forced preservation of a city built on the edge (literally). "Any city that only tries to preserve itself is already dead, the great tragedy would be to embalm New Orleans by simply rebuilding it the way it was", says Mark Wigley, dean of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation [source: NY Times]. Others fear that it may just end up like Disneyland in its attempt to preserve the architecture. But one thing is sure, the larger swath of New Orleans where tourists don’t go might not be revived at all. As mentioned earlier, I was in New Orleans a month before the hurricane made landfall. The pictures I took do show to some extent the unique architecture that begs to be preserved. On a good note, I recently learnt that the French Quarter (the part I visited and photographed) was largely untouched and may be habitable soon.