Traditional Building Conference

Previous Events: New Orleans 2007

Keynote Addressed the Gulf Coast Recovery Process


Andres Duany, Principal, of DPZ Architects and Planners in Miami, FL presented this year's Keynote Address: Rebuilding the Gulf Coast Region. Covering the response to the widespread destruction of the Gulf Coast due to Hurricane Katrina, modern planners have more to think about than their predecessors.  Traditionally-inspired new construction and the role of modern design in historic settings, going green, hurricane codes, modern building codes, and economic development are just some of the issues that were addressed.  

If you came to the Gumbo Gala on Thursday night, you saw the Holy Cross neighborhood, home also to the Operation Comeback House, an 1870 shotgun which we restored from total ruin. Holy Cross is one of several lower ninth ward neighborhoods that is struggling valiantly to rebound from the storm. The Comeback House has been an inspiration to all of us: volunteers, product donors, out of town Conference participants and locals, even the media….Operation Comeback was covered by NBC TV; Fox News Radio; the Times-Picayune; New Old House; Preservation In Print; New Orleans Homes and Lifestyles and Restore Media’s own: Period Homes. Tours of the House during the Traditional Building Conference were very successful.

The New Orleans Traditional Building Exhibition and Conference is a great example of how by doing good, we do well. It is important to the city of New Orleans and to the storm ravaged region that the rest of the country lend a hand by contributing to and investing in the local/regional economy. With your help we did this.  Now, as the region restores, rebuilds and revitalizes, it is better informed by the traditional building methods and materials you brought with you to the Conference. At the New Orleans “peak” building economy in 1984, an oil boom induced the economy with $8 billion of construction funding flowing through the city. Now, post Katrina, there is $28 billion. The city and the region will have a construction economy for many years to come.

We received great support in New Orleans from virtually every traditional building industry association and institution who co located their annual meetings with us. I want to thank the AIA Historic Resources Committee; the Institute of Classical Architecture and Classical America; the American Institute of Building Design; the New Urban Guild; and of course the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans. Each of these organizations provided a Conference speaker.

The New Orleans Conference concluded on Saturday afternoon with the announcement of the Traditional Building Design Challenge winner (Sam Gianukos, of Houston, TX-based Creole Design) and the award of this period house plan to Mrs. Sandra Robinson, a Holy Cross resident who lost her home in Katrina. Working with the non profit Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans, Mrs. Robinson will be able to rebuild her house in the historic lower ninth ward neighborhood where she had lived with her elderly mother and sister. She is looking forward to reuniting her family, in this “new old house.”

And special thanks to our exhibitors who invest time and resources to display products and services as part of the educational offering at the Traditional Building Show. I encourage attendees to remain engaged with our exhibitors whose commitment to serving your particular traditional building needs is sincere and unparalled.

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