A year after Katrina devastated parts of the Gulf Coast, NPR follows where the money -- and the people -- went, and how the arts are coming back.
Snapshot: Rebuilding New Orleans
By Paul Heltzel and Roseanne Pereira
NPR.org, August 28, 2006 · A survey of rebuilding in New Orleans reveals a city that is slowly fighting to return, even in devastated, low-lying areas that would appear to be easy targets for an in-progress hurricane season.
Lakeview, Eastern New Orleans and the Lower Ninth Ward were nearly destroyed by flooding. But in every area, even those that looked like wasteland after the storm, there is demolition and reconstruction.
"Our community is going to come back," says Tanya Harris, a Ninth Ward resident and community activist. "Seventy percent of the people here own their homes. We're not movers."
In the hard-hit Lakeview and Broadmoor neighborhoods, residents are rebuilding at a fast clip.
Rebecca Hummel, a graduate student at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, spent several months as part of a fellowship program to help the residents of Broadmoor. The low-lying area was severely flooded and initially considered for green space.
"It's dead-looking, but most of the structures are standing," Hummel says. "People are still returning to their homes. The general consensus is if they can make it through this hurricane system, all systems are go."
At the other end of the spectrum are the nearly unscathed neighborhoods of Algiers, the French Quarter, the Central Business District, the Marigny, Bywater, the Lower Garden District, and the lower part of Uptown (between St. Charles Avenue and the Mississippi River.)
"I live in the wet part of Uptown," says Michael Perlstein, a former Times-Picayune staff writer who now teaches at Loyola University. "Luckily our house is raised four feet. Our block is well over half-populated. We can look down the street and see the civilized world where everything is dry and working."