Monday, September 22, 2008

Abandonment and Blight

Nope, the man in the photograph is not preparing for a new tropical storm of the sort you may be imagining.

Today's New York Times features a video produced by Joshua Brustein, Ángel Franco and Dan Barry about Ft. Myers, Florida's attempts to deal with an increasing number of abandoned properties.

As Dan Barry reports in the related article:

"Come to Fort Myers, population 60,000, the seat of Lee County. Walk the Gulf Coast beaches. Cruise the Caloosahatchee River. Witness what happens when banks dole out easy mortgages and homeowners forget that the money isn’t free. Drive down McGregor Boulevard, or Cleveland Avenue, turn left or turn right, and see the empty houses, the overgrown lots, the signs saying AUCTION and FREE RENT."

In New Orleans, Mayor Ray Nagin's recent suspension of the city's Neighborhood Conservation District Committee (NCDC) demolition review process resulted in at least one tragic loss. To read more from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, click here.

[Photograph: Detail of Ángel Franco work for the NY Times 09.22.2008].

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