A few weeks ago I was out looking at properties for the NCDC agenda for June 16th. This property at 3016-18 Bienville was one I visited. It’s a fine house, it can be remediated without a doubt and has architectural value on this very beautiful street. A good investment. However, it’s not been cleaned out since Katrina. This is infuriating.
The front yard had become a dumping ground for trash and the long grass/weeds were pretty bad. It’s not boarded up. It was sited by the city for demolition because of these problems. The owner, Louis J. Elliot, et al, who’s address is listed as 1128 Nashville Ave, was at the NCDC meeting and he told me the house was under contract and going to the Act of Sale in early July. He wanted it withdrawn from the demo list. This was all good news but I asked him sternly to go at least cut the damn grass, clean up the trash and board the property up. He said he would. Three weeks later, he had not done this simple task. I called his realtor and bitched too since Mr. Elliot slumlord’s phone number wasn’t available.
Finally, today I took Nick to the Mid-City Library to show him what they had to offer and we got some books. On the way home, we stopped by to get this craphole under control. It took us about 30 minutes to fill up two contractor bags with trash and cut the grass and weeds down to a tolerable level. The neighbor had said she was trying to keep up with it for a while but she was disgusted too and had given up. So we came by to help at least a little. I just get so disgusted with people, sometimes the best way to deal with being angry is to just do something about it.
Shame on Louis Elliot and all the owners who have left these perfectly good properties open and filthy throughout the city while families try to live next to them. Our patience is running out but we don’t want to see homes demolished just because of laziness either. The neighbor said she would prefer to deal with the property rather than an empty lot which would quickly become a dumping ground for tires, trash and trashed cars and all types of crap.
It’s worth it to me to spend a little time cleaning up and maybe boarding up too if we can prevent a lazy-ass demolition which is free. So far, I haven’t seen any programs for money dedicated to cleaning up these historical properties but there is plenty of funding for tearing them down. The property, once gone, cannot be replaced to the same level of quality as this old construction.