Robert Orr, FAIA: A
Case Study in
The cavalcade of events worldwide over the last two years crescendoing most recently with the national election and the seismic societal shifts it heralds—as, in any case, now set inexorably in stone by a severe global recession-- have helped to eclipse the ongoing aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in terms of concrete, inhabitable progress.
The news of the 2005 tragedy and the (with occasional exception…) incompetence of the governmental response commanded far greater attention form reporters, regardless of respective bias or medium, than any steady progress as it in fact unfolds on the ground in bricks and mortar.
Such progress may seem cursedly slow but it transpires nonetheless.
This is especially the case in
If you go to Google Earth or Maps, even the most cursory
inspection reveals the utter elimination of all of Waveland’s commonwealth and
the buildings and civic connections such bonds require.
New Orleans has its world-renowned attractions not to mention such good-will-headline-grabbers as Brad Pitt’s architectural experiments and Harry Connick Jr.’s Habitat for Humanity cheerleading, but Waveland does not. Instead, it is a place of local pride and necessity to those who lived and worked there and who seek to do so again. Our nascent blog endeavors modestly the help fill the attention void in determined spirit, by telling a story of design and public policy at their best along this benighted coast.
The work of accomplished architect Robert Orr so long at the
generous, eager, and steadfast side of Classical America and, since 1992 , the overall ICA&CA strikes me as a fine, sanguine case in point.
Visit Robert Orr & Associates—Architecture, Landscape Architecture and
Meanwhile I present these perspective renderings and Robert’s own words about the designs his firm has prepared for Waveland’s future municipal complex, including as you will see a City Hall and ancillary annex, as well as fire station. Now under formal FEMA review, with final blueprints taking shape accordingly, the plan is moving steadily if slowly towards realization.
Robert’s vision tells a tale of promise, when it seems to me during this holiday interlude it is needed most. I post it as a measure of hope generated by an exemplary and determined contemporary classicist.
Clearly in the wake of such destruction, the re-building effort over the ensuing years and months has been painful and all-encompassing—interrupted at every corner by yet another bureaucratic review. Almost nothing has yet been built.
As a result the progress of the municipal complex that I was commissioned to do has emerged as both symbolic and functional beacon for the return of civic life—public services as measure of faith fulfilled and community restored. The anticipated return of a City Hall is a symbol of confidence and continuation.
With so much resting on its eventual advent, we have worked
hard to evoke the Gulf Coast
Robert Orr, FAIA December, 2008
Back of Annex building.
I urge you to take stock of Mr. Orr’s condign labors. I will report ahead on their completion.
- Paul Gunther, Dec 2008