THREATENED: Phillis Wheatley Elementary School, New Orleans


Docomomo US staff


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The Phillis Wheatley Elementary School is in danger of demolition by the School Facilities Master Plan for Orleans Parish. The elevated school was designed by the architect Charles R. Colbert (1921-2007) in 1954. The cantilevered steel truss structure is solid and clearly did not flood after Hurricane Katrina. The building suffers only from neglect. It is one of the most innovative monuments of mid-century Modern architecture in New Orleans. The design was recognized by Progressive Architecture in 1955. Mr. Colbert received the Louisiana AIA Medal of Honor in 2006.