Building collapse in French Quarter frays nerves
NEW ORLEANS - Warning flags are going up about decay and a lack of rigorous inspections after a 210-year-old building collapsed in the historic French Quarter.
No one was injured when the three-story, brick-and-cypress building collapsed in October, but the episode has thrown into focus an array of problems throughout the nearly 300-year-old Quarter.
Among them: structural decay, voracious termites, the challenge of maintaining old buildings in Louisiana's humid climate, absentee landlords and the stresses of modern life as heavy trucks rattle streets and galleried buildings standing shoulder to shoulder.
Preservationists and residents are clamoring for better inspections and a reduction in heavy traffic. But business owners caution against knee-jerk reactions and say the Quarter is in better condition now than ever before thanks to an influx of investment.