Help Preserve Community: The Ninth Ward in New Orleans

September 2009 Volunteers / Photo: Kevin Daniels

For the last few years, Kevin Daniels has been leading groups of volunteers in helping to rebuild houses in the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans. The devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina is still very evident. There is still much to do to revitalize this community. Kevin is leading another team of volunteers April 5-9. For more information on how you can participate, please read this message.

From Kevin Daniels:

As preservationists we have a common love of the built environment and all of the rich and diverse cultural heritage stories that go along.  Many of us have been involved in numerous battles to save a piece of the architectural heritage that we personally hold dear; and most of us have felt the painful sting when we lose the battle.

Photo: Kevin Daniels

Over the last few years I have taken a group of preservation minded volunteers down to work in the Ninth Ward in New Orleans with the goal of helping that community preserve, protect and reuse the thousands of homes damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.  Now, over four years later, the immense needs of that community remain.  I have personally witnessed a slow rebirth of one of the toughest areas in America (Holy Cross); and all of those who have traveled with me previously to New Orleans have a lot to be proud of.  We’ve experienced firsthand the power of community to overcome overwhelming odds.  We’ve witnessed the grace of a devastated community and their determination to move forward.  And we have all been touched by the outpouring of thanks from everyone in New Orleans, not only those directly impacted by the disaster.

Hurricane Katrina remains the single most destructive impact on our country’s cultural heritage since the Civil War.  While it’s easy to ignore the work that needs to be done when the story is no longer on the front page, it doesn’t relieve any of us of the obligation to continue to assist in the rebuilding of that city.

The rebuilding of the Lower Ninth Ward remains an opportunity that you can participate in.  Once again I will lead a team of volunteers down to New Orleans from April 5th through the 9th to work on three houses in the Holy Cross neighborhood.  We welcome all sorts of talented people to join us.  From those who have strong carpentry skills to those who can push a broom, deconstruct or paint.  Everyone is welcome and needed.  Please join us for this next trip.

While the costs of travel and accommodations are borne by each volunteer, we can assist in finding inexpensive lodging or potential roommates.  As all who have gone before will attest, it is a rewarding experience that will stay with you throughout the remainder of your life.

For more information please contact me at

The fearless leader (Kevin Daniels) as Asbestos Man in 90 degree heat