Friday, January 23, 2009

From Biloxi

Last night I arrived in Biloxi to kick off a week long volunteer blitz build to finish three of Architecture for Humanity's case study houses. The one of most conversation was designed by AIA-MN convention keynote Marlon Blackwell. Dubbed the porchdog, it's become the capstone on a program that has broadened the design possibilities for housing along the coast.

East Biloxi, a neighborhood completely wiped off the map, is now 1/3 rebuilt. It's a very impressive number, considering the nearly deserted towns along the coast like Pass Cristian and Waveland. However, it's still just 1/3 and building activity is definitely slowing down. Katrina relief has turned into Katrina fatigue down here. And the fatigue has bled into every non-profit organization, every funding source, and every city department.
So, after the builder stopped working on the porchdog for a little over three months, and we made the decision to try and organize a volunteer week long build, I was skeptical. However, within a couple days, we had complimentary housing at a local hotel and over a dozen experienced volunteers signed up.


Anonymous said...

That's one weird house. Why does it look like that? What's it like inside?

Tom Wasmoen said...

While in Biloxi look up U of M grad James Wheeler, he's been down there working on replacement housing with the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio. They are doing some amazing work and they need support!


Steve Silverman said...

What a great project. I'm sure it's been very rewarding!