About this project
The Center: A Sustainable Historic House
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The Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development (CSED)
The CSED provides community-based support to residents of the Lower 9th Ward from “River to Bayou” in all aspects of sustainability for area neighborhoods as part of long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts. Our goal is the re-creation and repopulation of a strong community, mindful of its resources and vulnerabilities, with an engaged citizenry that is active, resilient, prosperous, energy independent and as beautiful as possible. The CSED’s primary emphasis includes: Community Outreach, Food Security, Coastal Sustainability and the Built Environment.
The Center Project
With the donation of 5227 Chartres (the Center), the CSED has the unique opportunity to renovate a 100 yr. old barge board house into an CSED office space and educational center. The Center will showcase energy efficiency upgrades and primarily serve as an educational center for the Lower 9th Ward community. The Center will be renovated keeping with its original barge board design and will be equipped with truth windows giving guest the ability to ‘peek through’ the construction and see the types of energy efficient upgrades that have been made to the house.
The Test of Time
While upfront recognition for everyone’s efforts in this project is welcome, the true success of this endeavor will only come over the long term. The building in itself is not the end, but the beginning. How it facilitates CSED’s mission and its impact in the neighborhood over the coming years will be its true test.
Building as a Teacher
The Center will demonstrate green building concepts that visitors can see themselves implementing. The Center will also seek to inspire curiosity as a conversation starter or support training as a working example. The building will seek to be innovative yet relatable and reproducible. Visitors will be able to recognize and relate to the building as a traditional New Orleans house with a few improvements. Rather than feeling overwhelmed or intimidated, a visit to The Center will leave them inspired, thinking “I can do that”.
With Your Support, We Can Do This.
From all of us here at the CSED, thank you for your support!
Risks and challenges
One of our biggest challenges is plugging the right people into the right places.
The Center has had tremendous volunteer labor support. Support from volunteers, like the American Baptist and Historic Green, has come in the form of long, tireless hours, toiling away at all kinds of mentionable and unmentionable tasks - from digging holes, to scraping paint, to replacing termite damaged wood, to painting!
CSED’s volunteer program, run by Warrenetta Banks, has provided the CSED with a myriad of unskilled labor - and some skilled. People from all over the nation and all over the world have helped to complete general construction task on the Center.
We are now at the point in the project where we are utilizing skilled trades people to complete skilled jobs; like wiring, plumbing, and carpentry. We have 2 skilled people on staff that have led and done most of the skilled labor. However, in the final stretch of this project, we will need to manage and hire additional skilled people.
One major risk/challenge on a project of this scope is soliciting contributions and in-kind support from skilled trades people from the neighborhood and elsewhere to lend a hand.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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