Reaching an impasse, fast-tracks quest to list levee breach sites historic

Homes on Bellaire Drive directly across from levee breach site of 17th Street Canal. Photo/Francis James

The Army Corps of Engineers has failed to respond to a request for comments on’s nomination of two major levee breach sites to the National Register of Historic Places.

That failure to provide technical comments within the required time frame has created an impasse in the nomination process.  For this reason, will exercise its right to appeal, meaning it will advance its nomination to the official arbiter for such procedural breakdowns, the Keeper of the National Park Service.

The Keeper has 45 days to either sustain or deny the appeal.  If the Keeper sustains, she will direct the Louisiana State Historic Preservation Officer to send’s nomination to the National Historian for final review and formal listing.

Click here for more on the story by award winning journalist Mark Schleifstein with the New Orleans Times Picayune.

2 responses to “Reaching an impasse, fast-tracks quest to list levee breach sites historic”

  1. R Smith says:

    Thanks for remembering the London canal break.

  2. S. Rosenthal says:

    There were over 50 breaches of the hurricane protection levees in New Orleans and St. Bernard Parish on August 29, 2005. Levees breached and failed for a variety of different reasons. When began the nomination process by selecting the 17th Street Canal and the east side north breach of the Industrial Canal, it was always intended that these be first two, not the last two. The nomination process is complex and the amount of work is both extensive and expensive. Faced with a deadline in July 2010, was compelled, at least initially, to nominate two breach sites which, we felt if taken together might illustrate the broad scope of the disaster.

    As we have stated on our website, we notified the Louisiana Office of Historic Preservation in writing in August 2010 that additional levee breach sections that occurred on August 29, 2005 may be nominated to the National Register at a later date following future research on those breach sites. These include the east and west breaches of the London Avenue Canal.

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