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FEMA Section 106 Notices for Louisiana
Comment on "Seeking Public Comment for Privately-Owned Commercial Buildings Undergoing Eligibility Review for FEMA-Funded Demolition:
Club Desire, 2604 Desire Street, New Orleans, Louisiana
Seeking Alternatives to Demolition
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Name: Brian Ross
City: Boca Raton, FL
Club Desire, 2604 Desire Street, New Orleans, Lousiana
Comments: This club was an important cultural landmark in a city that has unfortunately destroyed way too many of its cultural landmarks, but, in particular, the launch of the career of Antoine "Fats" Domino from this building is not just a bit of "New Orleans" history, it's a part of world history in music. Like Louis Armstrong before him, Fats Domino changed the landscape of American popular music. He brought New Orleans swing to early Rock n' Roll and launched a generation of piano crooners who either imitated him or tried to outperform him, from Jerry Lee Lewis to Little Richard, but it was Fats' sound that was the metronome of the musical movement.

Beyond that, the club was a significant social and cultural center of American music in its heyday that played host to Ray Charles, Count Basie, and countless other top artists when music, like life in the Deep South was highly segregated and the 9th Ward was THE cultural center of African American life in the city.

What seems particularly short-sighted is that the 9th Ward can be redeveloped to bring in more tourism and tell a huge part of New Orleans history that has been kept in the shadows for too long. This place should be placed on the National Historical register, and turned into a club/historical museum of the history of African-American music in the 9th. Look at what a similar revival in Kansas City of one of their "blighted" neighborhoods' worst buildings has achieved: The Negro League Museum and the Kansas City Jazz Museum, with a top-drawer Jazz club, have transformed the neighborhood. That could happen here too.