Location: Bound by St. Philip St., Rampart St., Basin St., St. Peter St., and N. Villere St.
Size: 31 acres
Historic Landmark: Congo Square - National Register # 92001763, New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park - National Register #01000277
While working as a designer at Hamilton Anderson Associates in Detroit, Michigan I had the privilege of working with a design team on renovating the historic, Louis Armstrong Park and Congo Square in New Orleans Louisiana. This project is extremely significant to American history, especially the history of African American culture. "In a city famous for its musical traditions, perhaps no other single location claims as much musical and cultural history and importance as Louis Armstrong. Within the park confines is historic Congo Square. Formerly known as Place de Negres, it took its name from the tradition of slaves who gathered there on Sundays, their day off, to sing, beat drums, sell home-made goods, and celebrate." As the number of African American architectural practitioners increase, is it safe to assume that the monumental sites, which tell our county's history will begin to include more instances of black history?
Each day, as I worked to preserve and celebrate this culturally rich and historical site, I pondered the architectural preservation of hip hop history. As the hip hop generation becomes of age in the architectural profession, we must analyze the history and theory of architectural practice through our cultural lenses. This state of consciousness allows hiphoppas, who happen to be educated as architects, to add to the contributions of various professionals focused on accurately telling the story of the spaces, places and the policies institutionalized within them, which necessitated the birth of hip hop culture.