Some good byes are for a day and others are for a season. Some good byes are forever. Saying good bye is actually a blessing. It’s a pause in time that we honor a person or place.
Historic building deconstruction is an act of paying respect to that old building. Dismantling a home or building allows us to salvage items and re-use them for future generations. The demolition industry is not all about hauling to the landfills and discarding the old. What I love about the demolition industry is that it has now evolved into the deconstruction and salvage industry too.
Scrap metal, concrete, heart of pine beams, cypress wood, etc… are commodities on the job. All these items are stripped out before demolition and used for re-purposing New Orleans. But what about the small, unseen things? The memories? The notches on a kitchen door frame of a growing child? You know the old saying, “If only these walls could talk!” We want to hold on to the past while reaching for something new and fresh.
The sting of death comes when we are not able to say good bye. A house fire. A hurricane or tornado. These tragedies and disasters snatch people and places away from us in the blink of an eye that we never get to pause and reflect with them. They are gone and never to return. Therefore we reflect on them.
This is why nostalgia is a beautiful, healing emotion. It soothes the pain of bygones. Dismantling a building (deconstruction,) architectural salvage and historic preservation of our resources are critical to us as individuals and to us as a community. It’s what defines our culture. In New Orleans, we are defined by our architecture. We are so proud of our neighborhoods. New Orleans’ revitalization lies in our hands. It is critical for each one in our community to take responsibility for our property. Demolition and Dismantling is the respectful, kind way to say goodbye. Do not let it become a blighted property! What gets attached to blighted property are the hate and rancor of the community. Good memories are forgotten.
As I held my 8 month old niece last night, I became jubilant when she learned to wave bye-bye. Saying goodbye is taught. It is not innate.
Demolition and Dismantling are taught. They are not innate. Ask for help. Demo Diva wants to help New Orleans demolish and dismantle. It’s a beautiful way to say goodbye.