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This New Orleans storefront on Oretha Castle Haley may be rehabilitated

Let the national competition commence!

Twenty-five streets around the United States—including one from New Orleans— are competing to collect as many votes as possible over the next month. What’s at stake? $2 million in preservation funding.

Vote Your Main Street, sponsored by American Express and National Geographic, in partnership with National Trust for Historic Preservations, listed 25 streets that have individual projects that could benefit from restoration. Each street, represented by a local organization, argues the case for a building or place in need of restoration. The streets with the most votes win funding for their projects.

The Oretha Castle Haley Merchant & Business Association represents a project to restore a storefront located at 1626 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, next to the Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center and Orleans Coffee House.

“It’s the only intact block left on Oretha Castle Haley in terms of having all of the facades in a row,” says Linda Pompa, Executive Director of the Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard Merchants & Business Association. She notes that buildings on that 1600 block are over 100 years old.

The Oretha Castle Haley Merchant and Business Association is competing for funds to help restore 1626 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., formerly the McCrory's store for 30 years. The photo above show 1626 Oretha Castle Haley in the 1920s (left), present day (middle), and planned restoration (right).
via OC Haley Blvd.

If the storefront on Oretha Castle Haley is chosen in the Vote Your Main Street competition, , the final outcome of what the storefront will become remains up in the air, Pompa says. Though, she believes there is likely be retail space on the ground floor.

“It’s a shell with a tree growing through the middle of it. Something needs to be done for it to be stabilized and completely rehabbed. The funding will go toward the facade,” she adds.

Over the past decade, the Oretha Castle Haley corridor has seen a major revival, bringing several locally owned shops, restaurants and businesses to the area. This past Spring, the Department of Public Works completed a major streetscape project.

Out sister site, Curbed Detroit, also has a community space competing in this national competition.

Each voter can cast up to five votes for any of the 25 mainstream every day until October 31. To vote, visit the competition’s official website.