The home is a unique and bold addition to a project which has dramatically changed the face of a neighborhood left devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. As a canal levee breached less than three blocks from what is now the site of the Frank Gehry home, the neighborhood was inundated by a twenty-five-foot storm surge, which left the area standing in up to eighteen feet of flood water. Over 1,800 people died as a result of the storm, with thousands more left with homes badly damaged or destroyed. As levees and infrastructure have been rebuilt, Make it Right’s project has been a vital component in the rebuilding efforts in the area. Where just a few years ago empty lots remained, Make it Right’s sustainable housing has helped to enable many families return to the neighborhood.
The prototype home cost in the region of $300,000 to construct, but Make it Right hopes that any future versions of the Frank Gehry-designed two-family home can meet the Foundation’s budgetary aim of $200,000 for a duplex. Other non-prototype single-family home designs which have been constructed in the neighborhood by Make it Right have been built for around $150,000. At present there are no plans to build future versions of the home — that remains in the hands of returning Lower 9th Ward residents participating in the program. Homeowners have a number of plans to choose from, based on their own individual needs and budgets.
All Images © Chad Chenier Photography / Make It Right