Published: Thursday, November 5, 1992
Edition: THIRD
Section: METRO
Page: B6


New Orleans

The Oct. 25 article about your experts' evaluation of the four casino proposals was most interesting, but the evaluation was obviously made on the basis of the success of a gambling establishment, with little or no consideration given to the effect it would have on that section of the city as we know it.

The Rivergate, which is the designated site of the proposed casino, is in itself a significant example of the architecture of New Orleans of the mid-20th century. It was designed by Curtis & Davis, also architects of the Superdome and other important examples of that period.

To toss the Rivergate aside as "unattractive" recalls the attitude of two or three generations ago that considered Victorian buildings "unattractive" and raised no objections as some of St. Charles Avenue's best Victorian mansions were demolished.

Shotgun cottages, which were considered of little interest or value less than 50 years ago, have been re-evaluated in the recent Vieux Carre Survey as part of the architectural heritage of New Orleans.

The Rivergate has also become a part of this architectural heritage and should not be thoughtlessly destroyed or mutilated to be replaced by a Disneyland-like structure that might be more appropriate elsewhere.

Apparently no consideration at all was given to the Place de France, which stands between the Rivergate and the World Trade Center. This monument to Joan of Arc was a gift of the people of France to the citizens of New Orleans and was erected by the city in 1972.

The office of Richard Koch and Samuel Wilson Jr., architects, designed this small urban park, which should not be carelessly swept away.

Samuel Wilson Jr.

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