Old house on the River Road, Pointe a la Hache, LA

Between Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon, Pointe a la Hache lost over 50% of its population, so there are a lot of abandoned properties in the town, especially along LA-15, which runs parallel to the east bank of the Mississippi River. Hope and I picked one more or less at random to photograph.

Old House

There was some damage around to the back of the house, nothing that looked like it would be impossible to fix. But if whoever lived there lost a steady income thanks to the oil spill, maybe they couldn’t afford even minor repair. Or maybe they just couldn’t afford to keep it up; those old houses need constant repair, and they are really hard to heat and cool. It’s sadly ironic that what made them suitable for the climate in the days before central air/heat—raised off the ground, high ceilings—now makes artificially cooled/heated air leak out of them like water through a fishnet. Too, since the levees were built they don’t get as much natural a/c from river breezes. And of course insulation has come a long way in the last 100 years.

Old House

Someone’s keeping the property mowed, but the house is starting to both sink and crack, and vines are growing over the outside. Left to itself, it will be unrepairable within not too many more years.

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