Community Design and Identity in the former U.S. Canal Zone, a Contested Legacy
Christovich Associate Professor of Architecture Carol Reese has provided invaluable teachings to her students here at Tulane University, incorporating unexpected community studies into contemporary classwork. A collaborative instructor, Professor Reese developed a series of proposals for the Ponchartrain Park and Gentilly Woods area projects, casually known as the “Pontilly Neighborhood.” Uniting volunteers from the Longue Vue House and Gardens, the Pontilly Neighborhood Association and students from Tulane, LSU, Southern University of Baton Rouge, Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Virginia, Professor Reese sought the most ecologically responsible restoration of Pontilly's private garden spaces, public rights-of-ways and recreational spaces after Katrina. Ultimately, this produced the “Pontilly Landscape Manual” to offer guidance and suggestions to residents. Project New Orleans, a conference and exhibition produced with Michael Sorkin and Anthony Fontenot, documented various plans and methods for post-Katrina rebuilding and included a multitude of groups and suggestions. Such local activisim is an underlying theme in Professor Reese's career: she has been honored by the Louisiana Legislative Women's Caucus with an award for Volunteerism and Civic Engagement. When asked what drives her continued dedication to her local community and to promoting service learning within the university, Carol explains, “All of these projects have allowed me to understand my community and to be involved with my community in some of the most profound ways I never could have imagined … to work on issues that matter to all of us: the education of our children, the safety of our neighborhoods, the responsibility of our politicians; and to be able to articulate shared values [and] work toward creating a community that is the best that we can possibly make it.”
Professor Reese has an extensive CV with numerous grants and fellowships. Before coming to Tulane, Professor Reese held positions at University of California San Diego, UCLA, Southern California Institute of Architecture and University of Maryland College Park. She earned her Master of Arts in Art History as well as her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin and her Bachelor of Arts from Trinity University. She is the co-author of Object, Image, Inquiry and the author of Paul Cret at Texas, The Architect's Sketchbook, New Orleans under Reconstruction and The Crisis of Planning. Professor Reese extensively documented Frank Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall with the Getty Research Institute, and her current research is exploring 20th century Latin American architecture and urbanism in Argentina, Mexico and Panama. We are lucky to have Professor Reese with us at Tulane School of Architecture for her wealth of knowledge and community engagement.
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