Thank you for visiting to obtain further facts on the removal of 2401 Monroe Street.  I apologize for some of the inaccurate facts that We Saw That reported.  I did not help write that, nor was I aware that it was published until someone alerted me to the fact.  The inaccuracy was that Robert Ratcliff, CEO, purchased this home.  This is incorrect.  His son did.  I believe that is the only inaccuracy.

Mr. Ratcliff did purchase this home and 2, maybe 3 Historic Preservation Commission members knew about what he was going to do with it.  I spoke with Ed Crump, the President of the HPC, and he had stated he had NO knowledge of Mr. Ratcliff’s intentions and was upset about it when he found out.  The reason I spoke to area residents and the reason we took action was because 1) The Historic Preservation Commission wasn’t doing anything about it; 2) The local historical associations weren’t going to get involved either.  You know what that told me?  That they DO NOT care about our neighborhood.  They only care about the rich, or the upper class areas of town, or their pet projects.  Just because we live in an area that is mixed with low income housing, does not mean that we are not important as well.   I am SICK of people saying that revitalization on Monroe Street will never happen. 

CentralLaPolitics needs to get some of its facts straight before making allegations.  http://centrallapolitics.blogspot.com/2008/07/wesawthat-engages-in-yet-another.html  I did not write that letter, a group of concerned citizens did.  In fact, it was around 10 citizens who decided to take action.  After some of our friends heard what was going on, they decided to sign the letters as well.  I am not trying to stir a pot, only shed some light on what is going on in our area.  As I told Mr. Ratcliff, I am not trying to take a personal adversarial position against him or his family and I am not trying to mar his character.  I just don’t agree with what he is doing.  I am tired of people telling us what we can and cannot do with Monroe Street.  Until you have lived here, don’t come here preaching to me. 

CentralLaPolitics writes:

“The woman, who is stirring the pot has opened up a single issue blog on the matter, called “Alexandria, Louisiana – My opinions“, and who calls herself “perpetualrenovator”, is even seeking to have Rob Ratcliff ousted off of the Committee. But a close look at her website sheds the light on her selfish motives for attacking Mr. Ratcliff. She resents having an empty lot nearby her own home.”

Ummm…..it is selfish to not want a empty lot near my home?  That is ridiculous!  Do you want a big gaping empty lot near your home?  What good can come of it?  Trash, litter, loitering…..etc.  We don’t need people to compound the problems in our area.  As to Mr. Ratcliff “preserving” the house?  That is pretty thin.  This house was owned by the Provostys and they have lived there around 30 or so years.  They lived in it right up until they sold it to Mr. Ratcliff.  So, you are telling me that a well known family, very affluent attorney, lived in a dilapadated structure and the only way it would be saved is for Mr. Ratcliff to move it?  Bologna!  The house was perfectly preserved.  What needed preservation was the neighborhood.  It is a shame that Mr. Provosty did not get more active in this area while he lived here.  If he would have, maybe thirty years ago, some of this discussion would be moot.  Mr. Ratcliff shows a conflict of interest.  If he really wanted to help this neighborhood, he should have moved into the house and started advocating for this street and buying properties around him to put back on the market, I mean, hello, his family owns a construction company!  But, in his own words to me, “that’s not gonna happen”.  He would “never live here”.  Put your money where your mouth is, sir.  If you are for preservation, then help this neighborhood.

Mr. Ratcliff, in his role as Historic Preservation Commissioner, is entrusted to safeguard the assets of the city and promote preservation in blighted areas of town.  Do you think moving a house in perfectly good condition, no structurual problems, that is well taken care of, to outside the city limits is preserving it?  He is saving it from what?  I don’t remember a “For Sale” sign going up or anyone given an opportunity to buy the house and live in it.  They are crossing a bridge before they get to it, or creating problems in their minds before they even happen.  Vandalism?  Why would the house be vandalized?  Was it vandalized the thirty years Mr. Provosty lived there?  No?  Oh, well, then what?  Oh, someone said it would become dilapadated.  Really?  You are a fortuneteller and can see the future?  No?  These issues are not REAL issues.  Mr. Ratcliff gave us perceived issues that may or may not happen in the future, and are fictional, as an excuse to move this house. The fact is that this house was NOT dilapidated, it was NOT vandalized, and there was no real good reason to move it except that he did not want to live on Monroe Street.

CentralLaPolitics uses the Kent House and the Arna Bon Temps house for support.  That in itself is a terrible comparison to this situation.  The Kent House was empty and becoming dilapadated until the State came in and relocated it and turned it into a museum.  Same with the Arna Bon Temps house.  The Arna Bon Temps house was falling in, not taken care of and people just did not understand the importance of the house.  Yet again, I believe the state or private/public entities took it over and turned into a museum.  What was the problem with 2401 Monroe Street?  I am sure the Provostys would not live in a dilapadated, roof caving in structure.  So one has to logically conclude that the 2401 Monroe Street house was in an excellent preserved condition.

To put to rest some of the lofty unfair opinions some people have, all of the people who live in this area are not drug addicts, criminals or scalawags.  Yes, there are a few here who are and that is what most people dwell on.  However, most of the people who live in this area are good hardworking folk.  As I pointed out in the newspaper recently, I have friends who live in 2 affluent new subdivisions.  Their copper wire was stolen out of their house, twice, and one friend had all of their appliances stolen.  I have never had one iota of a problem living here.  I have not had my house broken into, nor had anything stolen.  On the flip side, you are telling me white people are not addicted to drugs and don’t perpetrate the same kinds of crimes?  Whatever! 

All right, back to point in question.  An interesting comment was left on the post:


“… The former owners of this house, the Provosty’s, held their ground for years and refused to move as the neighborhood around them deteriorated into a less than desireable area. Had the Ratclifes or someone of simalar means not purchased the property it would have most likely been abondoned and left to rot like many of the other fine old homes in the area. Hopefully, in the future, this neighborhood and others like it in the older parts of town will once again be desireable places for young people to live and raise families. Unfortunately, we aren’t there yet.”

Why aren’t we there yet?  Are we all going to sit around and point fingers telling everyone what “needs” to happen?  Or are we going to stand up, point that finger at ourself and say “I am going to do something about it”!  Do you expect things to get better by themselves?  If someone doesn’t take a stand, when will this neighborhood get better?  I am sincerely interested in the Council race this go around.  There are two people who qualified to run against Louis Marshall.  More about that in another post.

I have posted before that I am tired of naysayers saying that this area will never come back up.  Its easy to say that from the sidelines with absolutely NO personal involvement in this area.  Quit yacking and get to work!  That’s what I am doing.  But, apparently, I can’t please everyone because the same people who say “why isn’t someone doing something?”  are the same ones who are criticizing me FOR DOING SOMETHING.  Make up your mind.  Get off the fence.


2 thoughts on “Facts

  1. Pingback: Bravo!!!! I like a lady with guts!! « Alexcenla’s Rants and Ravings

  2. Pingback: Louisiana House Bill 27: Right to Carry Concealed Weapons on College Campuses « Perpetual Renovator’s Weblog

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