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STOP the desecration of this historically significant and sacred ground! The City of New Orleans proposes to convert the Municipal Auditorium to a City Hall office building. This action would have a significant adverse impact to the historical nature and purpose of the original Municipal Auditorium. WE DEMAND A PUBLIC HEARING!!
The ground on which the Municipal Auditorium sits, is a part of Congo Square. It is one of the most significant pieces of real estate in the cultural legacy of New Orleans and, by extension, the world. This land and its structures should be expressly dedicated to honoring the contributions and sacrifices of our ancestors and to sustaining and developing that legacy for current and future generations.
We propose the rehabilitation of this invaluable community asset be undertaken with a focus on remembering and honoring its historic role as:
1) a site of cultural celebrations and gatherings for the indigenous populations who were its stewards before the arrival of Europeans and Africans;
2) a site of repression, state-sanctioned executions, but also a space of respite from enslavement on Sundays when the area was known as Place Congo or Congo Square and evolved into the acknowledged birthplace of jazz, other forms of popular music, and distinctively new forms of American social dance;
3) a marker for the displacement and destruction of the predominately Black communities that were forcibly removed from the area to make way for the construction of the Municipal Auditorium in the 1920s and later, from the 1950s-1970s, the entire 32-acre site that is known today as Louis Armstrong Park.
We the undersigned do hereby demand that all elected officials in New Orleans and those under their authority immediately cease and desist any and all plans to convert the New Orleans Municipal Auditorium and surrounding land for office spaces, and governmental uses by the City of New Orleans.