Katrina Cottage Aids Search For Permanence

The New Urbanist design is expensive, but the concept -- similar to recovery efforts after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake -- shows great promise.
April 4, 2006, 9am PDT | David Gest
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"...why not provide something that is designed for permanent living, rather than camping? This question was raised during the Mississippi Renewal Forum, a planning workshop convened by new urbanists and state politicians in Biloxi last October. An architect from New York named Marianne Cusato drew up a design for a 400-square-foot cottage that could be erected on devastated lots and eventually be enlarged and added onto to become a permanent home.

The strategy is not new. After the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the relief committee built 6,000 two-room wooden shelters (which they likewise called 'cottages') in a dozen locations. The aim was to provide refugees with something better than the Army tents they had been using. The cottages were occupied for a year while the devastated city was cleaned up. But when people started to rebuild, they transported the huts to their lots and incorporated them into the new homes. Some of these original cottages still exist today."

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Published on Friday, March 31, 2006 in Slate
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