Address: 4722 Earhart Blvd and 1429 S. Jefferson Davis Pkwy
Owner: Life-Line Community Development/Jill Dapremont
Assessed Property Value: $273,200
Unoccupied since: August 2005 (4722 Earhart Blvd) unknown (1429 S. Jefferson Davis Pkwy)
Damage Assessment: Unavailable
Status: Approved for Demolition
While two distinct addresses, the buildings located at 4722 Earhart Blvd and 1429 S. Jefferson Davis Pkwy sit on the same municipal lot, have the same owner and are assessed as a single property. The property on 4722 Earhart (the absent façade of which is pictured above) appears to have had a simple, utilitarian design, while the property on Jefferson Davis, a service station dating from the 1950s, has a distinct, “Streamline Moderne” style.
The lot was first developed in 1925, when a construction company bought land on either side of the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad tracks (run just 27 years prior). The company owned the property until 1954, when the City of New Orleans acquired it in order to relocate the rail line and construct Earhart Blvd. That same year, a man named Martin L. Frank was given the property in exchange for another lot in Earhart’s path. With the property, he was given the right to construct a service station and, in 1959, he did, signing a 99-year lease with Sidney Stanfield, the station’s operator.
In 2001, Martin’s grandson, Lawrence M. Frank, lost the property to American General Financial Services to settle a $131,000 debt. That same year, American General filed the paperwork to annul Mr. Stanfield’s 99-year lease. Less than a year later, the building was sold for $200,000 to the Life-Line Community Development Corporation. Later that year, they opened the Louisiana Family Council on the first floor, to provide family counseling and wellness classes to the neighborhood.
However, according to Jill Dapremont, Life-Line’s chairperson just before Katrina, the CDC was turned down by the city for a grant to renovate the rest of the building. Less than a year later, Katrina hit, and Life-Line did not have the funding to repair. Ms. Dapremont now lives in Memphis, where she was displaced after the storm. She told the blight blog that were still members of the organization in New Orleans, though she had no contact information. An Internet search for the organization produced only a photo from when the building’s façade was ripped off by wind during Gustav.
On July 14, 2009, the two properties were included in one of the city’s mass code enforcement hearings. According to the city’s website. None of the owners showed up at the hearing, and the city designated the building a public nuisance. On March 1, 2010, the Neighborhood Conservation District Committee approved the property for demolition.