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House of Dance & Feathers

Ronald Lewis’s House of Dance and Feathers celebrates the oldest social aid and pleasure club in the Ninth Ward, the Big Nine Social Club, and Mardi Gras Indian tribes throughout New Orleans. Project Locus rebuilt the backyard museum to help reconstruct a sense of history and identity for this unique culture after Hurricane Katrina destroyed the original location. The hardest hit victims of this tragedy were the poor and disadvantaged living in the center of the city, who lacked the means to escape. More than 100,000 homes were lost in New Orleans alone. The museum, a flagship of the devastated Lower Ninth Ward, was rebuilt as a practical and cultural design resource for members of the community.

  1. Founder: Ronald Lewis
  2. Design/manufacturing team: Project Locus, Larry Bowne, Caitlin Heckathorn; student volunteers from Kansas State University, IIT, and University of California, Berkeley
  3. Project Partners: Tulane City Center, Tulane University; University of Montana Department of Environmental Studies; CITYBuild; Common Ground
  4. Donors: Charles Engelhart Foundation, Barry M. Downing Foundation, Lucite International, Flavor Paper, Lighting Inc., General Electric, LJ Goldstein, Grainger, Linweld, National Polyfab, Sherwin Williams New Orleans, Palram
  5. United States, 2006
  6. Poured-in-place concrete, rebar, concrete block, treated lumber and decking, prefabricated steel plates and moment connections, plywood subfloor, galvanized steel wire cable, stainless-steel turnbuckles, recycled galvanized metal roofing, clear polycarbonate roof panels, CP acrylic panels, 3/4” cabinet-grade maple plywood, wood stain, recycled antique door, recycled bolts and aluminum entry doors, custom commercial EMT conduit and wiring, commercial junction boxes, outlets, switches and cover plates, custom screen-printed and polyurethaned paper flooring, recycled screen-print frames, exhibit panels, stainless-steel-coated peg board, interior lighting, RAB Vapor exterior lighting, Minka ceiling fans
  7. Dimensions: 12’ x 32’, 384 square feet
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