The entertainment for Saturday’s $1,000 to $2,500 per-ticket Make It Right fundraising gala is first class, with comedian Chris Rock and belter Bruno Mars, plus an appearance by the leading man behind the houses, movie star Brad Pitt.
Pitt’s architecturally avant-garde post-Hurricane Katrina neighborhood redevelopment in the Lower 9th Ward, has reached the 100-house mark. That’s impressive. Back in 2007 when the project began, the neighborhood on the east side of the Judge Seeber Bridge was a disaster zone, one of the areas hardest hit by the catastrophic levee failures of 2005.
The almost 10-year-old scars still show. Much of the area remains weedy and fallow, but 100 snazzy houses mark a few blocks of the landscape along Jourdan, Deslonde, Tennessee, Reynes and Forstall streets. Pitt, a modern architecture enthusiast with a craving for activism, used his considerable big-screen sizzle to make that happen.
Tom Darden, the svelte, youthful director of Make It Right sat on the front stoop of one of the concept houses on Friday (May 9) discussing the state of the ongoing project.
The biggest compliment he said he’s ever received about Make It Right came somewhat unconsciously, when an onlooker said “Wow, what a cool neighborhood,” instead of saying “Wow, such cool houses.”