The independent film, A Plea For Modernism by Evan Mather of Handcrafted Films, tells an important story of the loss of many of the stories of the modern movement. Over time, many important buildings have fallen into disrepair due to lack of care, or as in the case of the Phillis Wheatley Elementary School, due to the tragic storms and levee breach in New Orleans in 2005. Despite valiant efforts by supporters, efforts to save many of these structures has proven unsuccessful.
Prior to its destruction in June 2011, the Phillis Wheatley Elementary School served the historic New Orleans African-American neighborhood of Tremé since it opened in 1955. Celebrated worldwide for its innovative, regionally-expressive modern design – the structure had sustained moderate damage during the storms and levee breach of 2005. DOCOMOMO Louisiana advocated for its restoration via adaptive reuse. A moving story of passion and loss, this film documents the historic significance of this structure. An exercise in efficiency, modularity and cutting edge technology and structural innovation, we have much to learn from preservation and restoration opportunities.