OAMSC is an established 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit that has demonstrated capacity to institute a long-term
revitalization and community capacity building program. The OAMSC oversees the revitalization of an approximately a two-square-mile area. Founded in 1996, OAMSC was established by a diverse group of neighborhood leaders, inclusive of the entire community. Incorporated in the State of Louisiana and utilizing guidelines outlined by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as its foundation, OAMSC endeavors to rejuvenate a once vibrant business presence within the neighborhoods comprising Old Algiers. Through community visioning workshops and group focus sessions, the need was identified to return vacant buildings into viable businesses that provide needed services for the community and improve quality of life for its residents. Operated solely by volunteers, OAMSC receives a broad base of support through membership, corporate sponsors and elected officials.
Currently, the organization’s primary focus is the area around the Newton/Teche corridors. With the connection to the Federal City and proposed riverfront development, and substantial inventory of building stock ready for rehabilitation, this area is poised to become a vital economic corridor. The recent designation as an Urban Main Street program and a Cultural Products District will enhance the opportunities in the area.
The overall goal of OAMSC is to build business capacity and enhance the quality of life for Old Algiers’ residents. The program seeks to stimulate community reinvestment by promoting the rich culture, educating youth, growing small businesses, creating jobs, attracting new residents through commercial and residential rehabilitation, and by growing the local tax base. All of these initiatives will help make the Old Algiers community one of the best neighborhoods to live, work and operate a small business in the City of New Orleans.
OAMSC addresses the issues of historic preservation and commercial revitalization, which entails land use issues, code violations and dealing with blighted and adjudicated property. The organization also works to enhance the awareness of the cultural assets the area possesses.
OAMSC worked with the Regional Planning Commission, Department of Public Works and elected officials to provide additional streetscape improvements along Newton Street. The Paths to Progress project included concrete paving, sidewalk improvements, bike lanes, new lights and landscaping.
OAMSC collaborated with SOUL (Sustaining Our Urban Landscape) to plant trees throughout Old Algiers. A special row of trees was planted in memory of founding member Beryl Ragas along Newton Street.
Commercial Corridors, Bright Future
In a partnership with UNO’s Masters of Urban Planning (MURP) program, OAMSC has developed a strategic development plan for Old Algiers.
Ferry Terminal Improvements
Working with the Regional Transit Authority/Transdev, OAMSC continues to provide input regarding improvements to the Algiers Ferry Terminal and has mounted an exhibit of historic photographs that will be rotated on an annual basis.
Cultural District Liaison
OAMSC applied for Cultural District status in 2008 and continues to serve as the liaison to the State of Louisiana for the Cultural District. In 2015, the Cultural District was expanded to include the entire Old Algiers Main Street program area. A report is submitted to the state each year to document the status of properties and cultural activities within the designated area.
Annual Old Algiers Crawfish Boil
OAMSC and the Pride of Algiers Masonic Lodge co-present the annual Crawfish Boil as a fund-raising and community-building activity.
The organization is working collaboratively with several community groups and other partners to celebrate the Algiers Tricentennial in 2019. This program is currently under development, and volunteers are needed to assist with planning and executing events.
2020 Board of Directors
Valerie Robinson, president
Linetta Gilbert, vice president
Jennifer Farwell, secretary
Jeremy Buffington, treasurer
Committees are aligned with the National Main Street Four-Point Approach and include Economic Development, Design, Promotion and Membership. Non-board members are welcome to become committee members.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in serving.