HURRICANE IDA UPDATES
FROM THE Longue Vue TEAM
Longue Vue’s Oak Allée, August 31, 2021
Longue Vue’s Oak Allée, September 10, 2021
The Longue Vue team working together after the storm.
An update on tickets and tours:
Longue Vue staff began to return to our site this week to take on the essential tasks of cleaning up debris, initiating repairs where needed, and preparing to reopen our gardens to the public. We are excited to announce that the gardens will be open again beginning Monday, September 13 and admission will be FREE for all Louisiana residents through September 18. Visit our tickets and tours page here to make your reservation to enjoy our gardens.
At this time, tours of the Longue Vue house are indefinitely paused as we conduct mold assessments and remediation. Our guided garden tour will include access to Longue Vue: A Love Story (air quality tests allowing). All visitors are invited to the reimagined Visitor Center, in the rear of our gift shop, which includes historical content and displays pertaining to the house and gardens design and Stern family legacy.
Important dates regarding the return of programs and events at Longue Vue:
Updates from our Facilities team:
(September 10, 2021)
The Longue Vue team showed up in force this week and has accomplished incredible things to restore our site. The core structures of Longue Vue are intact and strong, and we have begun to address needed repairs to downed fencing, restoration of broken shutters, and recovery of full HVAC functioning. A big project will be to restore our historic greenhouse, which was already on deck for repair and now requires more urgent attention.
For those who have been wondering about our beloved bee colonies: Despite a location on a raised balcony facing due east (where the winds were the strongest), their pallet foundation and hives heavy with honey and brood protected them. They were unfazed by the storm and are doing just fine! They are already out and about the site, looking for pollen to collect.
(September 3, 2021)
Longue Vue weathers another major storm. Many small branches blanket the driveways and lawns of the museum. Several planters, window shutters, and glass from the Greenhouse were damaged. It will take several weeks to survey, check, and notice smaller problems that aren’t readily visible.
The basement of the main house did have some water intrusion, but the sump pumps were able to recover quickly. My office flooded from a window well in the generator courtyard. I have removed the carpet and set a fan to dry the floors.
Thanks for all of the support and interest from our Longue Vue family.
– Tim Evans (Director of Facilities)
Updates from the Gardens team:
(September 10, 2021)
As we work through the gardens, we are finding damage that in some cases exceeds the impact of Hurricane Katrina. The stress and strain of Ida’s winds were too much for many mature branches, shrubs, and potted plants. We have not yet begun to clear the Wild Garden, and I am afraid our lost tree count will increase when we do.
On the bright side, we can see the healthy condition of our trees as a whole, especially our most important collection: our live oaks.
This week is a reminder of what a strong community Longue Vue has. Local garden clubs and individual volunteers have helped keep our living collections healthy for decades, and they were important partners again this week. The love, vision, and investments of Edith Stern, Ellen Shipman, and Caroline Dormon live on through all of your support.
(September 3, 2021)
Considering the strength of the storm, the gardens fared well with a loss of only two trees. However, we have a tremendous amount of tree debris cleanup ahead of us.
The Oak Allée live oak trees were not stripped clean of leaves, but did lose many minor limbs.
The Greenhouse lost several glass panes.
– Amy Graham (Director of Gardens)
Updates from the Collections team:
(September 9, 2021)
The interior of the Stern family house escaped structural damage during Ida, and at this time our primary focus is on moisture mitigation and mold remediation as we work to restore full function of our HVAC systems. Conservation efforts are already underway and will ensure that Longue Vue’s unique design legacy is preserved. We look forward to reopening the house for visitors very soon!
(September 3, 2021)
Built to withstand both natural and man-made disasters, Longue Vue has weathered Hurricane Ida well. We hope to take this time to restore and improve to best serve our visitors in the future. Damages sustained during Hurricane Betsy in 1965 led to the creation of the Spanish Court, and today this beautiful space is a favorite site for photographs as well as the setting for Twilight at Longue Vue musical performances. Following Hurricane Ida, too, Longue Vue will grow and improve as we repair.
– Lenora Costa (Curator and Historian)
Games in the Gardens update:
Games in the Gardens, our fresh-air fall fundraiser, is still on the calendar and more important than ever! Ticket sales, previously scheduled for September 7, will begin once power is restored and safe event capacities become more clear. Sponsorships are currently available here.
HELP LONGUE VUE RECOVER FROM HURRICANE IDA
Longue Vue’s gardens were significantly disrupted by Hurricane Ida. We lost several large trees, numerous planters, and numerous panes of glass from our historic Greenhouse. The grounds were covered with debris and have required substantial work by the full Longue Vue staff and local garden contractors to prepare for our reopening just two weeks after the storm.
Each day we remained closed cost Longue Vue $1,000 in lost ticket and program revenue. Even upon reopening, we will absorb lost revenue due to the impossibility of providing house tours until mold remediation is complete. Meanwhile, basic operating costs remain the same, and the work required to restore and maintain our site has increased. We are grateful for any support you can offer at this time, to help offset these impacts.
CENTENNIAL RENEWAL CAMPAIGN
Edith and Edgar Stern were married in June 1921; soon afterwards, they purchased five lots on the edge of Orleans Parish and began to develop the Longue Vue property as their family home.
In 2021, we are launching a Centennial Renewal Campaign to mark Edith and Edgar’s 100th anniversary. Leadership gifts of $10,000 and above will be memorialized in a new Centennial Circle installation and will be directed to the centennial initiative of the donor’s choosing:
Longue Vue’s collections of trees and plants are central to our historic character and our inspiring setting. Centennial contributions to our living collections will sustain their health and cultivation, including new investments in our native plant collection and digital collections management system.
Ellen Shipman’s timeless, masterful gardens informed the architectural and interior character of the main house, completed in 1942, and earned Longue Vue National Historic Landmark status. Gifts to our Design Legacy will protect the original design intent through strategic preservation and restoration.
The Discovery Garden invites children to explore concepts of design and gardening relevant to Louisiana ecosystems and the values inherent in the Longue Vue vision established 100 years ago. Contributions will go toward restoring and updating displays and installations for today’s children and families.