The whole argument is yet another example of preservationist incoherence. Nine times out of ten these arguments are really about different groups of well to do property owners arguing over who gets what set of rights and privileges with the appeal to "preservation" being merely a tool of convenience for whichever side isn't proposing the specific development in question. Rarely, though, is any of this ever about mere aesthetics.
For those of you following the telenovela that is replacing derelict structures in NOLA, this particular episode includes:
1. Incoherent, reality-defying zoning laws. Because if there is any place to put new, multi-story, high density mixed use development, it is on Canal Street downtown.
2. An empty building that no one wants to purchase and restore as-is.
3. A city council ready to change zoning ordinances whenever.
4. Rendering zoning laws meaningless so long as you have the right political connections.
5. "Preservation" groups demanding that undesirable properties remain undesirable.
6. Until "someone" can come up with a better plan.
7. When zoning laws would be rendered meaningless because of other people's political connections.
Isn't feudalism fun?