Architecture school lends helping hand on Jersey Shore

December 21, 2012

Barri Bronston
Phone: 504.314.7444

The Tulane School of Architecture has joined forces with the New Jersey Institute of Technology to assist the hurricane-ravaged Jersey Shore in the rebuilding process.

New Jersey official John Camera and Kenneth Schwartz, Tulane architecture dean, tour the storm-damaged Jersey Shore.

Seaside Heights (New Jersey) Borough Administrator John Camera, left, and Kenneth Schwartz, dean of architecture at Tulane University, pause on a beach tour near the ruined Jet Star Roller Coaster. (Photo by Andrew Mills/The New Jersey Star-Ledger)

School of Architecture Dean Kenneth Schwartz and a team of colleagues will be working with New Jersey Institute of Technology and the beach community of Seaside Heights as it begins the arduous task of restoring what Hurricane Sandy destroyed.

Schwartz said his motivation for helping is simple. After Katrina, more than a dozen architecture schools from around the country reached out to help New Orleans, and NJIT was among them.

“They came down and did some good things with their students,” Schwartz said. “And we were grateful for that.”

Upon seeing the devastation of Sandy, Schwartz didn’t hesitate in reaching out to his East Coast counterparts. That contact led to his connection with NJIT School of Architecture and the first of what promises to be several visits to the Jersey Shore.

Among other things, Schwartz and his staff are helping NJIT set up a program similar to Tulane’s CITYbuild, which after Katrina matched architecture schools with some of the city’s nonprofits and neighborhoods. In the coming weeks, Dan Etheridge, associate director of Tulane’s City Center, an urban outreach and research program, will travel to the Jersey Shore to assist in the development of a similar outreach model.

“Our school’s successful work in the community is well known nationally, and Dan will advise them on everything from collaborating with nonprofit organizations to identifying foundation funding support,” Schwartz said.

In March, Schwartz will take a group of Tulane students to Seaside Heights for an alternative spring break. “They will be there for a week doing hands-on construction work,” he said. “Seaside Heights was badly damaged, and this will involve working the community on hands-on rebuilding work.” 


Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000