History Hero: Naydja Bynum
Born in Davant, Louisiana, Naydja, along with her husband Adolph Bynum is one half of the “Dream Team of Preservations.” She developed her love of old architecture from her parents — her mother was into older homes, her father was a carpenter. She started her career as a nurse, but working on old historic homes was always in her background. Says Naydja, fixing an old home is like nursing — bringing things back to life and in a city as old and historic as New Orleans, this is really important work.
“New Orleans is like a museum itself, the whole city could be a museum of houses.”
Naydja Bynum, preservationist
In the years after hurricane Katrina, their work has helped with the city’s housing shortage. Their goal is to update and modernize a home, but keep the old architectural style intact. To that end, she served for time as president of PRC — the cities Preservation Resource Center, which helps homeowners remodel — but with an historic edge. In New Orleans, the old homes have a charm you rarely see in other cities — in part because the city has strict rules on not changing the facade or front of these old places.
You can meet Aldoph and Naydia in our program “Heart & Soul,” where we look at two similar cities, New Orleans and San Francisco, and meet all the people trying to preserve the old architecture that defines these two iconic destinations.
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“History Heroes” are profiles of people young and old we meet along the way sharing their love of the past.