Melpomene Projects

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William J. Gustavo Housing Development

Melpomene Housing Projects
Guste high-rise
Coordinates: 29°56′41″N 90°04′57″W / 29.94472°N 90.08250°W / 29.94472; -90.08250Coordinates: 29°56′41″N 90°04′57″W / 29.94472°N 90.08250°W / 29.94472; -90.08250
CountryUnited States
CityNew Orleans
Planning DistrictDistrict 6, Central City
 • Total0.30 sq mi (0.8 km2)
 • Land0.30 sq mi (0.8 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.0 km2)
0 ft (0 m)
 • Total438
 • Density1,500/sq mi (560/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
Area code(s)504

The Melpomene Projects, officially called the Gustavo Apartments, is located in Central City New Orleans and is one of the Housing Projects of New Orleans.

The complex occupies ten city blocks, bounded roughly by South Robertson Street, Clio Street, Simon Bolivar Avenue and Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard (formerly Melpomene Avenue). There were four three-story buildings and two four-story buildings for families and a high-rise for the elderly. At a peak height of 12 stories, the Guste high-rise is the tallest public housing complex in the city. It was also one of the most dangerous housing projects in Uptown New Orleans along with the Magnolia Projects and the Calliope Projects.

The Melpomene Project was constructed in 1964. The site was once made up of single and multi-family houses; by the late 1950s the city declared them slums which paved the way for the project. It is the youngest surviving housing project in New Orleans. The high-rise underwent major renovations in 2002. In 2004–05, three of the six low-rise buildings were demolished after failing to meet the Housing Authority of New Orleans' economic viability guidelines.

It is one of few housing projects in the city that survived Hurricane Katrina with minimal wind damage and no flood damage.