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'Treme' actor Wendell Pierce works to put new life into New Orleans

August 11, 2011 |  8:40 am

Wendell Pierce
Nearly six years after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans' flood-damaged Lower 9th Ward remains a work in progress, pocked with weedy lots and naked slabs where homes once stood.

Now, however, in a small but significant step toward normalcy, residents may soon have a place to shop for what's known locally as the Holy Trinity of Creole cooking: onions, bell pepper and celery.

Actor Wendell Pierce, the New Orleans native and star of HBO dramas "The Wire" and "Treme," is proposing a full-service grocery store in the Lower 9th Ward, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.

Pierce is part of a development group that hopes to build the store on the former site of Holy Cross High School, a local institution that relocated to the neighborhood of Gentilly after its 19th century campus suffered significant flood damage. The school is reportedly asking $2.1 million for the site.

Pierce has been part of an effort to rebuild homes in another flood-ravaged neighborhood, Pontchartrain Park. Actor Brad Pitt has spearheaded an effort to build 150 new homes in the Lower 9th Ward, where more than 4,000 homes were destroyed by flooding.

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-- Richard Fausset

Photo: New Orleans native Wendell Pierce is shown in a scene from the HBO series "Treme," set in post-Katrina New Orleans. Credit: Paul Schiraldi/ HBO/Associated Press

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