David Presley

Gone with the Wind, and Rain


While many of the city’s poorer districts were engulfed (due to their lower elevation and their proximity to the breached levees), the exclusive gated community of Audubon Place, a sort of New Orleans Bel Air, remained largely high and dry. With their soaring marble pillars and expansive porches, these homes seemed doubly anachronistic – relics of an earlier century and now remnants of a battered city. And yet they weren’t completely forsaken: this private security guard, David Presley, stands sentry, hired to protect wealthy property owners’ houses from looters. Presley – who claims to have recently provided security for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie – is part of a team contracted out of Houston to patrol the neighborhood. As the mansions await their returnees, this guard and his crew have moved into one of the local homes, where they have been encamped since their arrival, five days after Katrina left town.

– Vanity Fair, November 2005


Photographed at St. Charles Avenue and Audubon Place on September 9, 2005.