NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Preservationists and producers of the HBO series “Treme” couldn’t save a row of ramshackle houses slated for demolition near a New Orleans park.

Demolition began Thursday, part of a highly touted fight against blight by Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration.

The houses took on an iconic status for some after being featured in a poster promoting “Treme.” The television series is about New Orleans in the months after Hurricane Katrina.

Members of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the show’s producers said they had hoped the houses could be preserved and renovated. But Landrieu held a news conference at the demolition site and said they were in imminent danger of collapse.

Neighbors said the buildings should come down because they were dangerous and attracted criminals.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.