Pub Night – Downtown Alexandria, November 11th

Finnegan's Wake

Finnegan's Wake

The Historical Association of Central Louisiana invites you to join us for:

PUB NIGHT

“Celebrating Downtown Alexandria”

Tuesday, November 11th Veteran’s Day

5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

FINNEGAN’S WAKE

812 Third Street, Alexandria, Louisiana     

RSVP: (318) 448-3952

Invite a friend and join us as we celebrate those individuals who have already invested in downtown revitalization by restoring historic buildings.  Security on premises.  Non-alcoholic beverages and refreshments will be provided by HACL.

***Visit with Jock Scott and have him sign your purchase of his recent work, “Natalie Scott: A Magnificent Life”, the story of Jock’s great aunt, a noted Louisianian of the early 20th Century.

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Florence Avenue and the National Register

Early this year (January/February), I sent a letter to the Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation exploring the possibility of getting my house on the National Register.  I included the history and pictures of three more large notable houses that are in a row on the same side of my street and also gave a short history blurb on my home.  I understand from several sources that many people before me have tried and failed…but, people who know me well enough know that things like that don’t deter me.  What’s the harm in trying?  I said to myself, “If I get another rejection letter, I will just add it to the pile.”  So, I sent my letter on and waited for a reply. 

I had a lady call me about a week or two after I sent my letter.  She was very excited to get my “preapplication” letter.  I was very excited and was wondering why others have had problems getting this house on the register.  Well, I did not have to wonder for long.  The lady on the phone did not read my letter and thought that my house was the Thompson-Hargis mansion. (I have a post on the Hargis mansion somewhere on here if you want to see a picture of it.)  I quickly explained that the Hargis home was down the street, but my house was the FIRST picture on the front page of the letter.  It seemed that she lost interest in our conversation after that point.  This lady (I am purposely not giving her name), told me that she believed my house was already in a National Register historic district and that I probably don’t need to apply.  I patiently explained that I was not in the National Register historic district, but I was in the local historic designation named Area 3, or the Garden District.  The whole time I was thinking that if she read my letter she would have known this.  She kept on the phone for forty-five more minutes trying to convince me I was in an area I was not, then she looked up the map and realized that I was not in that area, then she put me on hold…..you get the picture.  She did tell me that I would have to renovate the house and rebuild the turret before they would give my preapplication any serious thought.  To back track a little, I was told by historic minded individuals and also by the LDHP’s website that I must contact LDHP first before doing any renovations or making any modifications to the home so as not to jeopardize any possibility of a future listing on the register. I pointed this out to her.  She said that was not true.  After I hung up with her, I told my husband that the LDHP office must be run by idiots and I totally despaired of ever being able to obtain National Register status.  I told him we would just order our own sign and put it in the yard.

In the meantime, I hired a architect to draw the plans for the turret rebuild.  I already had an interest in restoring the turret, so we found Lestar Martin, a very capable, enthusiastic and historic minded architect.  I found out later that Mr. Martin is on the National Register nominating committee for the State of Louisiana.  Mr. Martin came by and was very positive about our home and the turret rebuild.  He felt that our home did merit National Register status.  His very upbeat attitude and positive comments were very welcome and infectious.  Mr. Martin drew up blueprints to restore the turret and also did a rendering of what our house would look like now after all of our repairs were made.  It is beautiful!  I scanned it in to post on the site here, but the file is too big.  Sorry guys!

Anyway, I said all of this to say, I received a call from Pat Duncan at the LDHP about a week ago.  My file was transferred to her and she read my letter.  She agrees with me that the area my house in is very historic and warrants National Register status.  Although we did not discuss listing my house individually on the National Register, she did say that she is going to nominate the four houses in a row on Florence Avenue as their own separate National Register Historic District!  So, my house would be included in a small historic district.  I would still receive the tax credits and recognition as if I were individually listed on the register.  I am very excited about this!  She is working on the legalities and paperwork and hopes to have the nomination ready to send to Washington, D.C. by the next meeting in April.  Some locals call this area “Mansion Row” or the “West End District”.  The suggestion for the listing on the National Register is the “Florence Avenue Historic District”.  I am very excited!

Florence Avenue and the National Register

Early this year (January/February), I sent a letter to the Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation exploring the possibility of getting my house on the National Register.  I included the history and pictures of three more large notable houses that are in a row on the same side of my street and also gave a short history blurb on my home.  I understand from several sources that many people before me have tried and failed…but, people who know me well enough know that things like that don’t deter me.  What’s the harm in trying?  I said to myself, “If I get another rejection letter, I will just add it to the pile.”  So, I sent my letter on and waited for a reply. 

I had a lady call me about a week or two after I sent my letter.  She was very excited to get my “preapplication” letter.  I was very excited and was wondering why others have had problems getting this house on the register.  Well, I did not have to wonder for long.  The lady on the phone did not read my letter and thought that my house was the Thompson-Hargis mansion. (I have a post on the Hargis mansion somewhere on here if you want to see a picture of it.)  I quickly explained that the Hargis home was down the street, but my house was the FIRST picture on the front page of the letter.  It seemed that she lost interest in our conversation after that point.  This lady (I am purposely not giving her name), told me that she believed my house was already in a National Register historic district and that I probably don’t need to apply.  I patiently explained that I was not in the National Register historic district, but I was in the local historic designation named Area 3, or the Garden District.  The whole time I was thinking that if she read my letter she would have known this.  She kept on the phone for forty-five more minutes trying to convince me I was in an area I was not, then she looked up the map and realized that I was not in that area, then she put me on hold…..you get the picture.  She did tell me that I would have to renovate the house and rebuild the turret before they would give my preapplication any serious thought.  To back track a little, I was told by historic minded individuals and also by the LDHP’s website that I must contact LDHP first before doing any renovations or making any modifications to the home so as not to jeopardize any possibility of a future listing on the register. I pointed this out to her.  She said that was not true.  After I hung up with her, I told my husband that the LDHP office must be run by idiots and I totally despaired of ever being able to obtain National Register status.  I told him we would just order our own sign and put it in the yard.

In the meantime, I hired a architect to draw the plans for the turret rebuild.  I already had an interest in restoring the turret, so we found Lestar Martin, a very capable, enthusiastic and historic minded architect.  I found out later that Mr. Martin is on the National Register nominating committee for the State of Louisiana.  Mr. Martin came by and was very positive about our home and the turret rebuild.  He felt that our home did merit National Register status.  His very upbeat attitude and positive comments were very welcome and infectious.  Mr. Martin drew up blueprints to restore the turret and also did a rendering of what our house would look like now after all of our repairs were made.  It is beautiful!  I scanned it in to post on the site here, but the file is too big.  Sorry guys!

Anyway, I said all of this to say, I received a call from Pat Duncan at the LDHP about a week ago.  My file was transferred to her and she read my letter.  She agrees with me that the area my house in is very historic and warrants National Register status.  Although we did not discuss listing my house individually on the National Register, she did say that she is going to nominate the four houses in a row on Florence Avenue as their own separate National Register Historic District!  So, my house would be included in a small historic district.  I would still receive the tax credits and recognition as if I were individually listed on the register.  I am very excited about this!  She is working on the legalities and paperwork and hopes to have the nomination ready to send to Washington, D.C. by the next meeting in April.  Some locals call this area “Mansion Row” or the “West End District”.  The suggestion for the listing on the National Register is the “Florence Avenue Historic District”.  I am very excited!

Debate

Can we say SNOOZE! ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz

I think if you took the last 12 years of debates, photoshopped the new candidates heads onto the previous candidate’s head…you would pretty much have the same thing we saw last night.  When asked a specific question which requires a specific answer, or maybe even a “yes/no” question, it seemed that either candidate could not simply deliver just that — the simple facts or the specific answer.  They open their mouths and out comes blah blah blah…and the things THEY want to talk about.  Boring…  A few of the questions were answered well, but for the most part, after the candidate opened their mouth and started talking, the normal American person was lost and completely forgot what the question was because everything coming out of the candidate’s mouth did not seem to be relevant or connect to the issue that was brought up for discussion.

Maybe that’s it.  Maybe McCain and Obama are suffering from campaign fatigue and stress and they forget the questions too.  Hahaha….  I saw McCain writing the questions down and he seemed to stay more on point than Obama.  I didn’t see Obama write anything down.  That’s neither here nor there.

I also thought it was hilarious when the political analysts and advisors got on the tube after the debate saying:  “Political analysts will pick up on the subleties of the issues and the connotations each candidate made during the debate”.  One also said that you would have to have a thorough knowledge of each camp’s policy in order to pick up on some of slight references each parties made regarding the issues that were briefly discussed.  HELLO!  I think if the candidates would answer the questions, we would not have to read between the lines or guess at what they were inferring.  My favorite part of the debate was when McCain jokingly gave a, “Maybe” to a “yes/no” question.  Sigh…..

Oh well.  I know who I am voting for:  JOHN MCCAIN/SARAH PALIN.

Andrea

Old House Burn Out…..

I have just not been motivated lately to get a project going or to keep up with my blog.  😦  I am apologizing more to myself more than to you.  I need to get off my tush and get it together.  It seems though, that when you fix one thing, another breaks.  We should have been tipped off early when we first bought our house that this would be the norm.  Right after moving in, in the middle of winter, the heater died, we had to buy a new HVAC unit….our plumbing sprung leaks, our dryer died (ok, this one had nothing to do with the house) and it all adds up.  Not that I thought I was going the cheap route by buying an old house…are you crazy?  You have to have a love and a passion for these old things.

Sigh…   When we first moved in, we were plied with offers from our friends to help paint or “whatever you need”, but those offers are becoming scarce these days — if not totally extinct.  My brother used to plan his vacation days/weekends around coming to help us out.  I guess we burnt him out too!  He got tired of me saying “Oh, one more thing”…”Can you put this up too?”  He especially hated “that’s crooked, where’s the leveler?  Can you redo it?”  🙂  Usually after that he handed it all back to me and wished me luck.  (I love you Jonathan!!!)

Anybody have some tips to get motivated again?  Its fall time, so I know that the winter blahs are about to set in.  Sigh…..  An old house is just like a child.  You think you finally get to a point where you can safely skate through a few days, and then your whole world comes tumbling down when it sends you an unexpected curve ball.  I guess I am just tired of trying to work around the bad floor plans, the cast iron vent stacks imbedded in the bathroom walls, the staircase behind a door that leads up to the second floor, no laundry room, no closests for storage — and no easy solutions to any of it.  Sigh…

My biggest problem is having to start on the inside first.  I much rather would have given the outside a facelift and add immediate curb appeal.  However, since winter is approaching, we will not be able to get to that portion until next Spring.  Being a woman, the outside of my house and how it looks is just as important to me as the inside.  Many people pass by my house and I want them to think how wonderful my house looks rather than see the pink (yes pink) painted trim and the rotted boards and feel sorry for me living in such a dump.  Hahaha…..

Anyway, I guess I am done feeling sorry for myself.  I am going to get up now, kick myself in the tush, and start on a project.  More pictures of the progress to come….

Election and Runoff

I was hoping that this past Saturday would decide all of the city council races and that we would not have to suffer through a runoff.  However, I guess you don’t always get what you wish.  I am pleased to see that in the District 1 race that Louis Marshall has not made the runoff.  I have to say I was surprised.  I have not outwardly campaigned for any candidate due to the fact that Mr. Marshall might win and since our relationship is tenuous at best, I thought I would wait to see what happened.  Out of all the letters and emails I have written him, the only one he ever answered was my most recent one this past summer right before re-election time.  The second reason I have not openly pulled for one candidate over another is, I simply do not have enough information about either man.

I was hoping to get more information on the other two candidates, Michael Bordelon and Edward Lavardain, however, except from a postcard from Mr. Bordelon, I have heard nothing from either camp.  I have also been puzzled at the lack of coverage by the Town Talk regarding these races.  I may have missed it (please correct me if I am wrong), but I have not seen an interview or any type of article regarding any of the persons running for any of the council seats.  The only coverage I saw was the issue regarding whether or not Jonathan Goins (Go Mr. Goins!  I am glad to see you won your race) could run based on his domiciliary address and the shot someone took at Louis Marshall regarding him being a convicted felon (Uh, I didn’t know what my cousin was going to use those guns for…).  Otherwise, the information has just not trickled down to me.

I was appalled at the number of votes cast for the District 1 council seat.  around 900, less than a thousand votes were cast to choose a new councilman to represent this district.  Shocking!  Interestingly enough, this area’s population seemingly has the most to say about government assistance or the lack thereof, yet it seems that no one can get their “tush” out the door to go vote.  Most of the people in this area are renters and are most likely not even registered to vote, nor have exercised their right to vote in many years, if they have ever voted at all.

I am not trying to make potshots here.  I am just stating facts and my personal observances.  I am also not limiting my remarks to any ethnicity.  I live in District 1 and we are a very diverse group of people.  I just find it very sad out of all the people who live in District 1 (I am not sure how many there are, maybe Lamar can help us with the numbers) that only 900 people cast a vote in the District 1 city council race.  Appalling… 

In contrast to our very low key local politics, the presidential race has escalated to an all time high and I cannot wait for it to be over!  I am soooooo glad that it will be over in November.  I am so ill of all the politics, potshots, negativity, debates, and on and on and on….  Someone needs to make a law that you cannot start running for president or even talk about it until one year before the election.  Is two plus years really necessary?  Sheesh!  On a funny note….check out this link.  I decided to run for president at the last minute. 

Andrea Warren for President

 

I mean, hey, why not?

Andrea