I was driving along Third Street today, as I often do, and I noticed that the Armour building is being demolished. The Armour building was placed on the Louisiana Trust’s Ten Most Endangered list (For some reason WordPress is acting funny and won’t let me link it. Here is the link: https://perpetualrenovator.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/2-local-buildings-make-the-louisiana-trusts-10-most-endangered-list/). Along with the Hargis house (https://perpetualrenovator.wordpress.com/2012/09/10/rip-thompson-hargis-mansion/), this is yet another piece of history gone forever.
However, unlike the Hargis house, the Armour building had been dilapidated for many years and rain water was destroying the building from the inside out. Although I am quite sad that it could not have been preserved, I understand that the Olivet house shared a common wall and the deterioration of the Armour building started to affect their building. Taking the building down was probably the most cost-effective since no one was able to step forward and preserve it.
I hope that, in the future, interested persons, area preservationists and historical groups, will step forward and help identify and save Alexandria’s historical buildings before they come to such a state that they cannot be preserved. I know that the Historical Association of Central Louisiana, of which I am a board member, did everything they could to advocate and save the Armour building. Unfortunately, not enough funds were available to help secure the roof of the building, and no one stepped forward to purchase it. Thus, one of the main problems of historic preservation: money.
On a positive note, work has commenced at my house. At the end of October, a new roof is going up. I picked out the shingles today. I am very excited! When all of the work is finished, I will post before and after pictures of our house. Feel free to drive-by and view our progress!