We shape our buildings…

…thereafter, they shape us.”  Winston Churchill


This is so true.  In about 20-30 years, a lot of the McMansions being built today, full of plastic doors and cheap stuff, will be run down eyesores begging to be torn down.  They just don’t build houses like they used to.  I am proud to live in my one hundred year home that was built by the last owner of the Kent Plantation, Sally Hynson-Ringold, and to own another significant older home right next to me.  I am happy to announce that this coming Tuesday, we will become the proud owners of a third piece of Alexandria’ history.  I am very excited about our purchase and am glad to aid this older, once grand, neighborhood and have hopes and visions that it can be returned to its former glory.

This lady is doing it, why can’t we?  And this group: Save the Bungalows 


Loft Living – Alexandria, Louisiana

On Sunday, December 7, 2008, Jim and Frances Hurst opened their loft home to host a Historical Association of Central Louisiana social.  Over one hundred guests stopped by to view the Hursts beautiful home and to ponder the idea of “loft living” in Central Louisiana.  The Hurst’s loft home is well appointed and tastefully decorated by Mrs. Hurst.  When I first walked through the door, this past summer for an HACL meeting, I was pleasantly surprised at what I saw and immediately felt like I was on an HGTV Television show set.  Jim and Frances planned and executed every minute detail in their loft such as the kitchen drawer pulls (hand made out of concrete by Jim) and the wall of square cubbies that displays the pottery Frances makes.   I enjoyed the Christmas trees in the center of the loft.  Frances Hurst said that it took her three days to put up the three trees.  So, if anyone is interested in creating a loft space in the downtown area of Alexandria, Louisiana, one has no further to look than right here at the Hurst loft to gain inspiration.

I was told that the building at the corner of 16th and Murray Street was an old hardware store and was empty when the Hursts bought the property to rehabilitate into a loft.  I do not have the historical details regarding the building.  I believe that the Hursts are having a hard time researching the origin of the building, as well as the history.  If anyone has any information, it would be most useful to the Hursts.  You can contact me through this post.  Here are a few pictures from the social.

Historic Property Spotlight: Thompson-Hargis House


Today, I would like to spotlight the Thompson-Hargis house.  In 2007, the Louisiana Trust listed it as one of the “10 Most Endangered” properties in Louisiana.  At present, it is not inhabited and its large porch and  historic rooms remain empty.  This home is still owned by the Hargis family and it is unclear as to why no one occupies the home or why it has not been donated or sold to someone with an interest in its upkeep.

This beautiful mansion rivals the best on St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans.  Built in 1902, this home is probably the greatest example of the Greek Revival style in Alexandria.  Many in Alexandria don’t even realize that it exists.  For the ones who are familiar with the Cook Home on Florence Avenue (A large red brick Queen Anne Victorian on the corner of Florence Avenue and Monroe Street), this house sits directly to the right.  If you get a chance, drive by and take a look.  I am not sure how many more years this house will stand due to neglect, so enjoy Alexandria’s architecture while you still have it.