New Roof on Third Street


I would like to give a brief shout out and thumbs up to Holt Construction on Third Street. I pass their office building frequently and have often wondered how a construction company could have such a dilapidated looking roof. I would think it not much of a testimony regarding their services. I guess they must have felt the same way because lo and behold they took off the flat roof and built a nice new pitched roof within the past two weeks. It’s so nice to see businesses improving their buildings and facades. Especially on Third Street where it needs it the most. I hope they filed for their state tax credits!

CLSH Dairy Barn, Pineville, Louisiana

Along with other preservationists, I had the privilege of touring this barn today.  It is a pretty lady.  Here are the pictures from the tour.  If I did not have midterms and a host of other pressing things to do, I would give a narrative of the tour.  Maybe another time.  Here are the beautiful pictures.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

National Trust: New Life In A Montana Ghost Town

Bannack, Montana

New Life in a Montana Ghost Town

State Stabilizes National Historic Landmark

By Amy Stix | Online Only | Sept. 20, 2010 

The town of Bannack, Montana, rose quickly from the parched, scrubby earth after the first major gold strike was made here in 1862. And though the fledgling territorial capital was named for the area’s original inhabitants, the Bannock Indians, local legend has it that officials in Washington mistook an “o” for an “a,” and Bannack was born. To read more click here.


I enjoyed this article.  We plan on traveling to Montana in one of the upcoming years.  I am putting Bannack on my must see list.



Formerly Known as the Palmoire

View from the backyard

The house on Florence that was formerly a spa and Bed & Breakfast is for sale.  It has been foreclosed on by Capital One.  Steven and I went and viewed it yesterday with the realtor.  Here are a few pictures from that walkthrough.  It has repairs that need to be made due to its standing empty for almost two years now.  Despite that, it has a good yard and a nice open floor plan on the first floor.  The second floor is all bedrooms. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The asking price is $300k.  I was astounded.  Noles Frye is the listing agent and they have comparable houses on Jackson Street and in the Garden District that have sat on the market from two, all the way up to four years now.  I don’t think they are going to get that price.  One problem is the appraisal due to no comps being in the area, they will have a hard time putting a value on the house (I know this from experience times two).  Since it has several repairs that need to be made (I will not include a list or pictures), comes with no appliances, and is not located in a prime neighborhood, I don’t see anyone paying that price for this house.  Who knows though?  Maybe someone will.


Joseph’s Paint in Alexandria on the map

I walked in to Joseph’s Paint on Bolton during the Spring break last month and I was informed by the employees that the owner was commended at a Benjamin Moore conference in Houstona due to a blog post/paint review I wrote about a month ago.  He was hailed for his excellent customer service and used as an example.  The employees went and got the owner so I could meet him. Very glad they got the credit they deserve.  They truly have the best customer service in town and also the best quality paints.  Thanks guys!


Joseph Wallpaper & Paint was started in 1932, serving the community for 77 years.  As an independently owned store you’ll experience a level of service you thought no longer existed while supporting your local community. We’re proud to deliver the kind of specialized attention and help that you simply won’t find in larger chain stores. Our store professionals are comprised of trained specialists whose knowledgeable experience and helpful advice will ensure the success of every project you have.

Along with a wide range of Benjamin Moore® coatings, we offer flooring, fabrics, wood blinds and wallapaper supplies.  At Joseph Wallpaper & Paint, we simplify your shopping for home projects to one convenient stop – our store!

2 Local Buildings Make the Louisiana Trust’s 10 Most Endangered List

I could have danced when I received the email from the Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation’s representative.  Due to the Historical Association’s, and mainly, Charles K. Charrier, President of HACL, diligent work nominating two CENLA buildings, the CLSH Dairy Barn in Pineville and the Armour Building on Lower Third in Alexandria, will receive local and national recognition by being placed on the Louisiana Trust’s 10 Most Endangered list.  The Louisiana Trust is part of the National Trust.  Each year, the Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation recognizes the state’s ten most endangered historic properties to draw attention to the importance of historic preservation of our rich Louisiana heritage.  Previously, Central Louisiana has had seven properties placed on the 10 Most Endangered List.  We are proud to see that number grow to 9!

CLSH Dairy Barn 9-01-09

CLSH Dairy Barn 9-01-09

Armour Bldg, Lower Third

Armour Bldg, Lower Third 9-01-09

There will be a reception at Nottaway Plantation on September 20th, and at that time, there will be an unveiling of each structure that has made the 2009 list.  As of now, I do not have a list of the other properties.  This is exciting news for CENLA and for historic preservation!

“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us”.  Winston Churchill


Save the Armour Building

Thank you Town Talk for spotlighting this historic building.

“Too-costly repair plan leaves Alexandria’s Armour building vulnerable”

The old Armour & Co. building in Alexandria is potentially facing the wrecking ball again. This time, local preservationists want to save it for good.  

“Enough is enough,” said Charles Charrier, president of the Historical Association of Central Louisiana. “So much of our past is gone. Much of our downtown is gone. Many of our commercial and warehouse buildings are gone. Our position is it’s time for the ‘just tear it down’ mentality to stop here in Alexandria.”

The former meat processing plant at 1901 Third St. is a good place to take that stand, Charrier thinks.

Built between 1909 and 1914, the building for decades housed a packing plant, which would receive meat via railroad and process it for sale locally. It has been vacant for about 20 years.

“It’s one of the last surviving industrial buildings that depended on rail transportation for its existence,” Charrier said. “That’s why it’s significant, along with the grand design and historic character.” …for the rest of the article, click here.

Thumbs up to HACL

armour resized

Earlier this year, the Armour Building, on Lower Third, was donated to the Historical Association of Central Louisiana.  Along with the donation of the building, came a grant from the Coughlin-Saunders foundation to build a temporary roof for the purpose of stopping  rainwater from deteriorating the building further.  The Armour Building was built in the early 1900s as a meat packing plant.  According to Jonathan and Donna Fricker, previous directors of the Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation located in Baton Rouge, there are railroad spurs that lead right up to the building and this building was an integral part of Alexandria’s economy early in the 20th century.  In their past role as directors of LDHP, Jonathan and Donna Fricker are most known for writing several National Register nominations for Louisiana properties most of which were subsequently accepted and listed on the National Register.  The Frickers were retained by HACL to write a National Register nomination  for the Armour Building.   Earlier this month, at their Bi-Annual meeting, the Louisiana National Register Review Committee accepted the nomination and sent to Washington for final disposition.  For more information regarding National Register status and criteria for historic properties, please click here.

The Armour building is currently for sale.  Anyone wishing to tour the property or has an interest in returning this building to commerce, please contact the Historical Association at: 318-448-3952.

Thumbs up to HACL for stepping up to the plate.


10 Most Endangered Tour: Hotel Bentley


As part of the 30th Annual Preservation Conference, the Historical Association of Central Louisiana organized a Louisiana Trust 10 Most Endangered List Tour yesterday.  Even though I had a part in organizing the tour, I had yet to see the inside of half of the buildings on the tour.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of seeing, for the first time, the lobby of the now closed Hotel Bentley.  I know a lot about the Bentley, but I had not yet had the opportunity to see the inside before its doors closed in 2005.  For a complete history on the Bentley, please click here.  Everything said about the Bentley is true.  It is oppulent, beautiful, a classic example of early 20th century architecture and definitely worth saving.  Upon entering the lobby, straight ahead is a beautiful double staircase which meets at a landing and then grandly sweeps down to the floor.


Grand Staircase, Hotel Bentley, Alexandria, La

Grand Staircase, Hotel Bentley, Alexandria, La

A few of the persons joining us for the tour reminisced about being present at family weddings, proms and other events held here in the “good ole days”.  Their descriptions of the events transported me back and I could almost hear feet shuffling in time with music from the band, or the crisp whoosh of a wedding dress as a beautiful bride gracefully descended the stairs.  How exciting it must have been!


Original frieze pattern in dome

Original frieze pattern in dome

Gazing up at the inside of the dome, you will see a painted mural.  This is not original to the structure.  Originally a frieze type pattern decorated the inside of the dome and in the 1930’s-40’s, it was “modernized” by painting white over it with a black edge.  After renovating the Bentley in the 1980’s, the Tudor Construction company hired an artisan to paint this mural. (This information comes from the book “An Illustrated History: Rapides Parish” published by local author Sue Eakin).

Lobby Ceiling: Hotel Bentley

Lobby Ceiling: Hotel Bentley

 Alas, not all of the Bentley is a beautiful sight.  Signs of peeling paint, wear and tear and rot are already being seen due to the hotel being defunct for four years.  Below is just a small glimpse of the wood damage outside the hotel. 


However, now that I am Central Louisianan….I will cling to the faith that other Central Louisianans have that this once glorious building will be returned to commerce and that it will lift its head proudly in our downtown once again. 

The other buildings we toured were Mt. Olivet chapel, Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, Conerly House, the Thompson-Hargis mansion and the Cotton Bros. Bakery Building.  Bennettville Plantation house and store were listed on the Louisiana Trust’s 10 Most Endangered list, however it was not open for tour.  The Town Talk did a wonderful story on the tour and you can view that by clicking here. Don’t forget to look at the photo gallery to see more pictures of the tour.  Thank you RT Morgan for a wonderful story.

I would also like to thank TW Thompson for the wondeful picture of my daughter and I walking in the Hotel Bentley lobby.  I took a walk with Vivian because she was restless and also because I thought she was about to give the caretaker of the Bentley a heart attack.  The lady was very nervous and did not want Vivian injuring herself…which I completely understand.  So, when Vivian and I took a walk down the beautiful entryway, in between the columns, Mr. Thompson snapped a picture of us walking hand in hand and it is just beautiful!!!!  When he sends me the digital print, I will post it.   Thanks again, sir.

The Hotel Bentley 1907-08

The Hotel Bentley 1907-08