Louisiana State Residential Rehabilitation Tax Credits

Louisiana tax credits header for blog post

I can’t believe I have not posted about the Louisiana Residential Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit process on my blog! Wow. Ok, so here goes.  This is information on the Residential Historic Rehabilitation Residential Tax Credit program for the State of Louisiana (and more specifically, Alexandria, LA). I have included links to the boundaries of the local historic districts in Alexandria, the PowerPoint presentation explaining the program; and a really unfortunate and corny video I did for speech class a couple years back.  The poor video had to have certain pieces in order for me to get the grade. I had to have an audience, I had to start out with a song, so forgive the unnecessary elements of the video and fast forward to :25 so you can concentrate on the presentation portion. If you have any questions, you can contact me, or the State office. The wonderful people who administer the Historic Rehabilitation program for the State of Louisiana are always on hand to answer questions, are patient and I truly enjoyed working with them. So, if you have any questions, you can also contact them.

KEEP IN MIND: This process is for the RESIDENTIAL program only. I do have knowledge of how the commercial credits are supposed to work. That is a different process and a different percentage. I have not had personal experience with that process and decline to comment on how it works.  I have had personal experience with the residential program and can vouch that it worked/will work, exactly how it is outlined.

Without further ado:

Powerpoint Presentation :Louisiana State Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program

Louisiana State Office PDF Flyer: LA Tax Incentive breakdown pdf

Alexandria, Louisiana, Local Historic and Cultural Districts

For National Register districts or individual listings click here to search: National Register of Historic Places

Here is the official link to the Louisiana Office of Cultural Development Division of Historic Preservation where you start the process. All of the applications and information is listed on this page.

In depth answers regarding the Louisiana State Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program.

And last but not least, my very unfortunate video.  If you would like to bypass the most annoying part, fast forward to :25.  If you want to follow along with what I am presenting, you will need to have the Powerpoint open or printed out and have either read or have handy the above PDF. I saved it for last, because if you have read the information above, it really is not necessary.  However, if you are visual and like to have the information presented to you, here you go: Youtube Video, explanation of program

If you live in Louisiana, but you do not live in a locally designated historic area, or a National Register historic district, or a building or home that is in a National Register historic district, but you feel your home is historic. What you would need to do in order to be eligible for the program is create a local historic district through your municipality. It can either be designated as such by your City Council, your Police Jury, or whatever municipal authority your home is under. I have never done this and do not know what is required. You do have to present the information to the municipality and then either you or them, or maybe a cooperative group, drafts the necessary paperwork for it to be adopted and made an ordinance and then filed with the assessor’s office and the State of Louisiana.  If anyone has ever done this before, feel free to leave a comment.  Another thing you could do is ascertain whether or not your house would be eligible for listing on the National Register.  If it is, you can take the necessary steps to try to have it listed. Please visit the National Register site (link posted above) for more information on that process.


Spring is in the air!

Oh my….this is usually the time of year that I dust my blog off and then tackle about 10 projects at the same time.  🙂  This year is no exception.  I have accepted the nomination of Vice President of the Historical Association of Central Louisiana.  Thank you for your faith in me.  Among some of my duties, I will be writing a couple National Register nominations this year and working with property owners regarding tax incentives and rehabilitation of their properties.  I also have my property to work on and submission of a NR nomination is forthcoming in that area.  I finally have everything straight with the SHPO (State Historic Preservation Office) regarding what they need from me and what I need to do.

My laundry room and kitchen are being “finished” by a carpenter as we speak.  Steven and I just ran out of steam labor wise and have been too involved in other things to get it finished.  So, we hired a good friend and excellent carpenter to come and finish what we started.

In adoption news, our home study was finalized yesterday.  All of the paperwork that our social worker needed from Mississippi came in and we can finally move forward with completing our dossier and sending our documents to China.  Within the next thirty days I hope!  National Register nominations pale in comparison with submitting a dossier to the Chinese Government!  Wow!

Many good things are in the works!!!  It is spring!  My favorite time of year.  I am ready to rock Cenla!


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.


Projects – 2008 in Review

I was sitting around trying to think about what we did all year.  It seems like 2008 was a slow year for us as far as the DIY scene was concerned.  In the early part of the year, around March, we spent a lot of time getting construction bids and filling out mountains of paperwork for our construction loan, only for the subprime mortgage crisis to hit and, in the end, we ended up scratching the whole deal.  I had to go back through my pictures to see what exactly we DID accomplish this year.  I was glad to find proof that our year was not wasted.  Here is a pictorial review of our year:


Finished the rent house (Hallelujah!) and took our three year old employee to Chuck-E-Cheese.  Hey, we had to pay her somehow for all that painting she did!

chuck e cheese

employee viv


We celebrated our five year anniversary

anniversary flowers


My birthday!  Ahem….anyway.  In 8 hours, I cleaned, primed and put two coats of paint on the living room walls.  It wouldn’t have taken me 8 hours normally except that I: 1) painted alone; 2) pushed a very heavy 10 foot ladder around the room 8 times while I painted the middle and top of the room …twice! I have 13 feet ceilings.  [is it 13 foot, or 13 feet?]

living room bay

fireplace living room

lr bay

lr fireplace


In April, I redid an ugly 80’s dresser for Vivian’s room and, for storage, we revamped an old shelf my brother made many years ago by adding crown moulding to it and painting it.

Vivian's dresser

old shelf

shelf finished


We took down the ugly drop ceiling in the attic.   We also painted the Master Bedroom.

drop ceiling

master bedroom before

master bedroom in progress


I sanded, repainted and recovered an old chair I bought for $5.00 at a junk store.  I also managed to tick off the entire Ratcliff family and get called a potstirrer.   Hahaha….that’s definitely a new one for me!

old chair

chair finished


I started this blog. Yay!  I pulled a metal tray on wheels out of the garbage and remade it into a plant stand for my porch.  Click here for the details and pictures.  Even my husband could not believe I wanted something this ugly.  But it turned out well.

My new plant stand

My new plant stand


We went to the Philippines.  What a life changing experience!  Click here to see more photos of the trip.  In case you cannot figure out who I am, I am the very white girl in the middle!




Vivian’s Birthday.   Hurricane Gustav hit Cenla.  That was very interesting.  It took us about a month to recover and get all of the debris cleared and everything back to normal.  I can’t complain though, we did not endure anything like New Orleans did.  Click the link above to see pictures of that fun.


Was definitely not a project month.  I was caught up watching the media and reading the news regarding  local and national politics.  I did get a call from the Louisiana Historic Preservation Office in Baton Rouge telling me that they want to put my street on the National Register.  Which reminds me…..I need to give her a call.  That nomination is supposed to be sent to Washington in April.  I am definitely going to help make sure that happens!




I repainted and reappointed the guest room and stripped a fireplace mantel.

Spare room before

Spare room - almost done


We worked on the attic/loft area so we can add another bathroom upstairs.  Steven put up two porch lights in the back.  Steven stripped a door and a transom down to the bare wood.  We also stripped some paint in the hall that was caked on to the wainscoting.  Click here for December’s project pictures.

I guess all in all it was not a bad year.  We did not get as much as we wanted accomplished.  We didn’t nearly come close to the amount of work we did in 2007.  Oh well, put it on the list!  It will get done eventually!


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!