Author: lizdda

Downtown’s Bridge to History

    HGTV fans will remember a show called ‘If Walls Could Talk’ that focused on fun facts buried beneath the sheet rock of homes across the country. It was always interesting to see what weird things homeowners had unearthed and even more entertaining to hear the homeowners’ reactions to these bits of history. As I walk through downtown Shreveport each day, I also wish walls and spaces could talk because, oh, the hair-raising and scandalous tales they could tell!  History, lore and legend is everywhere downtown but a fairly significant number of stories that you might classify as tall tales are true. Take for example the story of J.A.L. Waddell, civil engineer and prolific bridge builder of the late 1800- and early 1900s, owner of a remarkable Walrus mustache and even more remarkable forehead curls. Waddell was born in Canada, traveled extensively, spoke and wrote Latin, and authored the definitive book on bridge building. From his photos, it appears he loved wine, good food and mustache wax, and enough documents remain to prove he may have loved bridges and bridge building more than anything else. Most of his life was spent in Kansas City, Missouri and it is quite likely that he never came through Shreveport, yet we have something that connects us to him in a very personal way. We have a bridge designed by him, a mostly...

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Information on Tax Millage Adjustment

The work of the Downtown Development Authority is largely funded by a small ad valorem or property tax of 8.64 mills levied on properties within the area called the Downtown Development District. Every four years, parish tax assessors do what is called a ‘reassessment’ in which they determine whether values have gone up or down. The tax rate is based on that assessment. Each year in late summer as DDA staff begins preparing the budget for the upcoming year, they contact the tax assessors in Caddo and Bossier Parishes and the City of Shreveport Finance Director to determine the best estimate of what that ad valorem number is expected to be. This number is the basis of the DDA budget. In 2016 while preparing the budget, the City of Shreveport and the DDA were told that the assessed value of properties within the City had increased. Accordingly, the adjusted DDA millages was decreased from 8.640 to 8.550 mills. Here’s why. Even though the millage went down, the values went up- meaning  the same amount of budgetary dollars would have been collected. Unfortunately, that turned out to be incorrect and very surprising.  In November 2016, when the City received the actual tax rolls the assessed values of property within the bounds of the Shreveport Downtown Development District had actually decreased, rather than increased as the City was initially informed in...

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Downtown Wins Great Street Award!

Months after submitting the application for an American Planning Association Great Street Award, Shreveport Zoning Administrator and APA-Louisiana State Executive Committee Officer Alan Clarke was startled and very pleased to hear Shreveport’s name called at the recent APA-LA conference. “This was a secret ballot of Louisiana APA voting members—planners, architects, attorneys and others from all over the state,” says Clarke. “These judges, and the people who apply for APA awards, take this very seriously.” The Great Street award uses 12 criteria including urban design and architectural features, memorable character, interesting features, and whether the street balances the competing needs...

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Artists’ Studio Tours

Tour the studios of collectible artists throughout the region, see where they work and talk to them about their inspiration and methods. This is a rare opportunity to see the spaces where artists create and the items they have created! Minden/Homer/Ruston Studio Tours are Friday, April 7. Shreveport and Bossier Studio Tours are Friday and Saturday, April 8 and 9. DOWNTOWN ARTISTS TOURS will include stops at: Norsworthy Gallery- 214 Texas Street Bon Temps Coffee Bar- Red River District Lofts at 624- 625 Texas Street The Agora Borealis – 417 Lake Street 601 Spring Street – 601 Spring Street...

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April Downtown Artwalk

Join us for the April artwalk and explore the area around the 800 block of Texas Avenue (minicine? and the beautiful ASEANA Asian Garden), Central ARTSTATION, 810 Crockett, the Fairmont Apartments at 762 Cotton, the Korner Lounge at 800 Louisiana and other historic and happening spaces! We have some fun lagniappe planned for you this month. Korner Lounge @ 800 Louisiana – Graphite and mixed media works by Aunna Kelly (Starving Artists) will be on display!  Enjoy some trivia while you’re there! Sketch the City tonight at 6:30 pm. The local chapter of The American Institute of Architects (AIA) will be hosting...

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