Each one of the buildings and spaces in Downtown Shreveport has stories to tell. More than 180 years old, downtown has lived through it all – war(s), economic collapse, a legal Red Light District, gunfights in the streets, Yellow Fever, railroad wealth, oil and gas millions, Huddie Ledbetter, Howard Hughes, Elvis Presley.
Our tales are big and bold, writ large by people who were unwilling to take no for an answer and whose decisions were incredibly wise and unreasonably idiotic. They are no longer around to speak for themselves, so we now do it for them.
You owe it to yourself to explore our history of colorful women, shady men, business tycoons and balladeers, some of whom have apparently refused to shed the surly bonds of earth and remain to lend a little ‘spirit’ to various occasions. Downtown is proud to show off its past with a variety of talks and tours, and you’re always welcome to take part.
Ogilvie Wiener Mansion Tours– Tours of the work happening at the beautiful Queen Anne Ogilview Wiener Mansion are each Saturday and Sunday, 4-6 pm. Wear light clothing and comfy shoes, there is no air conditioning and stair climbing will be required.
The beautiful home is located in the city’s first subdivision. The owner and builder, William Burwell Ogilvie, did not get to enjoy it long. The Ogilvie mansion was built in 1897, Ogilvie died in 1899. After Mrs. Ogilvie’s passing in 1906, it was sold to Samson Weiner. The mansion stayed in the Weiner Family until 1948. The house now belongs to John and Debbie Bryant and is being rehabbed as a bed and breakfast.
Logan Mansion Events– The beautiful Logan Mansion features events throughout the year, including Mystery Dinners, Ghost Tours and birthday tea parties for all ages. Check the link above for the latest dates and prices.
Ice and beer manufacturer Lafayette Robert Logan built his mansion in 1897. Logan spared no expense in the construction of his family home, installing hand-laid parquet floors, stained and beveled glass, carved woodwork and fretwork along with a massive mahogany grand staircase. The floor plan of the house remains exactly as it was when constructed.There are 3 downtown ‘mansions’ still in existence- Logan, Ogilvie-Wiener and the Bridges McKellar.
Shreve Town Ghost Walk Tours- Oakland Cemetery Tours, Fall only. Schedule will be posted here.
Municipal Auditorium Tours– The Friends of the Municipal Auditorium offer public and private backstage tours. Other groups such as Historic Haunts of Shreveport, work the the Friends of the Municipal to provide ghost tours and hunts, as well.
The 1920s-era Art Deco beauty takes you back nearly 100 years.
Home to The Louisiana Hayride, a weekly showcase of talented singers, songwriters and performers. The Hayride became known as The Cradle of the Stars because so many international stars began their careers there. Elvis Presley, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, and Johnny Horton are just a few of the acts that went on to stardom after performing on the Muni’s stage.
Many African American musicians played at the Municipal Auditorium as well, including Blues musician Huddie “Leadbelly” Ledbetter, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Bobbie “Blue” Bland and B.B. King.
Shreveport Water Works Museum Tours- The city’s original water works is a Victorian-era, Steampunk-inspiring masterpiece of the top technology of 1887. The old McNeill Street Pumping Station was the nation’s longest- running steam-powered water works, pumping water to a thirsty city until 1980! Learn about the history of the facility and the city, the engineering marvels that created the water works and why sanitation isn’t just a good idea, it’s the law! When the museum is open, guides are available to walk you through and answer questions. There is also a paper self-guide if you wish to peruse the space yourself. Admission is free, but donations are very, very welcome (the McNeil Street Pump Station Preservation Society is footing the bill to keep the museum open to the public.)
Open 10a – 4p Wed-Thu-Fri-Sat & 12n – 4p Sunday
Spring Street Historical Museum Tours- the oldest building in Shreveport, the former 1860’s Tally’s Bank, is now a museum showcasing Shreveport history. When the museum is open, curator Marty Loshen is available to take you on a tour or answer questions. The museum houses artifacts from all eras of downtown history from the Civil War, to the legal Red Light District to the 1920’s building boom.
Historic Haunts of Shreveport– Dr. Cheryl White, historian, teacher and author, runs Historic Haunts of Shreveport. Her tours are guaranteed to leave you smarter about our history and historic spaces and perhaps a tiny bit wigged out because of a spectral encounter! Click on the link to see what she has scheduled and prices.
Downtown Artwalk ‘History in 5′ Events- the Downtown Artwalk is the first Wednesday of each month, from 5-8 pm. Free and open to all ages, the artwalk showcases local art and artists, and downtown’s amazing inventory of cool buildings and businesses. History in 5 is part of each artwalk and features a talk about something connected to the artwalk; one of the buildings being featured, downtown’s railroading past, its’ architectural diversity and more. Keep up with the locations of the artwalk and History in 5 at the Shreveport DDA Facebook page.
Yearly Events- History on Tap/ Hidden History- the Downtown Development Authority and Downtown Shreveport Development Corporation love showcasing our amazing places and spaces and each year hosts events to do just that. Keep up with these special events by ‘liking’ our Shreveport DDA Facebook page.