Our downtown is a great place to do it all. Live just yards from where you work – eat, drink, play and soak in history- in the heart of northwest Louisiana and the tristate region. We’re where it all began…where oil and water DID blend, where cotton began its long dusty journey up the Texas Trail, where fortunes were made (and lost), where mayors drew pistols in the middle of the street. We are made of equal parts colorful history, present day pluck and optimism about our future; we combine the best of Texas tenacity and Louisiana laissez le bon temps rouler. Opportunities abound. Historic buildings beckon. If you know what you want, we can help you find it, and if you don’t know, we’ll help you figure it out. We’re a pretty #CoolDowntown, y’all.
Downtown is the business capital of the region; the center of business, banking, and government. On any given day, our 2.8 million square feet of office space is home to1685 businesses and more than 15,000 employees in a 120 block area. Our high rise towers and more intimate buildings house everything from executive suites to small one-person offices to private dinner clubs to banks and barber shops.
Our ample inventory of historic buildings and Louisiana’s attractive Historic Tax Credit entice developers intent on creating everything from residential to retail. Smaller buildings throughout downtown have been already been rehabbed into single family residences, art galleries, office spaces, movie theaters, gift shops, nightclubs and restaurants. We’ll help you find a building, determine a use and assist you in making your dreams come true.
So Many Things to Do
After a long day at work, it’s time to play! The toughest part of playing downtown is figuring out where to start. The riverfront beckons with lights and action at Sam’s Town Casino and the Eldorado Casino and Resort, both 24-hour entertainment venues. The Red River District and historic Commerce and Texas Streets offer late-night fun, but clubs and nightlife can be found throughout downtown. If you’re a night owl, enjoy dancing, live music, food and beverages of every type until the wee hours of the morning.
An Artistic Venu
Like the unexpected? Downtown is for you. Turn the corner and you’ll come face-to-face with the largest public art mural in the country, the 30,000 square foot ‘Once in a Millennium Moon’ by Meg Saligman. Saligman’s work is joined by murals, statues and other public artwork on almost every street. ‘A Call to Action’ showcases the area’s cultural heritage and lights up the night on the side of the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau. Hum Huddie Ledbetter’s‘Midnight Special’ while standing next to the likeness of the man who wrote and performed it.
Downtown Shreveport is a state-designated Cultural District for a reason. We’re home to the Shreveport Common Art and Culture District, the West Edge Arts District and a long list of performance venues, museums and galleries. Looking for things to do?
Let us pause and brag for just a moment on Abe and Julian Saenger’s most beautiful creation, the Strand Theatre. Built as the Saenger’s flagship opera-then-movie house in 1925, the Strand has been designated the ‘The Official State Theatre of Louisiana.’ It is a building worth visiting if only to see its murals, gilt-edged mirrors and lavish chandeliers. It is even better to see a performance there, to experience the space as people have done for nearly 100 years.
Downtown Shreveport has a strong Bohemian vibe, nurtured by street fairs, concerts, independent films, festivals and art. artspace, the Norsworthy Gallery, the Marlene Yu Museum, SUMAS, Central ARTSTATION and The Agora Borealis are among the locations that regularly host art exhibits, parties and events.
Minicine?, Robinson Film Center, and a number of other organizations present the compelling, strange and offbeat. Because we are a Cultural District, you pay less tax on purchased one-of-a-kind works of art.
Robinson Film Center
See things you have never seen before at Robinson Film Center, 617 Texas Street. RFC is the local headquarters for foreign, independent and endearingly quirky theatrical releases. While you are watching, you can enjoy a local craft beer or cold glass of wine, or sit on the balcony of the foodie-favored Abby Singer’s Bistro and watch the activities on Texas Street. In addition to regular screenings, RFC hosts vintage movies, family matinees, lectures, special dinner screenings and their popular Book Lover’s Supper Club.
Shreveport Common & The West Edge
Two sections of downtown focused on the arts = twice the fun. The West Edge is downtown’s first art district, home to Robinson Film Center, artspace, the Lofts @ 624, restaurants and retail. Author William Joyce calls artspace, ‘A miraculous place where anything can happen.’ We would agree. Artspace is always hopping and on any given day (or evening) you might find fantastic foxes, tattoos, robots, and above all, art in every conceivable form.
The Shreveport Common Arts and Culture District is just steps away, a 9-block area dedicated to starting a ‘cultural’ revolution downtown. The district hosts regular festivals, parades and street fairs, exhibits and tours and will soon be home to a transformational green space complete with food truck hook ups, performance space, and of course, artwork. Within Shreveport Common are the Emmett Hook Center, the Strand Theatre, Central ARTSTATION, Minicine?, historic Texas Avenue, the Oakland Cemetery and the amazing Municipal Auditorium.
The historic Municipal Auditorium is the place where dreams were realized, home of the legendary Louisiana Hayride and the very first place the world heard the words “Elvis has left the building.” Now remodeled and updated and represented by the national booking firm SMG, the Municipal has found new life as a stop for major artists such as the Blue Man Group, Harry Connick, Jr., and Robert Plant.
We Have Ghostly Allure
Legend has it the Municipal Auditorium is haunted by friendly spirits (who apparently like music), and some believe those spirits move between the Oakland Cemetery just across the street, and the Logan Mansion, nearby. Opened in 1847, Oakland has many stories to tell and you can learn them on a self-tour or you can join in a tour of cemetery history and haunts.
Year Round Fun
We have four seasons of fun downtown. Spring brings Holiday in Dixie, artbreak, CORK, the Texas Avenue Makers Fair, and ASEANA Festival. You know it’s summer with the return of the unrivaled Shreveport Farmers Market, Mudbug Madness, the Good Times Festival, and our giant Fourth of July celebration. As temperatures cool, it’s time for the one of the largest art and music events in the south, the Red River Revel. We also enjoy the Fall Farmers Market, BREW, the Louisiana Film/Music and Food Prize, artscare, and Small Business Saturday. Winter brings holiday events by the dozens and Mardi Gras parades, bals, and pageants. All these special events are in addition to the ongoing exhibits, live music, comedy, and other performances you can find any night of the week, year ‘round!
In January and February each year, Downtown Shreveport plays hosts to numerous Mardi Gras bals and parades. Many of the 15 area krewes hold their coronations and bals at downtown venues. Clyde Fant Parkway, on the riverfront, is the start of the two largest Mardi Gras parades in the area, the Krewe of Centaur and theKrewe of Gemini.
Spring brings a wide array of food, drink, art and fun to downtown Shreveport. Holiday in Dixie brings a carnival, food, a parade and the Cotillion. See the Chihuahua races and live Mariachis at the Cinco de Mayo Festival. On Memorial Day weekend, visit Shreveport’s ode to Cajun music and food, Mudbug Madness. Sample over 80 wines at the CORK wine festival. View outstanding children’s art work at artbreak, the Largest Annual Student Arts Festival in the South. Enjoy the fun and trendy Texas Avenue Makers Fair. Enjoy the beauty and culture of the Asian Gardens and the ASEANA festival.
In the fall, downtown Shreveport hosts the annual Dragon Boat Races, the yearly fall arts extravaganza known as the Red River Revel, Shreveport’s Octoberfest known as BREW, the excitement of the Louisiana Film Prize, two of the city’s most popular Halloween events artscare and theZombie Walk, and encores of the Texas Avenue Makers Fair, the ASEANA Festival and the Farmers Market.
The Summer heats up with great food and live music at the Let the Good Times Roll Festival. The Shreveport Farmer’s Market, one of the top markets in the state, is open Saturday mornings June – September. Celebrate the Fourth of July on the riverfront at the KTBS Independence Day Festival with live music and an outstanding fireworks show over the Red River.
Food is Fun, too (and don’t we know it)!
Downtown Shreveport can satisfy your craving for just about anything. From a giant Muffaletta served in a historic Sicilian grocery store to Gourmet Tacos to Blue Plate Specials to fabulously tasty hot or cold coffee drinks, we’ve got it. For mounds of fresh fruits and veggies, prepared foods, artisanal cheese, fresh milk, eggs and more, dive into the downtown Farmers’ Market. Our restaurant options continue to grow but include Asian, American, Mexican, Southern and Louisiana fare, gourmet sandwiches, big salads and juicy stacked hamburgers, as well as a selection of Vegetarian options.
But wait, there’s more!
It seems our list of Things to Do just won’t end, and chances are good that even now, we have forgotten something.
Sci-Port, Louisiana’s Science Center has shown us the inside of the human body up close and squishy, allowed us to examine artifacts from the RMS Titanic. You can view the solar system, take part in scientific experiments, watch fabulous IMAX films and more, and be just as engaged and interested as your children! Sci-Port manages to blend both education and fun.
While enjoying your drive, be sure to notice our historic buildings, many festooned with 100-year-old advertising signage, gone ghostly with age.
Across the street run, play and spray in downtown’s riverfront spray park which is connected to an 8-mile riverfront jogging/bicycling trail. Towel off and pop up to Spring Street to the Multicultural Center of the South and the Spring Street Historical Museum then take in the item that the Smithsonian covets…a century-old pump at the Shreveport Waterworks Museum located at the McNeil Street Pumping Station. The museum offers a fascinating glimpse back in time, into a way of life more than a century ago. New to the grounds is the Shreveport Railroad Museum which examines the role railroads played in Shreveport’s history.
As we mentioned, downtown has it all, a perfect place to live, work and play. Make downtown your destination.
Come out and play!