We thought you would be interested in this. Twin Blends Photography, LLC is constantly pulling historic photos from the files of the LSUS Archives and other places to share on their Facebook pages. They do a great job of sharing what downtown Shreveport used to look like and they ‘morph’ photos to show what the same locations look like today. These photos really bring our history to vibrant life.
We often hear from people saddened by the number of historical buildings that have been lost to time; many were architecturally significant and quite beautiful. Some were torn down to make way for parking lots, some – like the courthouse in this photo- were demolished to make room for a new structure, others were lost to neglect.
Unfortunately, there is not a lot we can do about those that are gone, but we can celebrate, and try to protect, those that remain. The yellow stars in the same photo below indicate those buildings that still exist. Some have been drastically altered, but the ‘bones’ of the building remain the original construction. Some, like the Hutchinson Building across Texas Street from the Caddo Parish Courthouse, are very similar in look to the original construction. Look closely and you will also see a number of Victorian houses. All of those in the Central Business District have been lost to time.
There are cities all across the country that have lost many, if not most, of their historic buildings downtown to widespread ‘Urban Renewal’. We are thankful that we have not, but these buildings still need champions. They need love and investment and attention. We can point out many owners who are providing all these things, and others who are not. Though these buildings have been standing in many cases for more than a century, they will not last forever without owners willing to make investment in them. A part of our job that we take very seriously is trying to pair new owners and developers with these buildings to give the buildings a fighting chance of future survival. There are challenges, to be sure. Some of the buildings are encumbered by federal tax liens, some have suffered years of demolition by neglect that makes the cost of rehab high, some owners simply refuse to sell or to do anything with their buildings. We believe there are answers to all of these issues, they just take time, and time is something that some of these buildings do not have.