Inside clean-out work has begun. One lane of Travis Street and the sidewalk adjacent to the building will be closed for the next 4-6 weeks while this work is being done for safety reasons. Big change is definitely coming!
It’s hard to fathom how much ten tons weighs. Yeah, yeah, we know- ‘a lot.’ Getting ten tons of anything out of a building can be challenging, but ten tons balanced on a collapsed floor that could shift and take down a wall is something else entirely.
On July 11, a crew from Thrash Construction Services and Barnhart Crane and Rigging (gently) raised the 4500-gallon capacity lead tank out of 401 Spring Street, a historic building that has seen many better days.The building is remarkable, not only because it is still straight and standing after years of demolition by neglect, it is remarkable because of its history. By 1910, the City Directory shows that the building at 401 Spring was open and doing business as Tilson Carriage Company. By 1912 it had become Cavett Carriage Company, which it stayed until 1920, the year that started the era of the Goode-Cage Drug Co.
The drug wholesaler handled nationally advertised lines of drugs and was also a manufacturer- making and dispensing Brochotone, Red River Chill Tonic and Webb’s Stock Powder, and possibly, according to family members who still live in the area, root beer. Later, the company made the popular O.J.’s Beauty Lotion.
By 1962, Goode-Cage had merged with Southwestern Drug and by 1990, the days of the drug company were done and the building began to fall into decline. That decline tumbled toward what could have been a sad conclusion post-2000 when a roof leak was not repaired and eventually led to the collapse of the back one-third of the interior floors as well as a large portion of the roof. That is why the purchase of the building in early 2018 was so exciting, and so timely. The building had been put on the City of Shreveport’s demolition watch list, and its days were numbered. The new owner plans to do right by the building, rehabbing the historic structure to show off all that it was. The ‘adaptive reuse’ will turn the old drug company into market-rate apartments with brick walls and high ceilings, wooden floors and traces of the whispers of the past. It will once again be a place that people want to go. This story is far from over, and we’ll be updating you as we go. Stay tuned.