Thursday, May 27 (weather permitting), downtown’s former B’nai Zion Temple will be seeing some much-needed maintenance that we hope is just the start of much more. The beautiful historic building has been owned for many years by a Trust that spent little on keeping it viable, and later, by a succession of tax purchasers who owned bits and pieces of tax positions for ‘investment’ purposes, creating a muddy ownership title that has been difficult to clear. During this period, the building suffered what is known as ‘demolition by neglect’. Though these historic buildings are structurally stout, all need ongoing maintenance and attention to roof leaks, which are especially damaging over time.
Enter the Sanctuary Arts School and Glass Studio, which Caddo Tax Assessors Office records show is the current owner.
“Sanctuary Arts School and Glass Studio is spearheading an effort to save the Temple. Tomorrow (Thursday) at 1pm the roof of the temple will be temporarily sealed to eliminate most of the water intrusion that has cause so much damage. We are lucky that Wendy Benscoter from the Shreveport Common was able to get Randy Mangrum from Storer Construction Solutions to get us a lift to bring roofers from Bayou State Roofing up to the roof to do the repairs. Both companies are doing this for free and we are so grateful. Just the first step in saving this building.”
Press release from Sanctuary Arts School/Sanctuary Glass Studio:
The building is an important part of Shreveport- and downtown- history, and we are thrilled to see it in the hands of an entity that wishes to preserve, rehabilitate, and use it. More to come…