The mission of the Calcasieu Historical Preservation Society (CHPS) is to encourage the preservation of historical buildings, objects, and places relating to the history of Louisiana and Calcasieu Parish, including its natural beauty and all that is distinctive to our state.
One of the primary ways that CHPS accomplishes this mission is to recognize those who have contributed toward the preservation of buildings, objects and places. This is done by presenting awards to deserving property owners via the Calca Commendation and the Landmark Awards.
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Area History and More!
Longtime preservationist and former President of CHPS, Adley Cormier, has graciously permitted us to publish a copy of his Timeline History of Southwest Louisiana.
On October 1, 2013, Adley Cormier, a local historian and City of Lake Charles Historic Preservation Commissioner (HPC) gave a presentation on researching historic homes and building historic districts. This was part of the ongoing "Tidbits of History" program of the Southwest Louisiana Genealogy and Historical Library, a branch of the Calcasieu Public Library System.
The presentation was also videoed for broadcast on C-Gov, the Parish's television channel. Cormier's presentation offered practical advice on how to explore and document building and neighborhood history. He provided this transcript of the presentation.
Jeff Bourge 1025 Kirby
Kim and Chad Moreno 633 Cleveland
Rhino Rhenovators 1030 Pujo
Jill and Richard Rhoden 1112 Hodges
Sara Schindler 912 Pujo
Debbie and Stan Shreve 518 Clarence
Beautiful Bones: Creative Preservation in Action
Six different and diverse historic homes are on tour April 13th at the 39th Annual Palm Sunday Tour of Homes. A spring tradition for almost four decades, the Tour offers visitors and members of the public the rare opportunity to experience the interiors of private residences in some of Lake Charles’s oldest neighborhoods.
Annual Meeting held on Jan 30th, 2014
The annual meeting of the Calcasieu Historical Preservation Society (CHPS) was held January 30, 2014 at the historic Calcasieu Marine Bank building.
President Nancy Moss welcomed attendees and reported that earlier that day three markers were unveiled at the locations of Lost Landmarks in Calcasieu Parish.
AC Bourdier, chairman of the Landmarks Register announced that two structures were nominated and selected for 2014 Landmarks.
2014 Focus Points and Endangered List
Four focus points frame the 2014 agenda of the Calcasieu Historical Preservation Society (CHPS) in a presentation made at the recent annual meeting of the Society.
In addition, the Society announced its Eleven Sites to Watch, locations the Society believes are valuable resources that are worthy of preserving, promoting, and redevelopment.
According to Adley Cormier, advocacy chair, CHPS encourages the adaptive reuse of existing structures and cites a long listing of successful projects throughout Calcasieu Parish including Cash Grocery and Sales, the Kelly-Weber Warehouse, Sulphur’s Judicial Center, and Henning House and other projects visited and used daily by residents of the area and visitors.
Second, the Society encourages developers to acknowledge our unique geography to reduce sprawl and development expense. They encourage redevelopment of older settled areas, traditionally among the highest elevation buildable land, and encourage new construction infill in established neighborhoods over expensive development of lower elevation and higher cost land.
Third, the Society encourages practices to keep and build real neighborhoods, with real identities, sidewalks, and community amenities.
Fourth, the Society encourages the importance of trees and green spaces, and particularly encourages good urban forestry and conservation practices to reduce runoff contamination, litter, and drainage issues.
Annual Meeting to feature Lost Landmarks
For release to the extended membership of CHPS:
The Calcasieu Historical Preservation Society invites you to witness and share in the unveiling of three markers at the sites of Lost Landmarks in Calcasieu Parish:
5:00 pm, corner of Enterprise Boulevard Extension and St John Street, Lake Charles-- the site of Ball's Auditorium
5:45 pm, corner of Bilbo and Pujo Streets, Downtown Lake Charles--the site of the Majestic Hotel
6:15 pm, westside of the 800 block of Ryan Street--the site of the Arcade, the Miller Building, the Paramount Theatre and the Weber Building and a reception to follow at the historic Calcasieu Marine National Bank building, 844 Ryan Street, Lake Charles.
The Lost Landmarks signing project is made possible by a grant from the Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Lost Landmarks Section Added to Website
Since the re-connection of CHPS with the Southwest Louisiana Historical Association, one of the major heritage projects of the organization is the marking of sites important to telling the story of Southwest Louisiana. Towards that end, CHPS has instituted the “Lost Landmarks Program”.
This program continues the tradition of identifying sites and structures that helped to shape the economic, social and cultural life of the area.
A section has been created within CalcasieuPreservation.org's Historic Areas Menu to recognize these Lost Landmarks here on CalcasieuPreservation.org.
The project is to mark the site of now lost landmarks with custom cast metal markers to identify the site and to inform the interested public and tourists of the role played by the now missing landmark.
CHPS arranges for the research, the sign copy, the site coordination, and the promotion of the program.
History of the Palm Sunday Tour
Thirty-nine years ago, the Palm Sunday Tour of Homes was envisioned and begun by three individuals—assisted by many others of course—but essentially the “baby” of Ann Rosteet Hurley, Reid Tyler, and Bill Terry.
At Bill Terry’s memorial service, stories were recounted of how the three “conspired” to showcase houses in what was then called “the Garden District”.
Ann and Reid were locally born and bred, Bill was from Houston. The three saw that this area had an immense inventory of older houses that could be wonderful homes for couples and families.
They saw the beauty and charm in real craftsmanship, front porches, mature plantings, and sidewalks.
More about the Catholic Cemetery Restoration Project
The Calcasieu Historical Preservation Society (CHPS) and The Catholic Cemetery Restoration Project are sponsoring a traditional All Souls' Day cemetery cleanup morning at the Catholic Cemetery on the corner of Iris and Common Streets.
Anyone interested in helping maintain this holy and historic place can meet at 9:00AM on November 2, 2013.
A light breakfast will be provided.
Bring gloves, your favorite bug spray, and wear gardening clothes and a hat.
Take the time to check out these "before photos" by Virginia Webb.