1. The Huber/Oak Park Development Office and the Gates to Oak Park. A mid-century example of a planned community, Oak Park was designed to be a premier place to live in Southwest Louisiana with distinctive live oaks providing shade to a unique street and service alley subdivision plat. The picturesque Huber Development office (2815 Fifth Avenue) and the distinctive oak and acorn cast-iron gateways marking the entrances are literally abandoned. Some of the gateways have been lost by street widening, others, like the grand Second Avenue gate, need prompt maintenance to keep them in good repair.
2. Original historic wooden windows. Most of the original wooden windows used in homes built in Southwest Louisiana were actually created from lumber harvested right here and many windows have withstood a hundred years or more of coastal Louisiana weather. Properly painted, maintained, and glazed, these windows can last a hundred years more and are superior in looks and equal to plastic or aluminum replacement windows in energy efficiency.
3 and 4. Queen Anne-style cottages at Kirkman and Mill and at Kirkman and Pine. Located on prominent corner lots, these cottages are good examples of the Lake Charles sawmill-style Victorian house, once common throughout the city. As it happens, the example at Kirkman and Mill was relocated from the Baptist Meadows area of town when it was won in a lottery. Both appear to be vacant with overgrown yards. Both could be charming and great family homes.
5. Authentic Downtown Sulphur. The historic crossroads of west Calcasieu, downtown Sulphur is threatened by suburban-style construction setbacks and ordinances that do not recognize a friendly urban core. Appropriate new infill structures, adaptive reuse of existing buildings, and a walkable downtown atmosphere are all at stake in what should be the heart of Sulphur.
6. Burden-Campbell Building. This structure just north of Muller’s Lofts on Ryan Street is actually part of the National Register Muller’s Department Store resource, having once served as part of Muller’s sales floor. It is ripe for reuse and prospective developers may be able to use rehabilitation tax credits. Currently, it appears vacant.
7. Live Oaks in historic groves and individually Many live oaks in Southwest Louisiana are naturally occurring, but there are significant historic groves of trees planted for windbreaks, for property marking, and for aesthetics. McNeese University Perimeter Oaks, the College Oak grove, Central School oaks, Oak Park, the Highway 14 Oak Alley, Orange Grove Cemetery, and the Enterprise Boulevard Oaks are examples of historic groves. At one time, Highway 90 was planned to have similar oaks--most of those have been lost. These treasured trees deserve protection.
8. The Dalavisio Veterinary Office on Twelfth This is a distinctive mid-century style building which is stylish in a retro-60’s way despite broken windows. Located on a heavily traveled cross-town street, surely this building can be creatively reused.
9. The Lyons House in Vinton. (a National Register Property). This significantly grand and detailed Victorian Queen Anne style house is one of only fifteen buildings in the parish that are designated National Register properties. It should be a showcase.
10. The Sabine Pass Lighthouse (a National Register Property) When it was built, the Sabine Pass Lighthouse was in Calcasieu Parish and although it is, strictly speaking, currently in Cameron Parish, this lighthouse has been a symbol of the resilience of Southwest Louisiana for 154 years.
11. Downtown DeQuincy. Like downtown Sulphur, DeQuincy’s legacy of historic buildings downtown is threatened by demolition for parking, or demolition by neglect. Adaptive reuse of underused buildings can be economically sound and can spur economic development.