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Calcasieu Historical Preservation Society

518 Clarence, The Shreve Home

Circa 1906

 
518 Clarence
This good example of a craftsman-style American Four Square has an exceptionally authentic interior with the lighting, moldings, fireplaces, flooring and general layout original to its construction in the early part of the last century.  
 
Stella Sudduth purchased the property in 1902, which at the time was the south end of the city.  By 1913 when the curbs and sidewalks were first installed in the area, the house was already in place with its distinctive wide windows, broad inviting porch and craftsman inspired details.
 
After the time of the original owner-builder, the house was then home to the Trotter family in the twenties, then back to the Sudduth family for a time.  For about fifty years, it was home to a succession of the Moss family, a line of the area pioneer Moss family for whom Moss Street is named.
 
It is likely that the Moss family covered the original exterior lap siding with the fireproof shingles sometime in the late fifties as a means of further protecting the house from the elements and reducing the need for constant maintenance of wood siding.  As it happens, much of the interior work remains close to original with pocket doors, lighting fixtures, and other features nearly in mint condition.  
 
The current owners, the Shreves, who acquired the house in 2011, have been especially prudent to maintain authentic features and surfaces, and have made relatively few dramatic changes to the interior.

The house is built to take advantage of its location with a comfortable north-facing porch.  The wide windows were aligned to take advantage of cross breezes at a time prior to air conditioning and having the staircase on the west side of the house permits a house-cooling thermal stack to ventilate the house naturally when second floor windows are open.  Of course, added air conditioning and other upgrades for modern living have been made, but the historic bones to allow for cooling in a warm climate are still in place.

 This house continues the southern tradition of the gracious and expansive, but not fussy, family home with solid and authentic original details that connect the current owners to the past.  The Shreves have been particularly enthusiastic about preservation efforts in the community and have successfully encouraged friends and family to live in and to upgrade vintage properties of their own.