Warren United Methodist Church. Update. Sadly, this building (photo of bell tower on right) was demolished.
The Duflot Building (Corner of Common Street and Clarence)
This structure historically was a greenhouse and commercial florist and nursery, with living space above.
Recently, a retail business operated from its ground floor and that retail establishment has moved south.
The building and site represents a chapter of retailing history where the small entrepeneur lived above his business to better serve his clientele.
The structure has a rare Spanish tile roof line.
With apartments above, it could be reused for a restaurant, garden-related business, a day spa, a B& B, or for professional offices.
Salon Utopia, known to some as "China Doll Salon" is a unique, lantern-topped brick structure on an important corner of a busy commercial street (Dr. Michael DeBakey Drive and Westwood). The health complex around Christus-St Patrick Hospital makes properties nearby, especially historic or potentially historic structures, fear for their existence.
The quirky and picturesque building is currently in poor repair; however, with bit of care, it could find new life as a professional office, a cafe, or returned to use as a residence or corporate apartment.
The Armaments of War: the tank at the Veteran's Park and.the howitzer at the Courthouse are artifacts that suffer the extremes of weather and exposure. Such items, if they are to remain in recognizable form, should at least be protected from the elements (if not actually commercially preserved) for future generations.
Certainly you may say that they were designed for use outdoors, but this true,however, 50-plus years of rain, heat, and other weather conditions rusts and weakens steel. If they are to serve as monuments-as they will never be made again- they should be respected enough to be protected by relocation to more controlled environments.
Pecorino's Grocery Store (Corner Bilbo and East Street represents an era of retail and social history when the owner lived and worked from his own home. Like the Duflot building (2 above) it is one of the last live-work buildings in this entire area--this wooden building even has remnants of its original sign. The building should be at least stabilized to prevent any additional damage.
Miller's Cafe (Corner Church Street and Louisiana)
This building was a restaurant for the people. One of the very last of a long list of locally popular cafes that fed workers, travelers, and families for generations, the shell of Miller's Cafe can be seen by thousands of motorists as they whiz by on I-10 at Enterprise.
Once we had Day's, and Phillip's and Harry Shay and the Colonial, and dozens more, all with simple menus. The wooden building certainly has seen better days and deserves not to be forgotten.
Gold Band Records (Church Street at Ryan) It is not much to look at, but this is the place where musical history was made. The records and artifacts are mostly saved and being archived, but the actual site where Dolly Parton recorded her first record and where "swamp pop", "cajun" and country music talents got their start and made music careers is largely forgotten and slowly falling apart.
Yes, it is practically on the interstate right-of-way, and structurally it is just a rambling frame building, but it reminds us that some really great and mind changing things have their start in modest, rambling falling-apart buildings.
Our beloved, life-affirming Oak Trees (throughout Calcasieu Parish) Our Live Oak Trees give Calcasieu and all of Southwest Louisiana a distinctive look and feel. They shelter us, provide needed shade, serve as landmarks, and connect us with our history in many ways. Many Live Oaks were planted as property markers, for wind barriers, and for sources of timber.
Particularly here on the Calcasieu Prairie, many live oak groves were planned like the McNeese Oaks (at the University), the College Oaks and the Oaks of Oak Park and along Highway 90.The Grand-Daddy of them all, the Sallier Oak may be as much as 400 years old and connects us with the very earliest of settlers. And yet, sometimes they get absolutely no respect.
Victims of demolition by neglect.specifically houses and other structures still topped with blue tarps. Throuhout our parish are once useful and historic structures literally abandonded by their owners to the elements.
Some structures represent once powerful industries, such structures as rice mills and warehouses. Other structures were homes, schools and businnesses in once flourishing neighborhoods.
These structures, damaged by our recent storms, await a confused and confusing future beneath their fraying blue tarps. These are structures in modest neighborhoods and even on prestigeous Shell Beach Drive.And its a shame.
The Calcasieu River Bridge (I-10) is still endangered (if not acutally dangerous).
The bridge was designed in the 1940's and is testament to the skills of the original engineers and the DOTD and the contractors who work to keep it going into its 7th decade. It will be expensive to replace. It will be expensive to demolish.
When the bridge was first nominated as one of the parish's most endangered structures a number of years ago, we suggested serious consideration be given to adaptively reusing the structure, perhaps for recreational purposes such as a vertical park. We still urge this.
Its more than a bridge, its a symbol of unity.
Below, a more extensive group of photos of the 2009 Most Endangered