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.
Reflections on the 2015 Palm Sunday Tour of Homes
The 40th Annual Palm Sunday Tour of Homes was a great success with over 600 guests touring four great 'treasure houses" on a beautiful March afternoon. The houses were unique examples of how preservation covers a wide range of tastes, resources and possibilities.
This was a tour of firsts: the first tour house actually outside Lake Charles and Calcasieu Parish, half of the homes on tour located south of Prien Lake Road, but visitors came to experience not necessarily the "firsts", but the life and value of living in and restoring older homes.
When we share our lives in older homes with visitors, we champion preservation. When we share the worth and dignity of older properties, when we re-use and re-adapt spaces for new lives, we advance the mission of CHPS to encourage wise stewardship of our architectural heritage.
Another successful Palm Sunday Tour of Homes!
Southwest Louisiana welcomed the 40th Anniversary Palm Sunday Tour of Homes with wonderful weather, appreciative tour patrons and four wonderful homes in a variety of locations. As always, the tour is dependent on a great deal of people, including those who graciously accept us into their homes. We gratefully thank this year's homeowners: Debbie and Glen Alexander, Chelsea and Chris Brennan, Sarah Guilott, and Stephanie and Robert Ryder.
The theme of the March 29th tour was "40 Years of Preservation: Saving Louisiana's Treasures."
Nic Hunter and The Harlequin Steaks and Seafood hosted this year's exquisite Palm Sunday Brunch and offered the perfect kick-off to the beautiful day while benefitting the Catholic Cemetery Restoration Project. The CHPS board extends its heartful thanks to Nic Hunter as well as the volunteers from St. Louis High School who so capabliy assisted The Harlequin staff.
Kudos and thanks to tour Chair, Trent Gremillion, for the hours of work that he dedicated to making this unique tour a success.
Palm Sunday celebrates 40 Years of Preservation: Saving Louisiana's Treasures
Four diverse and historic homes in a variety of Southwest Louisiana locations will be featured on the 40th Anniversary Palm Sunday Tour of Homes.
A spring tradition for four decades, this year's theme is, appropriately, "40 Years of Preservation: Saving Louisiana's Treasures" and will be held on March 29, 2015.
Hours are 1:00 - 5:00. Tickets purchased via PayPal will be available at the Ryder Home, 825 S. Division, from 12:45PM -2:30 the day of the tour. Please provide your receipt at the "will call" table.
This year's Palm Sunday Brunch will be hosted by Nic Hunter and Harlequin Steaks & Seafood.
A record of those who have purchased the brunch will be maintained for use when checking in at the Harlequin. We ask that you bring your PayPal receipt as proof of payment.
Proceeds from the Brunch will benefit the Catholic Cemetery Restoration Project.
The hours for the brunch are 11-12:30.
2015 Annual Meeting held at Brimstone Museum
The Calcasieu Historical Preservation Society held it’s Annual Membership Meeting on Friday, January 23rd, 2015 at the Brimstone Museum in Sulphur, LA.
Melinda Cormier reported the following Advocacy efforts on behalf of Advocacy Chair, Adley Cormier:
- Lost Landmarks: This program, begun last year, will continue into 2015. At the last Annual Meeting, members were able to share in the unveiling of three “Lost Landmark” signs located at the sites of Ball’s Auditorium, the Majestic Hotel, and the block of Ryan Street where the Arcade, the Paramount, and the Weber buildings once stood. Lost Landmarks markers tell the thumbnail history of an important, but now, lost building. CHPS worked with researchers and with landowners to install the signs. We are grateful to have received support from the Arts and Humanities Council and the Convention and Visitors Bureau to make these markers possible. In the spring of 2015, we will be marking the sites of the Louisiana Baptist Orphanage on the block now occupied by St. Louis Catholic High School, the site of the original Lagrange High School at Ryan and School, and the site of one of the lost passenger railroad stations. (Location to be determined) We plan to continue to mark sites of significance to Southwest Louisiana history with such markers in the future. We welcome suggestions for such sites.
2014 Landmark Awards Announced
The 2014 Landmark Awards were announced at the Annual Meeting held at the Brimstone Museum in Sulphur.
• 1937 Iowa High School
• New Emanuel Baptist Church
• The Noble Building
Photos of these buildings as well as Landmark Recipeints over the years can be found within Landmarks section of the Awards Menu.
Calca Commendation Awards for 2014 Announced
CALCA Commendation Awards for 2014 were presented at the Annual Meeting held on Jan 23rd, 2015.
Those receiving this distinction:
- Kraus Construction Company Michael Kraus for 1150 Ryan Street Commendable Adaptive Reuse of Commercial Building
- Floyd Fruge for 744 Kirkman Street Commendable Renovation of a Residental Building
- Kay Noble for 111 Grove Street Commendable Renovation of a Residental Building
- Bryan and Lynn Boudreaux for 117 Grove St. Commendable Renovation of a Residental Building
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.
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.