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Calcasieu Historical Preservation Society

The Landmark

The Calcasieu Parish Historical Preservation Society's prestigious Landmark Award is a decorative wooden plaque that is usually attached to the front of a structure. 
This award is given in recognition of homeowners who have restored a historic structure as near as possible to its original look.
Among the architectural styles often seen in this area are Queen Anne revival, Eastlake, Colonial revival, bungalow and 20th Century eclectic.

1303 Kirkman

Walter Roland Carter House

walterrolandcarter1303kirkmanThe property upon which the Walter Roland Carter House is located was part of a parcel of 80 acres granted to Victor Touchy in 1860. Touchy used the land to plant oranges, however after a great freeze, the property was subdivided and the Touchy Addition was created. Sunnyside subdivision was later carved from the Addition in 1912.

Evalina McCormick, daughter of pioneer journalist John McCormick, married Walter Roland Carter, and used proceeds from the succession of her father to buy the land and build the house in 1914.


Evalina died in 1918, Walter Roland Carter died in 1940. The house passed through several owners.

In 2006 Doug Gehrig, owner of the McDonald’s franchise, purchased the home from William P. Anderson.

Unable to staff its restaurants in the months after Hurricane Rita, McDonald’s hired employees from Romania with special work visas. Gehrig originally planned for the home to serve as housing for the some of these Romanian employees but other housing was found nearer the restaurants and the home was never used as intended. He began a two year restoration of the home and during that time hardwood floors, with the exception of the kitchen and bathrooms, were refinished. Crown molding was added throughout the home along with central air and heat. The kitchen was modernized from the floor up.

In 2008 Doug Gehrig sold the home to Dustin Smith. In 2013 Smith purchased Lot 1 of the Sunnyside subdivision located between the house and Cleveland Street to the north which doubled the size of the lot.

The structure is a good example of a traditional four-square house style with a west-facing full width front porch. Particularly notable is its purity of design. The four-square was conceived to be an efficient and practical two-story house shape and was a response to the excesses of ornamentation of high Victorian. Generous sized windows provided for cross ventilation, clapboard siding and other materials were locally sourced.