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Calcasieu Historical Preservation Society

The Palm Sunday Tour of Homes is an annual education and outreach project of the Calcasieu Historical Preservation Society (CHPS).

The Society thanks the generous homeowners who share their homes with us. In addition, we want to thank the vendors who handled ticket pre-sales, advertisers, cooperating merchants, the print and electronic media that promoted the event, and Pujo Street Cafe which graciously opened their doors to operate a Tearoom for tour patrons. And, a heart-felt thanks to the dozens of docents and volunteers who guide and answer questions throughout the Tour. 

This year’s Tour theme of PAST+FUTURE was selected to showcase vintage properties from the past and select new construction that will be the future of preservation. There is a good case to be made from acknowledging that new construction in vintage neighborhoods keeps the neighborhood vibrant and alive. Couples starting out, young families, established families, and retired persons are all part of the preservation picture. Older homes and newer, appropriate construction in vintage neighborhoods provide great places to live and to work. The Tour this year features several brand new properties designed using historical models and patterns as well as providing a range of living spaces for every situation.

The Tour will run from 1 pm to 5 pm on Palm Sunday, April 9, 2017.

This year we celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the founding and naming of Lake Charles and this Tour features historic properties and new construction in historic neighborhoods. We have a wonderful past in Lake Charles that we cherish and we look forward to a refreshed and promising future.

Welcome to the Tour, enjoy the properties, and learn a bit about our unique heritage. It’s ours to share.

                                                                                                                              ~Karen Mashburn Miller, 42nd Tour Chairman

605 Mill Street

605 Mill St

The exceptional local Landmark, the Flanders House, circa 1902, will be showcased during the April 9, 2017 Palm Sunday Tour of  Homes.

It is perhaps Southwest Louisiana's premier Victorian raised center-hall cottage. And, it is one of Louisiana's most photographed house exteriors!

The stained glass, curved windows and a spectacular raised gallery are but a few of the reasons to visit this home during this year's tour.

You know it from the outside, and you will not want to miss its equally grand and luminous interiors.

This historic home is owned by the Granger Family.


406 Hodges,The Shreve Home

406 HodgesThis wonderful cottage is a fine example of a typical turn-of-the-century working man’s home in Lake Charles.

The floor plan, two rooms wide with a wide front porch, was the best answer to building in the sawmill South of the day. The layout made the best use of the area’s long, straight pine and cypress lumber, milled in any one of a number of saw mills that lined the Calcasieu River from Goosport to Prien Lake.

Balloon-framed houses rested the long straight studs directly on the sills, interlaced the floor joints, and covered the whole with center-matched and shiplap solid wood boards. These houses were strong and solid. Many a modern saw is dulled trying to cut into the famous Calcasieu longleaf pine and one of the challenges of modern owners and remodelers is keeping their tools sharp!


618 Moss Street, The Nava Home

618 Moss St webThis charming house has a semi-octagonal front parlor offset by a front and side porch, and is surprisingly large.

The rooms seem to expand the house in the rear, and the large back yard is a revelation of possibilities.

The house was originally built for the Levys, a Jewish family who may have selected this part of Moss Street for its proximity to Temple Sinai. The style and shape of the house resembles a particular Louisiana house type called the “northshore cottage. “

The Northshore cottage was a popular 19th century house style in the Florida parishes on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. They were designed to take advantage of lake breezes, with one-room cross ventilation in at least the main room. They featured simple floor plans and plenty of ornamental trim. This Victorian era cottage was popular as a getaway retreat for the residents of crowded and cramped New Orleans.


516 Hodges, The O’Quinn Home

516 HodgesThis beautifully crisp newly constructed home would have looked just as perfectly in place 100 years ago as it does today.

The style is American foursquare, a sturdy and popular style that had four main rooms on each floor linked with halls and stairs.

There are good examples in Lake Charles where a number of period era American foursquare homes were built using the pine and cypress harvested in the area and processed by Lake Charles sawmills. American foursquare homes provide great value, particularly when they have been customized in design by the family who resides in them. And this particular house is a gem of interesting, beautiful and useful design.

The gracious front porch provides a welcome to this home and provides additional living space outside.

The interior features a blend of updated technology, fresh surfaces and reclaimed heritage materials and the O’Quinn family has furnished with a great blend of family pieces and designer elements.

The central hall is flanked by front parlor and dining room and leads to the principal living space in the rear of the property. The light and open kitchen along with a comfortable family room with fireplace provides the principal living space for the young family.

Upstairs are the bedrooms, comfortable and well-designed to take advantage of tree-top views. The baths are gracious and upscale, and the closets are generous. The family had previously lived in older houses in this historic neighborhood and they valued the convenient location, the great community bonds, and the mature plantings that come only with vintage neighborhood.


Project Build a Future Homes, The V. E. Washington Street Cottages

vewashingtonIn 2001, Father Henry Mancuso of Sacred Heart Catholic Church and parishioner Willie King learned of Houston, Texas, area churches building quality, affordable housing on vacant lots.

They asked themselves if this model could work in Lake Charles where there were also empty lots and blighted property surrounding churches. The paperwork began and Project Build A Future (PBAF) officially came into being.

The first formal meeting was on fateful September 11, 2001—9-11—and this event was viewed as a catalyst for a response plan. Project Build a Future would help to rebuild lives by building quality homes in Lake Charles.


Charpentier Place Townhomes

Charpentier Place Hodges StCorner Hodges and Mill Street One of Lake Charles newest major developments is in one of its oldest and most historic neighborhoods. The Charpentier Place Townhouse development features properties with historic detailing and updated, contemporary interiors for sleek urban living.

According to developer Bret Ellis, "It's going to be upscale, luxury living right next to downtown."

Charpentier Place consists of 30 homes in the half block edged by Mill Street, Hodges Street and Division Street. The property was once part of the Nason Villa estate, and the half block had been vacant for well over a half a century. The location marks the traditional boundary between the mostly residential Charpentier Historic District and the more commercial Downtown/Lakefront area. Mr. Ellis continues, “We feel that the resurgence of the downtown area and the work that's gone in over the last few years has been remarkable, and we want to be a part of that.” To do just that, the development offers a variety of housing choices between $225K and $350K, depending on size, amenities, options and features.

The development is within easy walking distance of the bustling downtown with its businesses, shops, restaurants, nightlife and cultural attractions. In short, these lovely residences are real townhouses, constructed in-town, and respectful to each other.

There are historic precedents for this sort of urban townhouse in port cities in the south with great vintage examples in New Orleans, Savannah, Mobile and Charleston, South Carolina. The staged example on tour is 601 Hodges at the corner of Hodges and Mill Street.

In building these homes, the developer used authentic design using modern technology: the crisp detailing of the low-maintenance siding that replicates lapped wooden siding, the use of other weather resistant products, tall double glazed windows, in tandem with traditional exterior details like double porches and real gaslights.