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Calcasieu Historical Preservation Society

The Hoffpauir Home 1516 Alvin Street near Drew Park Drive

20190117 143536rWhile this authentic raised Louisiana cottage maintains a reserved and respectful exterior, the interior is a wonderful example of progressive and stylish design for the modern young professional.

The owner, an active entrepreneur with a successful niche bakery and catering business, comes from a creative contracting and real estate family with dozens of successful construction, housing and design projects to their credit.

In renovating and updating this particular house project for a family member, the utmost care was used to ensure that the results would be both practical and stylish.

The raised cottage with a front porch is an historical Southern approach to living space and practical housing. Basically symmetrical, with one room (or bay) on either side of a prominent front door, these cottages benefit first from having the welcoming and protective porch. In some versions in South Louisiana, the porch—or gallery as it is sometimes called—is used as an additional exterior room with swings, rockers, and porch furniture. And, of course, particularly in this City that once commercially processed pine and cypress lumber, the raised cottage is built of wood. The great advantage of raised cottages comes from being constructed considerably above ground level using a curtain foundation wall, or, as in most cases here in Lake Charles, brick or concrete piers to raise the wooden floor level above ground level. Some raised cottages can be as high as six or eight feet above ground level (and some use the ground level space for storage), but most examples are relatively low, sometimes less than two feet above grade. Even with that, the elevation allows for crawl space access for plumbing and occasionally air-conditioning runs, and allows for ventilation between ground and floor. The space provides a space barrier to termites and other pests, and especially in low and rainy cities, raised cottages allow for the occasional high water or flood without incurring much physical damage. While many new houses in coastal Louisiana are being built using these techniques today, this particular cottage is authentic and original both to the history of the area and to the technique.

The renovation of this house is a great example of how to recapture value in a vintage property. The interior follows a center hall plan with rooms laid out on both sides of an open corridor. While perhaps this residence is not as “open plan” as some modern construction, the traditional layout of this charming home provides for needed privacy and for separation of public and personal spaces. As you tour the home, note the eclectic collection of furnishings and appointments. Also note the choice of high-end and durable materials which adds a sense of solidity and permanence.

There was an obvious sincere effort to provide long-term value to this house. One of the biggest surprises is the wonderfully designed and beautifully finished hard landscaping to the rear of the property. The rear garden and patio area adjoin Drew Park, and benefit from its wide open spaces and beautiful vistas.