Saturday, May 3, 2014

Lake Charles Homes

It was about nine months ago that some truck problems found us in Sulphur, Louisiana. Now, a last minute call for reservations is not my style and add to that an unplanned stopover location with few (I think there were two) choices can only spell B-I-G problem.

I don’t know if it was the “A+” in the RV park’s name, but Kate decided to call A+ Motel and RV Park to see if they had an available site.

Well, the park was beautiful, with plenty of space, and owner of the park is obsessed with details. Everything was clean, well-maintained, and geared to welcoming visitors. We enjoyed our overnight stay and made reservations before we left to return this spring.

We were just off I-10, and since we were only a few miles west of Lake Charles, we decided to begin our brief visit to southwestern Louisiana with a visit to Lake Charles in “The place where the pirates met the cowboys and where Cajuns, Creoles, German immigrants, Midwesterners, and pioneers from the Sout and West met to build a community and a culture like no other” (introduction to Your Guide to Historic Calcasieu Parish).

This 28-page glossy 8½ x 11 booklet, which covers “the historic resource and tours of (six towns in) our unique corner of Louisiana” warrants this extended description because it provides arguably the best coverage (pictures, extensive descriptions) of historic homes and buildings in the cities and towns that we have visited.

So, we begin our visit to Lake Charles.
The R.H. Nason House, c. 1885

A Gothic-revival Victorian
with a tower, arched windows, porticos, leaded glass, and Italianate touches.
The W.E. Ramsey House, c. 1885

Home features 11-foot ceilings; exquisite woodwork, trim, and flooring; and a very animated, shingled and clapboard exterior.
The Arthur Wachsen House, c. 1905

This distinctive green Ludowici tile roof was added in 1920 to this sprawling Italianate-Colonial Revival villa
with sprawling verandah and porte-cochere.

First United Methodist Church, c. 1926

This sprawling Gothic-inspired complex with strong vertical lines, large lancet stained glass windows and clustered piers is locally known fondly as “Big Methodist.”
Pure Oil Gas Station, c. 1920

This quaint picturesque red brick, tile-roofed building represents the earliest generation of automobile service stations, when actual uniformed attendants would tend to your motoring needs.
c. 1895

The original Eastlake porch for this house was lost in the 1918 hurricane and was replaced with a colonial revival double-columned double porch.
c. 1900

The dormer-on-gable house with spacious front porch was physically relocated from its address on Lakeshore Drive, tucked into this wooded lot, and completely restore quite recently.
The Edgar Miller House, c. 1914

A sterling example of a craftsman airplane bungalow built of longleaf pine, brick and stucco. Five windows in the “cockpit” dormer and a broad front porch acting as the “wing.”
The Arthur L. Gayle House, c. 1909

A beaux-arts colonial revival house with an impressive four-column portico and Juliet balcony is perfectly symmetrical except for a large conservatory and sleeping porch addition to the west.
The Abraham Christman House, c. 1908

A Louisiana cottage version of a Queen Anne style Victorian, this house originally stood on six-foot tall piers until the 1918 storm. Luckily, the house was generally undamaged and it was righted, but this time closer to ground level.