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Calcasieu Historical Preservation Society

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CHPS Mission

Historic Lake Charles City HallThe 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.


Pick from one
of these six membership categories:

Individual      $10.00

Family          $20.00

Sustaining     $35.00

Patron         $50.00

Corporate   $100.00

Major Donor  $250+

Join using our on-line membership form.


Home on Kirby in the Historic Charpenteir District. Click here for a photo gallery of homes in the Charpentier District

Margaret Place

Bungalow on Grove Street in Margaret Place.

Shell Beach Drive

Photo of Shell Beach Drive, Image from the collection of Trent Gremillion

Lost Landmarks

Postcard of the porch at the Majestic Hotel, a Lost Landmark

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.

Adley Cormier first presented this document to the Southwest Louisiana Genealogical Society.

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

2017 Palm Sunday Theme, Date Announced

Past+Future: The 42nd Palm Sunday Tour of Homes will take place April 9, 2017 and the theme is Past+Future.

The Tour will focus on properties in the northern part of the Charpentier Historic District, north of Broad, south of the Interstate, from roughly Bilbo to Louisiana.

If you have a showcase house in this area, and if you'd like to share your story, message us on the CHPS Facebook page.

2017 Annual Meeting

The 2017 Annual Meeting of CHPS will be Thursday, January 26 at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, Kirkman at Division, in Lake Charles.

Doors open at 6:30 with the program to start at 7:00. Members and interested members of the General Public are invited to attend.

Landmarks Registry, Calca Awards, Most Endangered, upcoming programs--lots on the menu. Short presentation about the efforts to preserve the Sabine Pass Lighthouse.

Quarterly Meeting Announced

The Summer Quarterly Meeting of the Calcasieu Historical Preservation Society will take place at 6:30 pm, Thursday June 30th at Lake Charles City Hall.

Pioneer BldgThe program will include the unveiling of a special historic marker at the front of the building along with short presentations about the 1959 visit to the building by then-candidate John F. Kennedy and about mid-century architectural style.

City Hall was originally built as the “Pioneer Building” by oilmen Mordello Vincent and Lee Welch.

The structure served as an office building and site of the Pioneer Club for several decades until purchased in the seventies and adaptively reused by the City.

This event is open to the public. Refreshments will be served.


Lake Charles Houses featured in Louisiana Life Magazine

Three splendid Charpentier District houses were featured in Louisiana Life magazine's May/June Issue.

The Durio Home at Iris and Reid Street, and the Mary Vivian Davis Home at Kirby and Reid, both on the 41st Tour, were featured in the regional magazine in their May/June issue, along with the Eagle Home at Kirby and Bank.

The colorful and exciting feature article included interior and exterior images of the properties.

Congratulations to the proud and hardworking homeowners for sharing their beautiful residences.

Special thanks to the Lake Charles Convention and Visitors Bureau.

42nd Tour Chair Announced

The CHPS Board recently added Karen Miller as the Chair of the 42nd Annual Palm Sunday Tour.

Mrs. Miller has been a longtime member of CHPS and has been active in neighborhood, community and preservation issues for many years.

We welcome her addition to the Board.

41st Annual Palm Sunday Tour Termed A Success

Six historic homes, an historic church building and a bonsai garden were all featured properties at the 41st Annual Palm Sunday Tour of Homes on May 20, 2016.

Almost 700 paid admissions, along with approximately 80 volunteers, made the 41st Tour one of the most successful, according to tour chair Adley Cormier.

The owners of the selected properties on tour were presented with 2016 House Tour badges to commemorate their participation in the event.

Photos of the 2016 Palm Sunday Tour of Homes

Neighborhood Gems:  Fresh Ideas in Vintage Properties.

A brilliant sunny day greeted patrons of the 41st Annual Palm Sunday Tour of Homes on March 20.  Six beautiful homes opened their doors for patrons along with a fascinating Bonsai garden and a historic church building.  Great stories to share, as always.  

Mark your calendars for the 42nd Palm Sunday Tour on April 9, 2017!  It's not spring in Southwest Louisiana without the Palm Sunday Tour of Homes!

902Kirby Happy Docents 


Endangered List Presented at Annual Meeting

Preservation Advocacy Report presented at the 2015 Annual Meeting by Adley Cormier

The postings are of historic properties that deserve rehabilitation and reuse, but appear to in a state of abandonment and/or advanced deterioration. We encourage owners to maintain properties to maintain property values and those of the neighborhoods. We encourage frank assessments of alternatives when maintenance and reuse are not possible, including offering the property for sale to others for development and reuse. We encourage good stewardship of historic resources.


The Ramsey-Dees-Alexander House c. 1894

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  Left to right: Glenn and Debbie Alexander, Ann Caston

William T. Ramsey, of the Bradley-Ramsey Lumber Company, built this lovely southern beauty for Nathaniel and Susan Pope in 1894. Mr. Pope was an official with the Longbell Lumber Company, so wood was used extensively in the construction and adornment of the home.


The Giovanni House, c.1905

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  Left to right: Gaye Giovanni McDonald, Maureen and C.A. Miller pose with the Landmark Plaque
presented during the annual meeting of the Calcasieu Historial Preservation Society.
DESIGN FEARTURES AND STYLE, 1536 Foster Street by Maureen Miller, Owner
The country house, with full length Veranda overlooking  massive live Oak tree has it roots in rural French Colonial architecture.  This style was present in Louisiana throughout the development period of Southern Plantation architecture, and along with Georgian, West Indies, Eclectic and classical Greek Revival were the architectural choices of a growing and prosperous South.


The Collette House c. 1910

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Theresa Schmidt receives the Landmark Plaque for her house from CHPS Board Member Ann Caston  
In 1860, a parcel of land where the Collette house now sits, was purchased from the US Government for $1389.25 (even though it was only appraised for $100). This parcel was later subdivided into lots, one of which was purchased by Joseph and Ida King Collette. The Collettes operated the Dunn Collette Lumber Company in Westlake.