I’ve been keeping this one a secret for awhile now, but I just can’t hold it in any longer. I am so pleased to show you my newest historic preservation tax credit project in downtown Alexandria, Louisiana.
Isn’t she lovely? I’ve had a crush on this nineteenth-century Queen Anne cottage for awhile now. It was the steep pitch of the hipped roof that first caught my eye. Then, those shutters – a common sight in New Orleans, but a rarity here in downtown Alexandria, which, has lost over 80% of its historic structures in the past thirty years, the majority of them residences.
Located on what is now the edge of downtown, this little cottage managed to escape all known threats to historic structures: demolition, vandalism, re-muddling, interstate highways, and fire. I’m not quite sure how she made it to this point in such good shape and with nearly all of her original features, but I am so thankful she did. I’ve been known to drive by just to check up on her and make sure she’s doing okay.
Can you see her potential? Sure, she needs some TLC. But her bones are good. She’s sturdy and strong, made of virgin Louisiana cypress and pine, and built by the hands of local craftsmen skilled in their trade.
The more of her history I research, the more I’m learning to trust in my knowledge and instinct about the age of old houses and regional architectural trends. She’s reinforcing my love for Louisiana buildings and building my self-confidence.
This little cottage knows that life isn’t always easy or pretty. She’s seen better days. But she offers a picture of hope for the future. Hope that, because her foundation is strong and her walls are solid, good will still come from her.
She’s come along way, but her journey is just beginning. You’re invited you to follow along. I suspect she has a lot to teach us all.