Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Getting Ready for Lake Charles Centennial Celebrations!

Central School
Our area's centennial celebrations are getting closer! We have much to rejoice for in 2012 with Louisiana's 200 year anniversary of its statehood at the top of the list. In concert with other agencies and organizations across the city, we are taking part in facilitating a series of collaborative open house events that will draw the public into buildings to experience their rich history and unique Lake Charles architecture. 

On Saturday, April 28th, the public is invited to travel to and from several historic landmarks across Lake Charles from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to join in celebrating their centennial anniversaries. Current participating locations include Central School Arts & Humanities Center (809 Kirby St.), the Calcasieu Parish Courthouse (1000 Ryan St.), the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (935 Bilbo St.), the Lundy Building (501 Broad St.), 1911 City Hall Arts & Cultural Center (1001 Ryan St.), and Temple Sinai (713 Hodges St.).

1911 City Hall
Friends of Central School, a non-profit organization devoted to preserving the historic elementary school, and the Arts Council are coordinating efforts with these buildings to educate the public on the significant weight these facilities carry in Lake Charles history. As with many pre-20th century buildings in Lake Charles, several of these important structures were lost in the Great Fire of 1910, and shortly after, a renaissance of development blossomed in the area which yielded the current incarnations of some of these history sites. Many of the buildings will offer historical tours of their facilities with special emphasis on its history, architecture, and what role the building plays in the city's past and present.

Along with hosting historical tours, Central School will also display an exhibit featuring one hundred years worth of memorabilia from the center's past. The exhibit will display class and faculty photos, images of the old classrooms, report cards, and yearbooks which will allow those who went to school in the facility to re-experience Central School. Friends of Central School will also dedicate the Central School theatre to the late Benjamin W. Mount, who was integral to the preservation of the facility.

Calcasieu Parish Courthouse
Each building will offer its own centennial anniversary event and can be contacted individually for additional information. For more information about these centennial celebrations, contact Central School at 439-2787 or visit