- Associated Press - Saturday, April 19, 2014

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) - Sprague Street once was home to a half dozen late Victorian bungalows.

But now only one remains.

While preservation efforts have been delayed, Shreveport officials say they are committed to restoring the home.

City Councilman Jeff Everson told The Times (https://bit.ly/1j15BOi) that the city plans to rehabilitate the 1890s cottage near Oakland Cemetery and move it to city-owned property on Elvis Presley Boulevard.

“The idea is to renovate it and move it to a place where it will be more prominent and we can maintain its historic character,” he said. The city recently spent $5.3 million to renovate the nearby Municipal Auditorium and is nearing completion of a promenade down the center of Elvis Presley Boulevard.

The Sprague Street home rehabilitation project was put out for bids last year but they came in over budget the $250,000 budget and were rejected by the City Council.

Bonnie Moore, director of the city’s community development department, said the city is searching for additional funding to rebid the project.

“If we alter the plans to accommodate the budgeted amount, it will take away from the historic character of the building,” she said.

The bungalow was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. It sits on a once heavily populated block, said local historian Gary Joiner. But over the decades, many of the homes were neglected and ultimately demolished.

“This is a case where that doesn’t have to be,” he said.

Joiner, who also serves as the vice president of the Oakland Cemetery Preservation Society, said his organization had at one point hoped the building could serve as a cemetery visitor center. But the cost to move and renovate the building was too much for the society, and it did not pursue plans.

Joiner hopes the city can find the money to protect the structure.

“It’s symbol of both hope and despair,” he said.


Information from: The Times, https://www.shreveporttimes.com

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