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Welcome to ShreveportDowntownEarly 1900's LifeAuto Racing, Back WhenOld Dowtown Buildings


Welcome to 1904 and downtown Shreveport! This very rare 4 View of Shreveport that gives an interesting contrast in culture and economics over the past 100 years. None of the buildings shown are still standing which is a testament to Shreveport's lack of preservation mentality. Shown at the upper left is the Caddo Parish Courthouse, upper right is the Union Depot for trains, lower left is the Grand Opera House located on Texas and Edwards and lower right is the the Post Office or Customs House at Texas and Marshall Street where the library now stands. Planes replaced trains for transportation, post offices scattered to suburbia, the Court House was enlarged in 1928 and now is busy with criminals both suspected and convicted while the Grand Opera House fell victim to motion pictures which now has problems with t.v., cable, DVD and internet- based entertainment. The last century certainly is a contrast to the dawn of new century. (Ernie Roberson collection)


A rare view of the Courthouse from the corner of Milam and Louisiana. Amazingly, the building shown at the lower left corner is still standing in Shreveport. It has housed Standard Brand Shoes, Gilmore's Newsstand (Justin Gras Building) and the Saenger Brothers Drug Store. This is a 1905 view of this area one block west of the Courthouse. The huge oaks that dot the lawn today were just barely a few years old in this view. The Ward Building on the east side of the Courthouse had not been built and neither had the Slattery Building. Note across the street, north from the Courthouse that today's view would be very similar. (Ernie Roberson collection)


Built after WW1 and referred to as the "Victory Natatorium" this salt water swimming pool was located behind Hamilton Terrace School on Louisina Avenue. It was quite a showplace for Shreveport and neighborhood kids flocked to its waters. It was filled in with dirt in the 1980s. Hamilton Terrace still is used as a school. Electric streetcars used to run in front of it on Louisiana Avenue.  (Ernie Roberson collction)


The Washington-Youree Hotel which occupied the corners of Market and Edwards bordered by Travis Street. It  was home to so many "Shreveport" moments. On its rooftop gardens,  a young singer debuted as a substitute one night on KWKH Radio. Though he was a barber by trade, he became known to America as Perry Como.  Jack Dempsey and John Wayne stayed at the hotel, KSLA TV started there and many a deal was struck in the Marble Cafe shown here. The tinkling of silverware, the scraping of the wooden chairs on the floor and the hub bub of conversation was common. This rare real photo postcard is dated 1925 just when Shreveport was mixing oil and gas with cotton and banking to produce an economic engine. Comments on this site? Send to destindreamer@hotmail.com (Ernie Roberson collection) 


Dated March 22, 1909 this "Shreveport Belles" postcard is a treasure for historians. The rear of the card notes that he saw "the Chicago Cubs beat this town's (team) at baseball yesterday." Plus note that the Ward Buidling has not been built east of the Court House at Milam and Marshall, the same is true for the Slattery Building. Residential homes are shown south of the Court House on Milam Street. The Confederate Monument has been erected and one oak tree's limbs can be seen sans leaves at the bottom of the photo. Were the Belles really Shreveport girls? This type of card was quite common as an alternative to "Greetings" postcards of later years. "Belles" cards are among the most popular town view postcards among collectors. (Ernie Roberson collection)


STONER Avenue about 1913 from the corner of Creswell shows many of the palatial homes that served as a border for the prosperous Highland neighborhood. The streetcar ran south on Louisiana and provided access to this wide street. The Highland area was the first affluent suburb of the city. Even today the stately homes are sought for refurbishing by younger buyers seeking character and space in their homes. Today many of the homes on Stoner Avenue are offices for some of Shreveport's best known attorneys like Ron Miciotto. The old firehouse barely visible on the right in this view is now a unique homeplace providing life for a historic structure. (Ernie Roberson collection)