From the News-Star to This Old House - Check it out! Posted February 25, 2010

Quarterly Meeting held at Elsong Garden meeting room.
The next GDNA membership meeting will take place on Monday June 13th at Lea's Restaurant on Louisville Ave. We'll begin about 6pm...anyone wishing to eat dinner there is urged to come abit earlier for that. We'll have new Monroe Police Chief Quentin Holmes as a speaker who'll inform us of some of the changes he's implementing which will positively impact our neighborhood and our city. We'll also have representatives of the business group that's in the process of purchasing Georgia Tucker school property. They will tell us of their plans for the building/property. Make plans to attend the Garden District Neighborhood Alliance mtg on Monday June 13th at 6pm. We'll even treat you to a piece of Lea's delicious pie!!! See you there and bring a friend!!!!

The Ouachita Parish Public Library's River Reads Event will be held at 5pm on Thursday June 2nd at the Main Branch on N. 18th Street. There will be FOOD, FUN, and LIVE MUSIC!!! Dallas saxophonist Vandell Andrew, who trained in New Orleans, will provide live Louisiana Jazz Music to spice up the event. At least 16 local restaurants will provide samples of their foods for the public to sample. There will also be information about the River Reads program of the library. Come on out and pass a good time at your library!!!

Garden District Neighborhood Alliance News ... as it becomes available.
Helping you stay in touch with what is happening in your neighborhood.

Take a stroll down memory lane. We were recently made aware of a reproduced publication online including parts of the Garden District from the 1940s. Enjoy...

Louisiana: a guide to the state By Federal Writers' Project Posted February 25, 2010!

At times we need to take a look into our past, and to best describe how we feel about our beautiful Garden District we need only quote a section from the National Trust for Historic Preservation...

"Historic places help us understand where we have come from as a society and where we should go in the future." Since its founding in 1949, the National Trust has provided leadership, education and advocacy to protecting these irreplaceable parts of our heritage. This work takes many forms and involves many partners, but it always supports preservation of the places that tell the story of America.

We should be sure to think about this and not so quickly give in to government entities that stray from a promised agenda.

Featured Property September 2001

"A Window in Time: The Monroe Garden District"
in the December 1996 issue of Preservation in Print with photos by Donna Fricker and captions by Patricia L. Duncan.

The "Monroe Residential Historic District" in Monroe, Louisiana was placed on the
National Register of Historic Places October 3, 1996.

The National Register of Historic Places is the nation's official list of buildings, sites and districts which are important in our history. Although the National Register was created by Congress, it is administered by the states. Each state has a historic preservation office which is responsible for placing buildings, sites and districts on the Register. In Louisiana this program is administered by the Division of Historic Preservation, which is part of the Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism.

Ordinance No. 9111 was adopted by the Monroe City Council in Monroe, Louisiana on 12th day of December 1989. This ordinance created and delineated (3) Historical Districts to be known as:
The Don Juan Filhiol Historical District
The Henry Bry Historical District
The Louis Alexander DeBreard Historical District

On February 10, 1995, Donna Fricker, the National Register Coordinator in Baton Rouge notified the newly formed Garden District Neighborhood Alliance that she would be willing to make an on-site visit to determine if our neighborhood were a likely candidate for the National Register. In a January 12th letter Gerri Hobdy, Assistant Secretary and State Historic Preservation Officer in Baton Rouge wrote to update the status of our nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. Donna Fricker and Patricia Duncan of Baton Rouge found on their preliminary survey that the district may include the area bounded by Forsythe, Bres, Riverside Drive, and North 6th Street.

On June 4, 1996, the Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation approved Garden District Neighborhood Alliance neighborhood historic credentials and has sent them on to the National Register of Historic Places. The date of certification was in September of 1996.

The Garden District Neighborhood Alliance was formed to promote the quality of life in the area bounded by Bres-Riverside-Forsythe-and-the railroad and bring about the solidification of the neighborhood through communication, interest in historic preservation, and the overall common goal of friendliness.

Part of the Garden District, Riverside Drive, has wonderfully renovated grand mansions, and part of the district has the wonderful bungalow and even one shotgun house styles within it. This makes for a very interesting area, gardens come alive in the spring and fall, with blooms and colorful leaves. The river sets the mood for this neighborhood.

A drive through the area, or a casual walk, will provide the visitor with enough charming interest that they will want to return.

Both Georgia Tucker and Neville Schools are on the National Register, and Grace School, peacefully located in the middle of the Garden District, give the area the solid foundation that has made it a choice for young home buyers for a long time.

Because of the district's proximity to wonderful shopping and great playgrounds, it has a feel of "suburban" character. The Garden District offers the unique charm of urban life in a setting free of typically urban congestion, and some day -- from traffic and noise.

The district will become even more distinct when the Alliance completes it's formation and the National Register designation becomes a reality. The community spirit will be even more evident when Georgia Tucker playground becomes the neighborhood park. The attitude and kindness shown to the Alliance group by Dr. George Cannon and others will certainly expedite this.

The Garden District Neighborhood Alliance will publicly represent the interests of the neighborhood in civic matters important to the neighborhood, will organize projects to benefit the district, will publish a newsletter, offer educational events -- from historical refurbishing of homes and of landscapes, and yes, even furniture.

Barbara and Errol Donovan, Coordinators

Thursday, June 20, 1996
The News-Star - Hometown by Andrew Standard

Monroe's Garden District moved one step closer to making the national register a few weeks ago.

The Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation approved the neighborhood's historic credentials June 4 and has sent them on to the National Register of Historic Places.

Garden District Neighborhood Alliance Chairwoman Barbara Donovan said the Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation board members who reviewed the neighborhood's application were impressed.

"It makes us very happy to know that the things we see every day haven't been taken for granted," Donovan said.

"In spite of all the negatives that go with owning an older home, we know that it's special."

The National Register of Historic Places requires that a historic building or area be at least 50 years old, have historical significance and have structural integrity or be in a condition to be renovated without losing historical character.

The area being considered for recognition is bounded roughly by McKinley Street, Seventh Street, Hudson Lane and Riverside Drive. Forsythe Park will also be included.

Historical research presented to the register's review board indicates that the neighborhood developed in stages, with the areas at the extreme southern end of the district and north of Forsythe Park being the first to undergo subdivision and settlement in the late 1800s to the early 1920s.
The homes included range from 1908, when the first major subdivision was created, to 1946, where the 50-year cutoff lies.

Donovan said the main appeal of the neighborhood is the variety of styles and ages of homes. Colonial revival, Georgian revival, bungalow and English cottage are the predominant styles identified.

Donovan hopes home and business owners will find new pride in their properties and be encouraged to make renovations and restorations.

She said register recognition would not impose any restrictions on modifications.

"I think you're going to see a whole new type of atmosphere that the historic district will bring about," she said.

Donovan said she is also interested in seeing other areas of Monroe receive historical recognition.
"There are many special places," she said. "I would love to see them try something in another area of town. You won't know where you're going if you can't look back and see where you've been."
If all goes well, the Garden District could be on the register by September.

Garden District residents will be able to find out more information about the status of the area's historical review at an ice cream social at 6 p.m. June 27 on the Georgia Tucker School grounds.
Residents are also encouraged to bring any historical information or old photos or renovations pictures they have on their homes with them.

For information, contact Hunt Neely at 325-5338 or Barbara Donovan at 322-3012.

A Window in Time: The Monroe Garden District
From the December 1996 issue of Preservation in Print

The Division of Historic Preservation is pleased to announce the recent addition of the Monroe Residential Historic District to the National Register of Historic Places. Known locally as the Garden District, the neighborhood has over 600 buildings on approximately 315 acres.

The district is located north of downtown Monroe and is embraced by the Ouachita River on its northern and western sides. Forsythe Park, a large and lushly planned public space in the district's northern sector, has provided recreational amenities to nearby residents since at least 1910. Development of the neighborhood itself began earlier, in 1891. A second part of growth occurred in 1908 and a third after the discovery of the nearby Monroe Oil and Gas Field in 1916.

The district is something of a window in time, allowing one a view of what an early twentieth century neighborhood was like. When driving the streets, one sees buildings in the Colonial/Georgian Revival, bungalow, English cottage, Spanish Mission and other styles.

A drive through the Monroe Garden District is well worth the time of any visitor to that North Louisiana city. For those who cannot make the trip, it is hoped that the photographs on this page will provide an enticing introduction to the architectural treasures to be found there.

The Division of Historic Preservation wishes to thank local resident Barbara Donovan for bringing the district to our attention and Planning and Zoning Director Ann Daigle for her assistance in researching the area.

Past Articles...

Frozen Fiesta 2007 photos
GDNA Fall Fest 2006, the neighborhood picnic was Saturday Oct. 13th at Forsythe Park.
Saturday, June 17, 2000 News-Star Editorial

City of Monroe - Historic District Map at DOTD per their website.
Bridge over troubled waters (Ouachita River) may be on horizon... Oct 10, 2001 News Star
2001 Dogs N' Doins'
See Perspective on Trash in the Sunday, August 19, 2001 News-Star.
Part Avenue Power plant quiet for the time being. March 2004 - The plant on Park Avenue finally had the expected unexpected incident everyone worried about... a fire that caught a transformer on fire and caused it to pop, alarming the neighbors and calling out the fire department. This closed down Park Avenue and scared the neighbors within ear shot of the plant which reached several blocks. See report on meeting at Neville 4/20/2004.
Visit Biedenharn's Elsong Gardens on the Web
Grow Monroe 2006
See the photos from the re-named Dogs n' Doins to the
2006 Garden District Fall Fest
Check out the festivities at the Frozen Fiest
a Social - August 2006 and watch for news of 2007.
aking the news... Group fights for neighborhood's rights July 26, 2006
We are in the news... Garden district blooms in style

lt is a great honor for a property to be listed in the prestigious National Register of Historic Places.
The Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation
has these listings by parish along with other information needed by historic property owners.

Other places to visit on the web:
Greater Belhaven Neighborhood Foundation
Louisiana Preservaion Alliance

Our own Washington, DC
Old Austin Historic District

Sam Houston Park

Atlanta Preservation Center
Woonsocket, RI Historic Neighborhoods
Preservation Dayton

St. Louis, Missouri Web Neighborhood

The Preservation Resource Center

Questions may be sent to: Garden District Neighborhood Alliance

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