Friday, August 15, 2014

Beyond the Bayou - August 2014

In a historic district are historic homes, many with interesting architectural elements, and some with interesting stories.  The attractive ranch style home at 3011 Madonna Drive on the corner of Hunter Street has both.

Description (from the National Register listing)
Built between 1951 and 1956. Brick veneer “rambler” ranch house with multiple low hip roofs and overhanging eaves. Located on a corner lot, the house rambles to the rear at a roughly 45 degree angle from the main block, ending in a carport set at a 90 degree angle. Other features include lacey iron posts at the porch; a three-part picture window; numerous horizontal pane window units, grouped in twos and threes; and what appears to be an original door. The door features various molded vertical panels.
(Note:  The house was significantly damaged by the Christmas Day tornado of 2012.  During the restoration, the carport was replaced by a garage.)

A story about the house
Versions of this story were told to me by both the home owner and a neighbor, each of whom were provided with information by former neighbors.  Considering the sources, I believe the story to be true.
I was told that the house was built for former three time Governor Earl K. Long who lived in it with his wife, Blanche.  He suffered a fatal heart attack in 1960 while in the Baptist Hospital (later Rapides General Hospital) in Alexandria.  Some artifacts from the Governor’s mansion (or some other building) in Baton Rouge were found in the attic after the present owner purchased the house in 1986. There is more to the story than I have shared; let that be “the rest of the story”.

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