Designed by Cora Miller, The Calanthean Temple stands out as one of Shreveport's most iconic buildings for the area's African-American population.
"She actually had that structure built in the early 1920s and at one point in time, that was the largest structure in the United States having been designed by and built by an African American," says Craig Lee.
The long-quiet structure was headquarters for the Court of Calanthe, an early African-American woman's organization.The roof top gardens played host to Count Basie, Jelly Roll Morton, and other jazz greats.
It is no coincidence the temple is situated in the smallest of Shreveport's five designated historical areas. The Texas Avenue Historical District was once bustling with black-owned businesses.
Like so many of the Shreveport-Bossier's historic buildings- without upkeep or a new purpose- these buildings are likely to disappear into history.
"There are a lot of other significant ones like the Lakeside Music Hall in Lakeside that were torn down and a lot of those ones because you don't have people who really understand the significance of historic sites," Lee says.
"Revitalization is the buzz word now, but for a reason," says Downtown Development Authority's Liz Swaine. "Because so few places have historic buildings and we have a tremendous number."
Hidden behind overgrown grass and boarded up windows sits the CC Antoine House.Once home to a former Louisiana state senator, lieutenant governor and Union Army captain, black community leaders say this local landmark is most at risk of fading away for ever. Without a half a million dollars in renovations, this could be a part of history books rather than a standing historical structure.
Residents can help keep up the CC Antoine house from 9-12AM Sunday, Feb. 24. Organizers are holding a clean up event as part of the 5th Annual CC Antoine Black History Celebration.