Before and After: Downtown Shreveport’s Arts District Transformation

There’s no doubt that downtown Shreveport has a long way to go before becoming a booming, bustling area of town once again, but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been some jaw-dropping transformations. Here we will show you some before and after pictures of the redevelopment of West Edge Arts District.

When change happens slowly, it’s often hard to recognize, so we’ve found some photos with the help of Google Street View to show you just how far this part of downtown has come. We have selected several iconic buildings on the 600 and 700 block of Texas Street, now home to over a dozen consumer-facing businesses and organizations, up from zero in 2004.

Use the sliders to show before and after:

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Robinson Film Center and On Time Fashions

Located at 617 and 621 Texas Street respectively. Interestingly, the building On Time Fashions used to be the JOY movie theater which operated from the 40s until the 70s.

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Feibleman’s Building (aka Sears), Now Lofts at 624

Located at 624 Texas Street. We wrote up the reconstruction of the Feibleman’s building. Read it here.

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Artspace and Kevin Bryan Architect

Located at 708 Texas Street, artspace was once home to Montgomery Ward department store.

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Allen Building, Now SUSLA Campus Extention

600 Texas Street. This building will house an expansion of the SUSLA nursing school when it opens later this year.

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Shreveport Municipal Auditorium

705 Grand Avenue. Renovated between 2013 and 2014 as a part of a bond issue, the historic municipal gained several upgrades, including ADA-compliant seating, rewiring of the building, reseal and replace all windows, air conditioning in the lobbies, installation of new HVAC systems and controls, and refurbishing of dressing rooms.

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Central Fire Station, Now Central Art Station

801 Crockett Street. Renovated between 2010 and 2012 after Shreveport Regional Arts Council lost its original building to arson.

So, you see, time can heal wounds – if the development strategy and the “built environment” (read more about built environment) is ready for it. It takes effort and determination, but we could accelerate this with more people living downtown and more businesses coming downtown. Early in 2018, new restaurants and businesses will join the ranks of Shreveport’s most diverse and locally-driven cultural and business district in town.