Cooley House to host Walking Tour

On Saturday, October 29, The Cooley House Foundation will present a walking tour ofHistoricForsytheParkand areas of the Garden District led by architect F. Lestar Martin.  The tour will start at 10:00 a.m., meeting in theForsytheParkparking lot at 9:45 a.m. Tickets are $25, and space is limited.  Tickets can be purchased by contacting the Cooley House office at the Masur Museum of Art, (318) 329-2237 or evelyn.stewart@ci.monroe.la.us.

Forsythe Park is located just north of the Garden District off ofForsythe Avenue. Louis Alexander Breard, a former French naval officer, entered into a contract with the Marquis de Maison Rouge, a colonizer for the Spanish governor, to procure settlers for the area in return for a land grant. In 1799 he commenced to develop the land surrounding the presentForsythePark and the area later known as the Garden District. The tour will cover the locations of historical sites such as the saltwater natatorium and race track/stadium, as well as structures that have endured, such as The American Legion Hall and the Murray Hudson home. The group will walk short distances inForsythePark and alongForsythe Avenue andSpeed Avenue. There will be a special stop at a Garden District home for Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s as well.

F. Lestar Martin is a practicing architect and retired Professor of Architecture atLouisianaTechUniversity.  He received a Bachelor of Architecture degree fromTulaneUniversity and a Masters of Environmental Design degree from the University of Liverpool, England.  He serves on the Louisiana National Review Committee, the board of the Cooley House Foundation, and is a former member of the Board of Louisiana Trust.

 The Cooley House Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to the restoration and preservation of the Cooley House, located at1011 South Grand Street. The Cooley House was designed and built for entrepreneur G.B. Cooley ofMonroe by internationally acclaimed architect Walter Burley Griffin. The home isGriffin’s last structure to be completed in theUnited States, and it is among the last surviving examples ofPrairieSchool residential architecture in the South. The structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places at a level of state importance in 1986 and a level of national importance in 2010. In 2006 it was added to the list of Top 10 Most Endangered Sites by the Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation. The Cooley House Foundation is working to restore the home and open it to the public as a historic home and museum. Proceeds from this tour will benefit restoration efforts.

Sponsored by the Cooley House Foundation

Proceeds to benefit the restoration of the Cooley House. Tickets can be purchased by contacting the Cooley House office at the Masur Museum of Art, (318) 329-2237 or evelyn.stewart@ci.monroe.la.us.

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