Historic City Hall sets reopening date for June

Updated: Apr. 15, 2021 at 8:10 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - With many buildings in the city still under repair, one of Lake Charles’s icons, the 1911 Historic City Hall is set to reopen in June.

After three separate bids due to contractor delays, Mayor Nic Hunter says work will finally begin soon.

“The interior work. We have accepted that bid, and that work will be beginning soon. We expect the building to reopen in June - of this year. So, that’s a good thing.”

At the forefront of downtown, the building has been a priority for the city. The mayor calling the now-converted gallery invaluable.

“The architecture of this building and the historic courthouse across the street helps to give us a unique character. A sense of place here in Lake Charles. So, absolutely the city is committed to reinvesting in this asset.”

Director of Cultural Affairs for the city, Matt Young, says the city’s investment will be evident when doors reopen in June.

“The greatest cities in America, they place a high focus and concentration on quality of life and arts and culture. So, that is doing this for us. It’s booking work-class traveling exhibitions so that if you never even live outside of Lake Charles, you’re able to see those and view those here in this building.”

With repairs to all three floors and relocation of the entrance, he says the building will be designed with the arts in mind.

“The optimistic thing about that is that we are getting this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to really put our buildings back together, better. And we’re using vision, and purpose, and efficiency in mind.”

Two exhibits are planned for June 11 - a traveling Smithsonian exhibit, titled “A New Moon Rises.” And there will be one in the Black Heritage Gallery titled “Intimate Portraits,” featuring photographs done by Peter Souza who was the Official White House photographer for President Reagan and President Obama.

The city has yet to accept a bid for the exterior of Historic City Hall.

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