Historic 1880’s Lake Charles Louisiana Churches Tell a Story
Lake Charles Louisiana has its share of beautiful historic homes, many of which are located in the Charpentier District or Downtown Lake Charles. However there are many Churches in Downtown Lake Charles, Louisiana which are also historical landmarks of Lake Charles. The architecture of each building tells a story of the eras gone by. Several of these buildings from the 1880’s and 1900’s are: First Methodist Church, Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Temple Sinai and First Presbyterian Church.
One of my favorites which is near and dear to my heart, is First Presbyterian Church located at 1801 2nd Avenue in the Oak Park neighborhood of Lake Charles.
First Presbyterian Church of Lake Charles was organized in 1888 and in 1890 a small frame church was built on the NE corner of Hodges and Mill. In 1900 the small frame church was moved to the corner of Broad and Ford Street where the church bought property. Construction on a new “brick” church began in 1917.
The Lake Charles Hurricane of 1918 destroyed the original frame church and all that was left was the church “Bell”. In 1918 the new $37,000 brick Presbyterian Church opened for services.
The 1890 church bell now resides in a gazebo at the current church location on 2nd Avenue in Lake Charles and its a favorite spot for wedding pictures!
The 1950’s were a time of great expansion within the City of Lake Charles and churches in the Lake area. In 1950 First Presbyterian Church broke ground for a new church at 1801 2nd Avenue. The church was completed in 1951 and stands in its current location today.
The church has many architectural features. It’s beautiful stained glass “Rose Window” is a central focal point inside the sanctuary. The Rose Window was designed by Mr. George Payne and depicts the 8 Beatitudes. The window was given in memory of Mr. Charles Fay who was a elder in the church during the 1930’s-1940’s by his wife.
In 1963 an Austin Pipe Organ and Maryland Bells were added at a total cost of $57,000! When played the pipe organ echos throughout the church with beautiful musical tones. Perhaps the grandest sound of all is when a wedding march is played on this organ!
Many prominent citizens of Lake Charles have been involved with the church throughout the years and these families lived in some of the grand Pujo Street homes in Lake Charles which are now noted on the historical registry of Lake Charles. Among those was the Knapp family. Dr. Knapp moved to Lake Charles in 1886 and his Pujo Street home was called “Three Pines” It is also interesting to note that the church manse was completed in 1901 and was a carriage house at 905 Pujo Street!
This has been a highlight of the history and building of First Presbyterian Church in Lake Charles. As a bonus you get a glimpse of a vintage me, Marilyn Boudreaux, circa 1988 dressed in 1880’s attire for the 1988 Centennial celebration at First Presbyterian Church! WOW
Do you love old homes and historical real estate? Connect with me, MARILYN BOUDREAUX 337 499 9592 to receive listings in the Charpentier, and Garden Districts of downtown historic Lake Charles! I would love to take you on a tour of our city!