Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Visit to Shreveport, LA, Part 3: Old US Highway 80

As a photographer, one of my favorite areas to visit in Shreveport, Louisiana, is a portion of old US Highway 80, which winds its way through the heart of downtown Shreveport.

You can click on the pictures to enlarge them, if you'd like.

Before Interstate 20 was built, this part of Highway 80, which is also called Texas Avenue in Shreveport, was a thriving thoroughfare, with prosperous businesses lining its sidewalks. Sadly, all that is left of those businesses today is a row of mostly abandoned buildings.

But if you look past the faded signs and broken windows, you can see remnants of what they might have been in their heyday, before weather and hard times took their toll on them.

Look UP, and you see arched windows trimmed with keystones, and brick columns with decorative stone capitals ...

Look UP, and you see ornate wood trim with dentil molding above arched windows with what appears to be leaded glass panes.

Look UP, and you will see old signs like this one for the Texas Avenue Branch of the First National Bank ...

The bank building reminds me of an old theater, which it may have been before it became the bank.

Often during a photo shoot, I have discovered that some of the best pictures are behind me, and that was true of an old building which was across the street from the bank building.

As I was backing up into the shade while shooting the bank, I noticed this sign above my head ...

Nice, isn't it! But even better was the building it was attached to (or, "to which it was attached," if you prefer).

Isn't that a neat building! I would love to have seen the original arched door.

I was pleased to see that a few buildings have been restored and are being used, so perhaps there is hope that the area will eventually be revitalized.

And speaking of being "restored" — next to the "triangle building," was this old car lot ...

I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I think these two old Studebakers are beautiful ...

I can just imagine them restored to their former glory ...

Here are some more scenes I captured within just a few blocks along Texas Avenue:

I'm not sure what the significance of this rooster is. He was next to a bus stop, so perhaps he was just waiting for the bus. I wish I had included the bus stop sign in the picture!

Even though they are sad to see, I love to photograph the brick shells of old buildings. They have so much character, and always make me want to know their stories.

And last, but certainly not least — for some reason, I thought this sign was worthy of capturing ...

I would love to go back to Shreveport sometime when I have more time (and it's not so HOT!), and capture even more of this stretch of old US Highway 80. I had to leave a lot of good pictures there.

In my next post, I will share some pictures I took just a couple of blocks away from Texas Avenue, where the architecture was on a much grander scale.

I hope you will join me.


racheld said...

Picturesque and Picture-worthy, each and every one. I'm so full of stories and what-ifs by the time I reach the third-one-down, I can't remember it all, nor keep track of what tale went with which.

I just LOVE these, and I DO think that someone is living on the ground floor beneath those empty-eyed windows filled with trees and sky---who knows---perhaps they gaze straight up at the moon from their bed.

The old flat-irons amaze and delight me, and I always think it's because of the pie-wedge of real estate they were dealt.

Magnolia Blues said...

I've only driven through but haven't had the opportunity to stop and venture out. Perhaps now that I've seen your gorgeous pictures I'll have to do that the next time we travel that way. Those vintage cars are fabulous. Wish I had a place in my garage to have one restored.