Mid-Century Architecture Included in NSU Historic District

Officials from Louisiana’s Division of Historic Preservation, administrators and local preservationists witnessed the presentation of an official listings certificate that designates portions of Northwestern State University included in the expanded Northwestern State University Historic District. From left are Kirk Cordell, executive director of the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training;  NSU President Dr. Randall J. Webb, Sharon Gahagan, chairman of the Historic District Commission, Dr. Patrick Widhalm, executive director of the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts, and project coordinator Tom Whitehead.

Officials from Louisiana’s Division of Historic Preservation, administrators and local preservationists witnessed the presentation of an official listings certificate that designates portions of Northwestern State University included in the expanded Northwestern State University Historic District. From left are Kirk Cordell, executive director of the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training; NSU President Dr. Randall J. Webb, Sharon Gahagan, chairman of the Historic District Commission, Dr. Patrick Widhalm, executive director of the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts, and project coordinator Tom Whitehead.

NATCHITOCHES – Mid-century architecture on Northwestern State University’s campus is now included in a new Northwestern State University Historic District. A presentation was held Monday in the gymnasium of the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts to announce the expansion, which includes the original Normal Hill Historic District with the inclusion of structures built between 1884 and 1955.

Jessica Richardson, National Register coordinator for Louisiana’s Division of Historic Preservation, presented an official listings certificate to Northwestern State University President Dr. Randall J. Webb that recognizes the expanded Northwestern State University Historic District.  Portions of the campus included in the District are the original Normal Hill, as well as structures built between 1884 and 1955 recognized by the National Register of Historic Places, as determined by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the National Park Service.

Jessica Richardson, National Register coordinator for Louisiana’s Division of Historic Preservation, presented an official listings certificate to Northwestern State University President Dr. Randall J. Webb that recognizes the expanded Northwestern State University Historic District. Portions of the campus included in the District are the original Normal Hill, as well as structures built between 1884 and 1955 recognized by the National Register of Historic Places, as determined by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the National Park Service.

The original Normal Hill Historic District, which contains the oldest portion of the university’s campus, is set around the three monumental Greek Revival columns that survive the original Bullard mansion. The new district includes Warren Easton Hall (1928), Russell Hall (1937), the Alumni Center, (1927), the Lee H. Nelson Hall (Women’s Gymnasium) (1923), Varnado Hall (1939), the Infirmary (1920), LSMSA gym (1929), LSMSA’s main building (1938), LSMSA Music and Arts building (1938), Morrison Hall (1950), Fournet Hall (1950), Family and Consumer Sciences Building (1950), Nesom Natatorium (1939), A. A. Fredericks Fine Arts Center (1940), Caspari Hall (1939), Trisler Power Plant (1939), Print Shop (1955), the Columns (1832), Northwestern State College gate (1944), NSU entry gates (1910), Normal Hill Quad (1913) and the Fournet/Morrison/FACS quad (1950).

The Northwestern State University Historic District includes examples of Beaux Arts, Colonial Revival, Tudor Revival, Jacobean and Collegiate Gothic architectural styles of the late 19th century as well as Early 20th Century American, Commercial Style, Modern, Campus Modern and Art Deco of the 20th century. The properties included are associated with events that made significant contribution to the history of the university.

The LSMSA gym, which was built by Louisiana State Normal, later used by Natchitoches High School and is currently used by LSMSA, was selected because of historic interest: a recessed section above the gym’s main door is the only place on campus the designation “Louisiana State Normal College” still appears.

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