Growing up, I spent a lot of time in the historic district in downtown Lake Charles. My father’s business was located downtown in a three story historic building on the corner of Broad and Bank streets that had a basement where my brother and I would play hide and seek. I have yet to find another home in Louisiana that has a basement.
I loved the house’s wavy window panes that overlooked Broad Street as well as running up and down the two staircases it had. Seeing the giant claw foot bathtub and bidet in the master suite always made me feel like I was in a movie.
My dad would tell me stories about the original home owners and I think that is what started my fascination with the Charpentier Historic District.
Over the past few months, we have developed a free Lake Charles Historic Tour App. It gives visitors a guided experience through the 40-block area listed on the National Register of Historic Places. You can choose a 30-minute tour, one-hour tour or Eerie Calcasieu ghost tour.
Personally, I’m still pretty leery of the ghost tour. Some crazy things have happened in southwest Louisiana through the years. But there are some great stories shown in the app’s video.
There are also videos about the Great Fire of 1910, Lake Charles architecture and the history of Lake Charles. For the tour, you’ll get turn-by-turn directions through the Charpentier Historic District that showcases a unique Lake Charles style. In this area you can see odd numbers of columns or strange window placements. Charpentier is French for carpenter, and the area’s carpenters designed as they built. We don’t have too many rules here in Louisiana.
The app promotes social network sharing and even allows the user to create a post card from the district. Download the app in your app store by searching for Lake Charles Historic Tour. Learn more about the Charpentier Historic District here.