OWNER OF THE BERDON-CAMPBELL BUILDING SPEAKS

KPLC

We need to protect our downtown area! So many people want to tear everything down, then we WON’T have a downtown! A lot of times if the buildings don’t get torn down, they are renovated in such a way that they might as well torn it down! Around Lake Charles, they don’t understand the difference between “restore” and “remodel.” When restoring, you preserve and fix it up like it used to be, just in a better situation. Remodeling is what Lake Charles is stuck on, which is completely gutting out and rebuild from inside to outside, pretty much tearing down the structure without tearing it down. However, the owner of the Berdon-Campbell building is smarter than most!

 

 

A very familiar scene of birds flying on and off the Berdon-Campbell building. It sits right next door to what’s now known as Muller’s Lofts in downtown Lake Charles, La. Lori Marinovich, Director of Lakefront Downtown Development for City of Lake Charles, says “The Berdon-Campbell building is one of the very important historic national registered buildings in the downtown lakefront area”.

That explains why critics of the building will never see the building get torn down even though there are visible broken windows, graffiti and bird droppings around the building’s perimeter.

In the 1930s, the building was a furniture store.  However, in the 1940s, the building had some type of affiliation with the then Muller’s Department store.  Over time, there were various owners and today, it is owned by Timothy Vaughan.

“Sha Sha’s of Creole” restaurant on Ryan Street shares a parking lot with the Berdon-Campbell building.  Sha Sha’s (sha is pronounced like the first syllable in ‘shatter’) co-owner Sherry Styron says she had quite a few customers complain about the Berdon-Campbell’s overhang and bird droppings as restaurant patrons walk to her restaurant. However, she assures her customers that the downtown development is a work in progress. And just this past week, the building’s owner removed the overhang canopy due to severe damage from weather and birds.

When owner, Tim Vaughan is asked what is holding him up from doing more now, he says that he is trying to acquire the parking lot behind him from AT&T. But he says owners of that AT&T space haven’t been very responsive.

Vaughan has owned the building for the past 15 years.  He would like to turn Berdon-Campbell into a hotel.

And when this reporter asked if he had anything else to add for his critics, Vaughan’s answer was simple:

(Vaughan:) “It’s not finished. Wait.”

via Berdon-Campbell building, owner speaks – KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Let’s please “restore” our downtown area, not tear down or rebuild it!! Preserve the area’s history, what we have left of it anyway.

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