Alexandria Retrospective

The hometown has evolved over the years ... most landmarks remain unchanged, many have weathered over time and some have been lost.

Included here are a few fading memories of drives around Alexandria, seen in these photographs taken between the years 2000 and 2003.

Random Downtown Scenes

Covered-up trolley tracks, downtown Alexandria, still visible in 2000
Trolley tracks, downtown Alexandria
Third Street, Alexandria, looking toward the City Hall and Hotel Bentley, circa 2003
Third Street, Alexandria, circa 2003
Old Rapides Bank building, Main Street at Murray, Alexandria
Old Rapides Bank building, Main Street, Alexandria
Commercial Building, downtown, Alexandria
Commercial Building, downtown, Alexandria

A showcase of not only jewelry but also significant architectural style, the C. A. Schnack Jewlery Company building remains today on Third Street. Schnacks was founded in 1865. The building on Third Street was built in 1931, and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 30, 2000. It features a combination of Classical Revival, Italian Renaissance, and Art Deco design. The stylish interior and bright showcases brought amazement to the young couple buying wedding rings there in 1969!

Since this photo was taken in the year 2000, the building has been occupied and renovated as the Diamond Grill, and is the recipient of the 2006 Louisiana Preservation Honor Award.

Commercial Building, downtown, Alexandria
One Hour Cleaners, downtown Alexandria
One Hour Cleaners, downtown Alexandria
Red River Candy Company, downtown Alexandria, at the corner of 8th Street and Washington Street
Red River Candy Company, downtown Alexandria
Harry's Body Shop, downtown Alexandria
Harry's Body Shop, downtown Alexandria
Old Alexandria Library, 503 Washington Street ... now the home of the Louisiana History Museum and the Alexandria Genealogical Library
Old Alexandria Library
Weiss & Goldring department store water tower, downtown Alexandria, seen from the corner of 4th Street and Jackson Street
Weiss & Goldring department store water tower, downtown Alexandria

 

Along Bolton Avenue

Former A&P grocery store, corner of Bolton Avenue and Marye Streets, Alexandria
Former A&P grocery store, Bolton Avenue, Alexandria

The Don Theater was located at 710 Bolton Avenue between Jackson Street and Marye Street. Closed for many years, it has slipped into a state of disrepair. To the right of the Don was the A&P Food Store, and to the left Morgan & Lindsey.

Don Theater, Bolton Avenue
Piggy Wiggly grocery store, Bolton Avenue. The store featured the latest retail innovations, like a conveyer belt that took your groceries from the check-out register to the covered pick-up area seen below.
Piggy Wiggly grocery store, Bolton Avenue
Firestone Tire & Rubber Company, Bolton Avenue, across from the A&P grocery. Abandoned when this picture was taken in 1999, it has since been demolished, its 1950 style architecture now a faded memory.
Firestone Tire & Rubber Company, Bolton Avenue
A former Gulf Oil Service Station, at the corner of Bolton Avenue and Polk Street ... Electric Motor Service Co. occupied the building in 2000
Gulf Oil Service Station, Bolton Avenue
Bert's Garage, North Bolton Avenue, with "Prepare Now for Y2K" sign
Bert's Garage, North Bolton Avenue, with "Prepare Now for Y2K" sign
Borden's Ice Cream, Bolton Avenue, Alexandria. Its neighbors back in the old days included several well-known Alexandria family institutions such as Joseph Wallpaper and Paint, Petrus Feed Store, and Gravel's Drug Store.  It was a used car lot in 2003 when this photo was taken.
Borden's Ice Cream, Bolton Avenue, Alexandria
Pontiac automobile dealership
Pontiac automobile dealership
Goodwill Pontiac sign ... still visible, in the year 2003
Goodwill Pontiac sign

 

Down Lee Street and into the Suburbs

John Ward Hardware, Lee Street, Alexandria
John Ward Hardware, Lee Street, Alexandria
Hokus Pokus Liquor, 2130 Lee Street, Alexandria, Louisiana
Hokus Pokus Liquor, Lee Street, Alexandria, Louisiana
The "Flying Ghost" neon sign at Hokus Pokus Liquor on Lee Street in Alexandria
Hokus Pokus Liquor, Lee Street, Alexandria, Louisiana
Abe's Pawn Shop, 2134 Lee Street, Alexandria, Louisiana
One Hour Cleaners, downtown Alexandria
Fading brick wall, Lee Street in Alexandria near the old Nehi Bottling plant ... the writing on the wall reads "Thomas Camella Hardware"
Fading brick wall, Lee Street, Alexandria

Any city is made up of neighborhoods, small identifiable areas, or comfort zones, for its residents. In this photo taken in 2000, the sign reads "Super 7 Foods", a business on Monroe Street close to Rosenthal Elemenary School. This building has housed a neighborhood grocery and butcher, Palace Grocery and Drugs, for decades. In the 1950s, they had a red Chevrolet panel truck used for delivery to their customers in the neighborhood, to Chester, Olive, Webster, Levin ... and Alma Streets.

Palace Grocery was owned an operated by Sonny Distefano and his wife Nettie.

Fading brick wall, Lee Street, Alexandria
Fire Station Number 4 near City Park, at the corner of Lee and Masonic Drive. The building has been refreshed and renovated since this photo was taken in 2000.
Fire Station Number 4
Noah's Potato Chip Company on Lee Street (May 2003)
Noah's Potato Chip Company
Suburban Garden, 3322 Jackson Street, Alexandria, Louisiana (2003)
Suburban Garden, Jackson Street, Alexandria, Louisiana

L.S. Rugg Elementary School was opened in 1940, and was originally known as Bush Avenue Grammar School. In 1953 the school's name was changed to L.S. Rugg Elementary in honor of Mr. Luzon Strausbury Rugg who was principal from 1943-1949.

The school remains a well known landmark in Alexandria, at 1319 Bush Avenue. This photo was taken in 2003.

Rugg Elementary School, Alexandria
Illuminated stop sign at the end of Chester Street, at Vance Street, in front of Bolton High School
Stop sign at the end of Chester Street at Bolton High School, Alexandria