BATON ROUGE, La (Press Release) - Update: December 3, 2015 at 3:30pm:
The Oak Grove Community House (Legion Hut) and City Park received a unanimous vote from the Louisiana National Registry of Historic Places Review Committee at its bi-annual meeting Thursday at the Louisiana State Capital Welcome Centre in Baton Rouge, La.
Oak Grove Town Councilman Noel Haynes and members of the General William Carroll Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution presented the town’s application to the board. The DAR also prepared the nomination for the town.
“This is huge for our community,” Oak Grove Mayor Adam Holland said. “Being listed on the National Registry of Historic Places brings with it much prestige for your community and is also a tourism boost as many people travel the nation visiting places that are on the list. Councilman Haynes and the DAR are truly owed a debt of gratitude for all of their hard work in preparing this application and making the presentation to the board today.” Mayor Holland was also in attendance at today’s meeting.
The primary focus of the nomination is the Legion Hut which is an original log structure that was built as part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal Civilian Conservation Corps in 1932-33. The CCC was a precursor to the better known Works Progress Administration.
The Oak Grove Community House and City Park are the second facilities in the Town of Oak Grove to be included on this prestigious list. The Fiske Theatre was the first receiving its nomination in 2014 for its architectural and cultural contributions to the community. Prior to taking office Mayor Holland encouraged the previous council to begin the process of having the Legion Hut listed, Councilman Haynes then took charge of the project and worked with the DAR to make it happen.
Other structures in Oak Grove that potentially qualify for the registry include the Parish Courthouse, The Missouri Pacific Depot (Johnny’s Pizza), Oak Grove High School’s Old Gym, along with other private residences.
After receiving the nomination from the state’s review committee today the nomination will be forwarded on to Washington D.C. where the National Review Committee will make a final recommendation. A final decision is expected early in 2016.
Original Story: November 2, 2015 at 2:50pm:
The Town of Oak Grove was notified by the Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne’s office that the Louisiana State Historic Registry Review Committee will conduct a hearing on the Oak Grove Community House (American Legion Hut) and City Park’s inclusion to the National Register of Historic Places on December 3, 2015 at 1:30 p.m. at the Capitol Park Welcome Centre in Baton Rouge, La.
“Much gratitude is owed to Councilman Noel Haynes and the General William Carroll Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution for their dedication to historic preservation and their efforts to get one of our town’s treasures on this very prestigious list.” Oak Grove Mayor Adam T. Holland said. “Being included on the National Registry of Historic Places is an honor for the community and a testament to the dedication of our citizens for preserving such unique places as this for our posterity.”
The Oak Grove Community House, commonly known as the American Legion Hut, is a log cabin located in the Oak Grove City Park that was completed in February 1934 during the Great Depression as part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Civilian Works Administration which was the precursor to the Works Progress Administration. Legend has it that the logs used in its construction were harvested from the park.
Other things included in the CWA project was the construction of the original tennis court and roadways in the park.
The park property was donated to the town by Arden Jess Smith Sr. and the Bank of Oak Grove.
If the application is approved for nomination it will be forwarded the National Review Board where a final determination on its inclusion will be made.
The American Legion Hut will be the second building in the Town of Oak Grove listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. The Fiske Theatre was listed in the spring of 2014.