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Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017

WOMAN’S DEPARTMENT CLUB

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Restoration efforts and garden to mark 100 years

A centennial fund-raising campaign that will pave the way to the Woman’s Department Club of Shreveport’s 100- year anniversary has barely kicked off, but efforts have already begun to restore the exterior of the building on the corner of Margaret Place and Line Avenue to its original beauty using money being raised by the sale of commemorative bricks.

“About three weeks ago they started on the west side with some of the funds we’ve already collected from the sale of bricks, and they have already begun painting and doing window repair,” said Maggie Malone, WDC board member and treasurer. “It’s coming along very well. Once that side is finished, they will move to the front, then the Line Avenue side and finish on the back.”

It’s all in preparation for building of the garden, which will begin in spring of 2018, with the aid of a landscaper who has a background in restoration in the Highland area. That person will oversee the construction of the garden, Malone said.

Restoration includes the entire exterior of the building, which has been the home of the Woman’s Department Club since 1925. There has never been a debt nor a mortgage on the building.

“She’s a grand old lady,” Malone said.

“She doesn’t really need a facelift, as much as a facial.”

While the building is brick, the columns and trim are wood, some of which need replacing – some only scraping, repairing and painting.

“All the restoration work will be done in phases, so we can continue to have events there,” Malone said. “Then we can begin work on the ground.”

The size of the garden will depend on the number of bricks sold; however, there is no limit to that number and, of course, the more the merrier, according to club members.

Commemorative bricks are $100 each, which includes one to three lines of engraving and up to 20 spaces. They will be red 4-by-8-inch concrete with or without clip art.

“The garden is not totally designed, so we have some leeway,” Malone said. “We would like to sell 500 for a nice garden, but if we could sell 1,000 bricks, we would have plenty of money for the restoration of the exterior of the building plus a little nest egg for anything that might come up in the future.”

Bricks are being sold now through 2019, when the club will celebrate its centennial anniversary.

The Woman’s Department Club operates under a separate budget that is funded by membership dues; property rentals for events such as brunches, luncheons, fashion shows and receptions; and fund-raisers.

The Woman’s Department Club is always looking for opportunities to partner with the community for events that will benefit both parties involved.

Shirley Kelley is the Woman’s Department Club manager; Roxanne Bosser man is president. The Centennial Fundraising Campaign is chaired by Sandra Harrold and Barbara Zerrahn. For more information, call 222-4186 or e-mail thewomansdepartmentclub@gmail.com. Tours are available by appointment.

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