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Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023

The Doll House

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H. F. Doll House at 528 Fannin, 1970

“New” State Office Building, the former Joe D. Waggoner Building, on the site of notable mansion

Twin Blends History Hunters

Most people know that the old Joe D. Waggoner Federal Building, located at 500 Fannin St. in downtown Shreveport, is being deconstructed and rebuilt into the new State Office Building. We are so glad! Since that building is in the news, we thought we would show pictures of the original building being built and pictures of the beautiful home that sat on that spot before that: The H. F. Doll House. We found these photos at the Northwest Louisiana Archives at LSUS, and thanks to them, we can take a sneak peek back in time to the past. Hang on to something because it’s a fascinating journey!

H.F. Doll House: In 1888, Shreveport grocer Howard Frederick Doll built one of the most impressive Shreveport Victorian mansions at the corner of Fannin and McNeil streets. Howard F. Doll and his wife, Josephine, were also members of the Holy Trinity Catholic Church building committee for the church’s construction as it now stands on Marshall Street.

superimposed over the Joe D. Waggoner Federal Building

Ludeweka Bercher Doll (Pete Paul Collection)

The Doll House in 1909

At the turn of the century, they were one of the wealthiest families in Shreveport. (According to one of our followers, Pete Paul, the altar at Holy Trinity was made in Italy and was imported by his great-great-grandmother. She also had many of the stained glass windows made that are in the church). Barbara Regenstein sent us the blueprints of the Doll House as well as the Christmas dinner photo from 1930. Her parents and grandparents are in the picture. Her grandfather was H.F. and Josephine Doll’s grandson. The Doll House was demolished in 1971 to make way for the former Joe D. Waggoner Federal Building. Charlotte Herron Weidner, who worked downtown in the late ’60s and early ’70s when the house was still standing, said she would sit on the steps, eat lunch and peer in the windows. She said it was beautiful! (Photos courtesy Northwest Louisiana Archives at LSUS, colorization by Twin Blends Photography LLC, dinner group picture courtesy Barbara Regenstein) Twin Blends: Northwest Louisiana History Hunters.

See the Shreveport DDA’s story here https://downtownshreveport.com/state-building/

Contact Twin Blends at mikermangham@gmail.com. These guys work super hard to bring these images and stories to the community. Please consider contributions through their Patreon account or message them to get their Venmo or PayPal info.

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