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Community to decide how historic building will be restored

MONROE, La. - You've heard a lot lately about the Miller-Roy Building on DeSiard Street in Monroe.

The building took center stage in Fox 14's Bonnie Kaye's special report on Monroe's disappearing music history.

Bonnie got an update Tuesday, which leaves a lot of what happens next for the building up to the people who live here. 

Put on the National Registry of Historical Places in 2011, the Miller-Roy building still stands, but barely.

After the roof collapsed, the urgency increased to preserve the building before it's completely lost.

"It's just been left to fall apart, abandoned... all that remains are the original four walls. There's so much history there, so important to the community," says Lora Peppers.

On Tuesday, Fox 14 learned that Real Estate Attorney Ben Marshall has purchased the property.

While Marshall wasn't available to talk on-camera, when we stopped by the historic building, we were able to get talk with elated Brenda Roy, whose family's name is on the building.

They've been waiting to hear some good news like this for a long time.

"The Savoy Ballroom was on the 3rd floor, the second floor was for my grandfather, Dr. Roy, a dentist, and several other doctors had their businesses there. I'm just really excited it's going to be restored," says Brenda Roy.

Brenda used to spend time there as a little girl, visiting her grandfather, Dr. Roy and her famous uncle, Singer/Pianist, Ivory Joe Hunter at his office and recording studio on the second floor.

"He had over 5,000 songs he wrote, and they were recorded by Sonny James and Elvis Presley," says Roy.

It is unknown what Marshall's plans are, but according to our partners at The News-Star, he wants to reach out to the community to find out what they'd like to see happen to the building.

Brenda and her family hope that includes them too, as they certainly have a lot of ideas of what they'd like to see done with the property.

"The second floor would be great for a museum and the top floor could be used for special events even and have pictures of those who visited there," says Brenda Roy.

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