PRESERVING HISTORY: Historic makeover underway at The Cooley House

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MONROE, LA (01/22/20)– Monroe is home to The Cooley House, a historic landmark for its architecture and history.

“This style is rare for the south to have. The cooley’s house is on the Registry for Historic Places at a level of national importance,” said Brian Davis, Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation.

The Cooley House was built by world-renowned architect, Walter Griffin, in 1926. This was the last prairie schoolhouse built in the United States and in the south. Now, the Cooley House is getting a historic interior makeover thanks to a $10,000 grant.

“[we are]Keeping as much original material as possible. Where things do need to be replaced, we are replacing them in kind with like materials and patterns,” said Davis.

The grant will cover a new electrical system, historic light fixtures, replacing the cork flooring, and a historic paint study.

“In this style of house, this would not have been the original paint scheme. What we are doing right now is looking at what the original scheme might have been by cutting back the layers and taking samples,” said Catherine Cooper, National Center for Preservation Technology and Training.


Cooper says the mystery underneath the white paint is greens, golds, bronzes, and accent colors.

“As you can see from these two sample windows that I cut earlier today, they were actually different colors. Once we know what that color is, we can try and figure out what modern colors comes closes to that,” said Cooper.


While The Cooley House is filled with history, it will take restoring one detail at a time to add its flavor back. The Cooley House Foundation is asking for the city to put a preservation easement to protect the property in the future. In addition, The Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation is taking nominations for the 2020 most endangered list through March 8th.

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