Monday, January 28, 2013

The Center of Roseland Terrace

Initially, ca. 1910-1911, the surveying and infrastructure (water and gas mains) of Roseland Terrace were underway, and only two streets (others came later) were planned double width for a planted median dividing traffic.  Even in the one oldest photo you can make out where the medians would be.  Those streets are Cherokee, named for the Cherokee roses that already grew there (see the History in the web site provided in the Introduction Post) and Park Blvid., then called Goldenrod: all the Roseland Terrace streets are named for flowers.
As you can see, nothing else was built when the Reiley-Reeves house was nearing completion.  I put it first to illustrate that fact and because it also illustrates the alterations, minimal compared with those in many towns, that the house has undergone and its radical difference from Zadok Realty's  subdivision that, after WW I, would develop so quickly.

810 Park Blvd. at Cherokee.  The Reiley-Reeves House.

The first image is a view comparable with the old photo, the second shows the almost amateurish attachment of the roof over the arcaded porch (I wonder how the main roof was drained without it), and the third shows Cherokee Street, west to S 18th Street, should anyone doubt that Roseland Terrace really does extend beyond Park.
This is a great old house, but I wouldn't call it "Queen Anne" just for having that turret!  It is ambitious and very well built (it no longer has merely a blue tarpaulin over its roof, as like so many houses after hurricane Gustave it had to have).  It had an architect to design it to the owner's wishes, but it is not so much "untutored" as independent.  Mr. Reiley wanted a town house, and he got what he wanted.  It did have a "widow's walk" top center, and its octagonal turret is no mere ornament but provides octagonal rooms on each storey.  So far I have not ventured to ask to see the interior; it is, after all, a private house.  But the intersection of Cherokee and Park really is the center of the subdivision; remember that this was before LSU moved south and before traffic made Park Blvd. seem as divisive as it is now.
Additional photos can be seen in the second Album, among the images taken on 18 and 23 January.
This first house really has nothing to do with the character of Roseland Terrace as a whole, so I have presented it by itself.  Besides, there is still a great deal I need to learn about it.

I wish to thank my friend jbk, who knows Baton Rouge well, for all his help with the Reiley house in particular.