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N. S. Allen

LIFE

         Nathaniel Sykes Allen was born in Ellicott City, Maryland on August 7, 1829; his father was William Allen.  He went to Marshall, Texas at the age of thirty and became a successful architect. He enlisted in the Confederate Army and served for four years, emerging uninjured. He rose to the rank of major and commanded the Texas 14th Infantry by the end of the war. In 1870 Allen moved his family to Shreveport.  He was an enthusiastic musician and organized a band, which disbanded with the outbreak of the 1873 yellow fever epidemic. Allen and his family were some of those that fled the city, and when they returned, he reorganized his band. He had enough men to form a six to eight piece orchestra for the Tally Opera House.  He gave up practice in 1913. He contracted pneumonia in July of 1921 and suffered with it until his death on July 6, 1922. He was buried in Forest Park Cemetery after services by Rev. Dr. Jasper K. Smith, pastor of First Presbyterian Church.  
 

CONSTRUCTIONS

         He constructed over 300 structures in the area between 1829 and 1922, but nearly all of them have been torn down. Five buildings known to have been built by Allen still remain:
 

Slattery House
2401 Fairfield Avenue

         The Slattery House has been determined to be a design of N. S. Allen, who was paid $35 for designing the blueprints. The Garrison Brothers built this home in 1903 for John Bernard Slattery with designs from local architect, N. S. Allen. This is one of only five known Allen-designed structures remaining in the city. In 1924 at the age of eighty, John Slattery built the city’s first skyscraper as a testimony of his belief that Shreveport would have a great future. The structure still stands at 509 Marshall Street. 
 

Line Avenue School
1800 Line Avenue

         In about 1890 Shreveport gave money to build the first free school in the city. A little red schoolhouse was built at the corner of Elizabeth and Olive Streets. (Later Professor C. E. Byrd bought it and renovated it as his home.) The Line Avenue School, originally known as the Texarkana Annex School, replaced this schoolhouse when N. S. Allen built it in 1905 for $20,000. The red brick structure is done on the Richardson Romanesque style, which was named for H. H. Richardson of Louisiana. There are four classrooms per floor with a central hexagonal space. Later on a basement was added, and buildings for the cafeteria, auditorium, and additional classrooms were constructed. Line Avenue operated until 1964. The building was slated for demolition in the summer of 1979, but Northwestern State University bought it in March of that year for use as part of their nursing department. 


Antioch Baptist Church
1057 Texas Avenue

         N. S. Allen built this church in the Romanesque Revival style with red brick trimmed in white. The church features a fan-shaped seating area with the altar along the long wall. A semi-circular balcony faces the apse, resting on cast-iron Corinthian columns. 


Logan Mansion
725 Austin Place
 

         Architect N. S. Allen, who took part in the excessiveness of The Gilded Age, designed and constructed this Queen Anne home in 1896 or 1897 for brewer and ice supplier, Lafayette R. Logan, who lived here from that time until 1916. This area was then a fashionable and ritzy neighborhood, although few of these lavish houses remain. The Logan Mansion has a deep wraparound gallery with triple-turned columns, curved balusters, a small upper balcony with horseshoe-arches and spindles, and an asymmetrical roof with Queen Anne gables, a dormer, and chimneys. To the side is a porte-cochere. The interior contains carved woodwork, leaded crystal windows, five fireplaces, beveled glass, tracked doors, parquet floors, and a grand staircase surmounted by a spindle screen. The parlor has a curved glass window and original gold inlay tile blocks on its fireplace. Mid-America Media established KCOZ FM 100 here in December of 1976, buying the mansion for $23,000. It had last been used as a Sunday school meeting place for one of the local churches. The station renovated the exterior and the first floor interior. The home has undergone alterations. 


Texas Avenue Odd Fellows Hall 
900 block of Texas Avenue

         The upper floors of this structure remain unaltered, and the three-link chain and the I.O.O.F. initials of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows remain visible. This building, which N. S. Allen built in about 1899, served the Odd Fellows, a fraternal and philanthropic organization. 

 

 


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