The fire broke out near the Texas Street bridge in downtown Shreveport just after 6:10 p.m. The historic building at 114 Texas St. was destroyed by the fire. As the flames spread, the old Chicago nightclub next door also sustained heavy fire damage.
Shreveport firefighters arrived at the building within 4 minutes to find heavy smoke and flames coming from the abandoned structure. Crews at the scene used multiple streams from above the building to douse the flames and protect the buildings nearby.
By 7:00 p.m. the plume of smoke could be seen all the way from the Barksdale Blvd. on-ramp on I-20 in Bossier. There were 32 units and approximately 50 firefighters called to bring the blaze under control.
Reports say one wall of the 12,000-square-foot building has collapsed. Aerial images of the building show the inside of the structure charred and gutted as well as fire damage to the roof of the building next door.
The Shreveport Fire Department says, as of 9:43 p.m., Spring St. remains closed between Milam St. and Travis St. Texas St. also remains closed between Market St. and Spring St.
There were no injuries reported. Officials say further inspection is necessary to determine the extent of the damage. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.
In a statement through their Facebook page, the Blind Tiger, which is connected to the old Chicago nightclub building, wrote “First we would like to express our gratitude and respect to the SFD and the SPD for their amazing job tonight! The fire at 114 Texas could have been the end for us if not for their response time and quality of training. We will be closed tomorrow for inspections and clean-up due to smoke and being evacuated at the time of the emergency. We will update as we can. Thank you to everyone who have reached out and offered support and well wishes!”
The building is located next to a Shreveport historic site named “Green’s Alley”. According to the Historical Marker Project it was “possibly named for John Grange Green, pioneer Shreveport property owner, and friend of Capt. Shreve, or for Dr. William Mercer Green, who was killed in a duel in this alley, just north of Texas Street, in 1849. South of Texas St., the alley is called Martin’s Lane, for Martin Tally, Mayor of Shreveport, 1867-68, an early developer of property in that block.”
Its history dates back to 1890. Many remember it as the club Humphrey’s In the Square in the 1980s. A lack of maintenance led to the deterioration of the vacant building over the years. In May 2010 the roof at the rear of the building partially collapsed.
During a 2017 interview with KMSS’s Alexandra Meachum, Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Liz Swaine said the owners, the Dellinger Trust, “put no maintenance into the buildings and were unwilling to sell the buildings and many of the buildings went to the ground, unfortunately. Then over the years, they stopped paying taxes on this building and others. Then it just has become a muddy mess of tax purchasers.”
The Shreveport Historic Preservation Commission met in June 2022 to discuss the possible demolition of the building. According to the meeting minutes, the owner intended to turn the building into housing. Commissioner Jackson estimated it would take six to eight months to rehabilitate the building.
Property Standards submitted a Certificate of Demolition, asserting the structural deterioration posed concerns for safety risks. Commissioner Callaway made the motion to deny the request for demolition, seconded by Commissioner Jernigan. The motion passed with three affirmative votes and none opposed.