Historic Welcome Center & Museum
The Denham Springs Old City Hall, located at 115 Mattie Street, is a historic building that was built in the late 1930s by the WPA and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. With its two-story concrete structure and Art Deco style, the building served as the main government hub in the city, housing the mayor's office, town hall, town council chambers, police headquarters, jail, courtroom, and library. Today, it serves as a City Welcome Center and Museum, offering public tours and events for visitors to learn about the history of Denham Springs. Experience a piece of Louisiana's past by visiting the Denham Springs Old City Hall and discover its rich history and stunning architecture.
Construction and Early Years
On November 21, 1940, the Old City Hall was opened to the public for tours. Mayor Gay Cooper praised the quality and style of the building, with its bright white paint and colorful trim. The two-story building was constructed of poured-in-place concrete reinforced with steel, and for the first time, Denham Springs had a dedicated facility to house its government offices. The WPA constructed the building under the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Move to a New Government Complex
In 1957, Denham Springs became a city and by 1969, the growing municipal government moved to a new government complex at 941 Government Drive. The Old City Hall was then taken over by the police department, who built an annex on the east side of the building for use as a driver's licensing bureau. Over time, the interior was altered with the addition of jail cells and partitioned rooms, and the exterior was painted different colors. The police department occupied the building until 1984, when they moved to a new police station.
Preserving the Historic Building
In March 1995, Mayor James Delaune, Sr. announced the establishment of the Denham Springs Historic Preservation Commission. The commission's primary duty was to preserve the city's historic buildings, with Old City Hall being one of its top priorities. The commission applied for and was approved for participation in the Louisiana Main Street program, and over the next few years, the Historic Preservation/Main Street Commission held numerous events to raise funds for the renovation of the Old City Hall and raise public awareness of the need to preserve the structure.
Restoration and Reopening
Preliminary preservation improvements were made to the building, but a lack of adequate funds stalled the project for over a decade. Finally, in August 2007, the city council allocated funds for a total renovation inside and out, which included restoring the building to its original colors that emphasized its Art Deco style. The Old City Hall was rededicated and reopened to the public on April 17, 2009.
Current Use and Availability
Today, the Old City Hall serves as a City Welcome Center and Museum, and is open for public tours Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Civic organizations are also invited to hold meetings at the Old City Hall. To schedule a meeting or tour, call the office at (225) 667-7512.
Application form for Old City Hall's docent program, requiring personal information, availability, references, and experience.
Responsibilities of docents volunteering at the Old City Hall and release of liability form.
Form for reserving Old City Hall, requires event details and liability agreement.