The Crawford House, 1855 Country Club Drive, has been in the news quite a bit as of late. You may have seen any number of articles or petitions calling for its preservation amid news that it had been sold to a development company for $800,000 who had plans to demolish the building and subdivide the lot into 4 smaller lots.
Following this news, Preserve Louisiana started an online petition and filed an application with the East Baton Rouge Parish Planning Department to have the house listed as a local landmark. If the status is granted, which would require a supermajority of the Metro Council, a future owner of the home would find it more difficult to demolish the house, as that would require approval from the Historic Preservation Committee and the Metro Council.
In May of this year, a local investor purchased the property for $1.1 million, which many preservationists, community members and historians thought was an effort to save the property. However, the property is now on the market again listed at $1.2 million. While it’s unclear as to the intentions of the current owner, they have put a restriction into the property disclosure stating that the lot may not be subdivided, preventing any prior plans of cutting the one larger lot into a few smaller lots.
The Crawford House, named after it’s owner W. Hamilton Crawford, was designed by Miami architect Wahl Snyder in the mid 1950’s. Snyder was known for designing celebrity homes in Miami. Crawford was responsible for developing many affordable homes post World War II in Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
A two-story ranch style home in the Westdale Terrace subdivision of Baton Rouge, this home has several mid-century modern design elements. Featured in the October 1957 issue of House Beautiful, the home boasts a lanai, a large indoor/outdoor area for entertaining, a built-in hi fi system, a concealed 16mm projector with a screen that dropped from the ceiling. There was also an indoor barbecue with a rotisserie.
The future of the home currently is unknown. While the home still sits on the market, the vote on the measure to designate the home a landmark, will most likely not come up for a vote until July at the earliest. Any future buyers may be waiting until the fate of the home and property restrictions becomes clearer.
The mission of Mid City Redevelopment Alliance is to develop and promote the growth and renewal of Mid City Baton Rouge by attracting new and retaining current residents and businesses.