City of Abbeville seeks guidance of H/S with goal of spurring revitalization efforts in their historic district

Recently, Holly & Smith Architects’ Design Principal, Jeffrey Smith, spoke to a group of concerned citizens in Abbeville, Louisiana, about the revitalization efforts in the Historic District of Hammond, Louisiana.

In 2019, the City of Hammond hosted the Regional Main Street Conference with attendees from Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas. H/S Founders Michael Holly and Jeffrey Smith gave a presentation on the revitalization efforts of the Hammond Historic District. This presentation was followed by guided tours of historic properties that had been revitalized. Some of the conference attendees were from the City of Abbeville. Following the tours, Jeffrey Smith and H/S Principal Pierre Theriot visited with Roslyn White, an Abbeville city council member at the time. During this visit, Jeffrey shared with Roslyn that as a student at the University of Louisiana, he visited Abbeville several times with his roommates, who were from Abbeville.

Roslyn White was elected Mayor in 2022 and remembered her positive experience at the Main Street Conference in Hammond three years prior. Mayor-elect White reached out to Jeffrey with a request for H/S to consult with the City of Abbeville to help her realize her goal of revitalizing their historic district. Abbeville has an inventory of underutilized historic buildings.

Like the City of Hammond, Abbeville is committed to community engagement and believes it will be the key to success. After a meeting to discuss how H/S could help, it was decided that Jeffrey would present to a group of concerned Abbeville community leaders the history of Hammond’s Historic District revitalization. The talk included the creation of the Downtown Development District in Hammond and the necessary efforts over the past 40 years to achieve success. In addition, Jeffrey presented Holly and Smith Architects’ designs in Hammond’s Downtown Development District and how these adaptive reuse projects helped lead the way to the revitalization of the often-neglected historic structures.

Mayor White’s passion for her community is what compelled H/S to help with providing guidance based on the success of the Hammond Downtown Development District, which recently received the Great American Main Street Award in 2022. H/S looks forward to a continued relationship with the City of Abbeville to help the revitalization of its historic district.

Photo Credit Chuck Landry C. Landry Photo