Shreveport Times fielded this letter from John Kersey of Carrollton, Texas:
Is the R. S. Barnwell Memorial Garden slated for demolition so that a new casino can occupy that location?
I am an architect in Dallas who comes to your city once in a while to gamble on horses and now casinos. I was in town recently, and my wife wanted to take in some culture and suggested going to the Barnwell.
Well, we got there late — 4:30 p.m. when they were closing — and only got to walk once quickly through. The art was nice. She collects pottery, but the shop was closed. The outside gardens were closing, so we walked through the conservatory. What a nice room in such run-down condition: broken windows, dead plants, uneven floors, peeling paint, trim work falling off.
As I said it was closing time and we had to leave, so the only thing I asked at the front was how long had the dome been broken, and she said two years. I wanted to take a second look and maybe a photo or two, but we had to go.
I tell you I have done many building inspections, and this is what it looks like when a building has been abandoned and slated for demolition.
Please tell me, is this the fate of the Barnwell?
Ed.: Some 3 years have passed since the above rendering of changes slated for the Barnwell.