Next up on our “Meet the Board” series is Donna Richard of Lake Charles. Donna has been very active with the LTHP Board in recent years including serving as Board President in previous years.
Name: Donna Richard
Current Occupation: Retired accountant & teacher
Hometown & Current Town: Lake Charles, LA
When/How did you realize you were a preservationist?
In my 30’s, my husband & I had the opportunity to live in Washington, DC. We discovered the many historical buildings & experienced creative adaptive reuse that others were doing in the 1970’s-80’s. We joined the National Trust and always loved getting the magazine & reading the stories of saving spaces. I was always intrigued that the gorgeous old properties in the real estate section were so affordable. I wanted to save them all!
What’s your favorite building/place in Louisiana?
There have been so many favorites through the years. The LTHP Rambles have certainly revealed many wonderful places. My latest favorite is the interior of the authentic farm house I recently saw in Webster Parish. I really love the Noble Building in Lake Charles, a 1919 commercial building in downtown Lake Charles that my husband and I rehabbed into a restaurant and apartments in 2016.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Reading, being with my husband, our cat, & our 2 golden retrievers; walking in our historic neighborhood with my son.
Why did you choose to get involved with the Louisiana Trust? Actually, A.C. Bourdier (long-time LPA Board member) “twisted my arm” to take his place to represent the Lake Charles area. I’m happy to be part of the effort to preserve our historic fabric throughout the whole state.
What have you learned from your experience on the LTHP? We have many pockets of fabulous authentic historic places all over our state. I’ve also learned that each region tends to be insular in supporting their own area which is understandable.
Why should others get involved with LTHP and the preservation movement in Louisiana? To protect what we have and educate the young people about the value of our historic places.