Name: Lisa Condrey-Ward
Current Occupation: Attorney/ Hotelier/ Real Estate Developer
Hometown: Lake Providence, LA
Current Town: Covington, LA
When/How did you realize you were a preservationist? As a child, my mother and I toured the historic homes of Natchez, MS and many other places we visited. I was always interested in history and the stories of how people lived in the past. As I grew older I appreciated the architecture of various historical periods. I did my first historic renovation project at the age of 21 saving a 1907 home in Lake Providence when an opportunity unexpectedly arose during the year between college and law school. Repairing that building and understanding the remarkable material and craftsmanship of that era was addicting apparently as I have since done more than a dozen other historic rehab projects – including the Southern Hotel in Covington!
What’s your favorite building/place in Louisiana? There are too many wonderful old buildings in Louisiana for there to be a favorite, but the Pontalba apartments on Jackson Square in New Orleans are not only beautifully done but extraordinary as they were developed by a woman, Baroness de Pontalba. She was way ahead of her time and I admire her sensibility and tenaciousness. I also love Arlington in Lake Providence – virtually untouched beauty on a beautiful oak filled spot on Lake Providence.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Spare time? I suppose I am lucky that I enjoy my work and family life enough that I don’t feel I have “spare” time. The closest thing I can think of is sitting on my front porch reading or planning my next project.
Why did you choose to get involved with the Louisiana Trust? I am involved with LTHP because I recognize the value of preserving our history and culture. Let’s face it – had it not been for the unique history and architecture of New Orleans it likely would not have come back from Hurricane Katrina. To understand ourselves as a society and plan for the future we have to understand our past. I like feeling connected to previous generations through sharing their architecture.
What have you learned from your experience on the LTHP? My experience with the LTHP has introduced me to many small towns around the state at Rambles and by being connected with preservation efforts in other areas.
Why should others get involved with LTHP and the preservation movement in Louisiana? I would encourage everyone to become involved in preserving the unique heritage of our state and support the effort through LTHP membership. The preservation movement here has had a lot of important successes over the decades but there is much to be done and it requires constant vigilance if we are able to pass it along to future generations.