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President's Home, Northwestern State University
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The President's Home is an example of Tudor style architecture
Photo by Candice Pauley, courtesy of Cane River National Heritage Area

Built in 1927 on the campus of Northwestern State University, the President’s Home is a rare example of the Tudor Revival style in the Cane River region. It is a multiple-front gabled building primarily made of brick, but with half-timbering on the right side of the second floor. The timbers used here were artificially darkened and marked with an adze (an axlike tool with a curved blade at right angles to the handle) to make the timbers look aged. The house also has many Tudor details including small-pane casement windows and the classic multi-flue chimney.

[photo] President's Home, Northwestern State University
Photo by Candice Pauley, courtesy of Cane River National Heritage Area

The President’s Home was constructed during a time of expansion at the Normal School. The role of the Normal School was to train a generation of teachers to fill Louisiana’s schools and raise the quality of public education. Many new buildings were built and the school added new majors. With the introduction of baccalaureate degrees, the school changed its name to the Louisiana State Normal College. Later, in recognition of the fact that the institution was no longer solely a teacher training school, it was renamed Northwestern State College of Louisiana in 1944, and then Northwestern State University of Louisiana in 1970. The school received a large building appropriation from the state government for the years of 1926 to 1928. This money was used for the building of the President’s Home, Warren Easton Hall and Audubon Dormitory (torn down in the 1970s). This wave of building represents an important step forward for the school. Great expense was put into making these new buildings more dignified than their predecessors. The President’s Home replaced an old, undistinguished two-story wooden building that had previously served as the president’s residence. The school hired one of the largest architectural firms in New Orleans, Favrot and Livaudais, to design and construct the new residence. The expense was well spent—it is now considered the most architecturally sophisticated building on campus.

The President’s Home is located at 525 College Ave. on the Northwestern State University campus in Natchitoches. It currently serves as the Alumni Center and is often used for special events. The building is open to the public from 8:00am to 4:30pm, Monday-Friday. For further information call 318-357-4414 or 888-799-6486.

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