Shell Beach Drive homes open their doors

By By Lance Traweek / American Press

Diana Walker and husband Frank have been renovating their home at 623 Shell Beach Drive for the last 15 years.

“My favorite part has been raising my

four children here,” Diana Walker said. “I’ve enjoyed fixing it up, and

we love entertaining

and having people over.”

The three-story home was built in 1927 in the Scottish Balmoral-Tudor style, which caters to leaded glass, brick-and-stucco

exteriors and an elaborate slate roofs.

“I’ve always wanted to have an old home,” she said. “We’re not finished yet. We have a long way to go, but if I were an artist

this home would be like my canvas.”

On Sunday, the Walker house was one of

five homes included in the 38th annual Palm Sunday Tour of Homes. This

year’s theme,

“Windows on the Water,” focused on homes along Shell Beach Drive,

and hundreds came out for the tour put on by the Calcasieu

Historical Preservation Society. The tour also included the

residences of John and Sherrie Raggio, David and Anne Reinauer,

Jim and Claudia Boyer and Wendell and Nancy Fontenot.

Janice Higginbotham of Lake Charles toured the homes with her daughter, cousin and a friend.

“It was a beautiful day, and we wanted to see the pretty homes,” she said. “We drive down here, and I always wanted to see

what they looked like inside because they’re so beautiful from the outside.”

Molly Reed of Lake Charles said she enjoyed the historic quality of the homes.

“The charming antiques and decor give me ideas for my home, as well,” she said.

Martha Laborde toured the homes with aunt Helen Boyer and friend Lesley Leger.

“The architecture and the history of the homes is particularly fascinating,” she said.

Toni Collins of Lake Charles said it was an exciting day for her.

“I learned a lot about the culture of people who live here in Lake Charles,” Collins said.

Deidre Ardoin of Sulphur went with her

mother-in-law and her sister. “I loved seeing the older homes and how

they’ve been restored,” she said.

Each home had docents placed throughout to explain various parts of the home.

“The docents were very knowledgeable about the homes,” said Laura Lanza of Moss Bluff. “These are beautiful homes you see

on a daily basis but you don’t know what it looks like inside.”