Charles American Press, May 21, 1943:
Patrick D. Gallaugher and John I. LeDoux of Landry Memorial
School take top honors as valedictorian and salutatorian,
respectively, of the senior class. Patrick is the son of Mr.
and Mrs. F. V. Gallaugher, 2509 Shell Beach Drive. John is
the son of Mr. and Mrs. A. LeDoux of Lake Charles.
Lake Charles American Press,
Sunday, March 14, 2010, p. A1:
still working in LC after 60 years of shaping city
BY MIKE JONES
Pat Gallaugher, who is now into his 60th year of practicing
architecture in Lake Charles, says the city has a history of
architectural excellence that grew out of the Great Fire of
At age 83, the Lake Charles native is
still busy enjoying his profession at the firm of Randy M.
Goodloe, AIA, APAC, Architect, 725 Kirby St.
He said his own firm dissolved in
1990, and Randy Goodloe - who received his first job out of
school from Gallaugher in 1978 - asked him to help out at
the Goodloe firm.
“I thought it would be for a day or
two, but now it has been 15 years,” Gallaugher said. He
enjoys practicing his profession without the business
The mutual respect between the two
architects is obvious. Goodloe said of Gallaugher, “He is a
treasure, and he is my mentor.”
Gallaugher said the reason the 1910
fire had such a huge impact on architecture, besides burning
down much of the city, was the fact the city fathers of the
time had the good sense to hire the firm of Favrot &
Livaudais to design many of the major buildings in the
aftermath of the disaster.
“I think the fire of 1910 is a
starting point for architecture in Lake Charles, because it
was after that fire Favrot & Livaudais came in here and
designed an awful lot of the historic buildings we see
today,” Gallaugher said. “For instance, they did the
Courthouse. They did the City Hall. They did the (Immaculate
Conception) Cathedral, Central School across the street
here, all the ward schools, like 4th Ward and 3rd Ward.
“They set the pattern. They had a
flair for what I call eclectic buildings, which were
contemporary but with very traditional detail,” he said.
Gallaugher has added much in his own
right to the architectural history of Lake Charles in the
100-years since the 1910 Fire.
He has designed major buildings
downtown and up to 60 schools in the 60 years he has been
A Landry Memorial High School
graduate, he attended McNeese State College briefly before
entering the Navy in 1944 for World War II.
“I went through boot camp in San
Diego and then was sent into an officers training program,
and that’s how I ended up at the University of Notre Dame,”
he said. “I did that Naval program, and then I went back
there after the war and finished up and got a degree in
architecture in 1949.”
He said his first experience in
architecture was while he was in high school.
“My brother-in-law, Lewis Dunn, was
an architect, and I admired Lewis and I liked to draw.
Actually, I started working at Dunn and Quinn after school,
and my first paid job in an architect’s office was
sharpening pencils,” Gallaugher said. “In those days, before
the day of the automatic pencil, all draftsmen had three or
four wooden pencils. I would go along with my little pocket
knife sharpening pencils. Then you had a little board with
sandpaper on it and you would sharpen the point to a fine
point and keep them always with sharp pencils.”
He said he was later promoted to
“I got to erase the drawings. By the
time I graduated from high school, I was fairly familiar
with the workings of an architect’s office, what an
architect did and so on.”
Gallaugher was licensed by the state
“The first project I ever worked on,
that I got to design, was a school, Henry Heights School in
Lake Charles. I designed the Lakeside-Chase building on the
lakefront, First Federal, and Magnolia building, which is
now the parish building on the lakefront,” he said.
“In the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, we were
very busy with school work, from elementary schools to high
schools like the present Lake Charles-Boston on Enterprise,
LaGrange, and F. K. White,” he said.
The change in school design came in
the 1950s. Up until that time, the Calcasieu Parish School
Board dictated a traditional facade with some columns for
the design of schools, he said.
“We kept trying to talk them into a
more contemporary arrangement and a more contemporary plan.
Finally, in 1950, when we designed the building for Henry
Heights, we designed one like the old buildings and one with
a contemporary design. We got bids on both of them, and the
contemporary design came in about $3 a square foot cheaper,
which was a major savings in those days.
“From then on, there was a more
contemporary design. Most of those schools are still in
use,” Gallaugher said.
He said the technological change with
the biggest impact on architectural design has been air
“Before air conditioning, we were
very concerned with cross ventilation to get some cooling
into the schools,” he said.
Gallaugher said building designs
shifted from many windows to none to try to maximize the
climate control, and from natural light and ventilation to
Air conditioning also dictated a
closed floor plan rather than a more strung-out plan so
architects could get more ventilation.
He said a major change in commercial
buildings came with what they called a “window wall.”
Multi-story buildings went from brick masonry facades on the
outside to a thin layer of glass and insulation, he noted.
“That is what you see in the
Lakeside-Chase building as compared to, let’s say, the
Pioneer building. The Pioneer building is all masonry which
adds a lot of weight to the structure. The masonry doesn’t
support anything. You’ve got a steel frame that supports
“Also, after the war, there was an
architectural movement to expose the structure of the
building to define its function so that you could see what
kind of building it was. There was less of the traditional
concept of design,” Gallaugher said.
In addition, he said there has been a
lot of progress in lightweight materials. Buildings have
gotten wider and more compact.
Gallaugher said some of his favorite
architecture in Lake Charles includes Old City Hall -
Magnolia, Chase and First Federal.
“The City Hall is just a great
building. It is typical of its period. ... The proportions
and detail and just the whole character of it are
exceptional for a public building,” he said. “I don’t think
the Courthouse is as successful architecturally as the City
Gallaugher also praised the Cathedral
of the Immaculate Conception. “The proportions and character
are architecturally outstanding,” he said.
One of his favorite buildings that
has not survived was the Majestic Hotel, which was across
the street from the Pioneer building and is now a parking
“The Majestic Hotel was masonry on
the outside and all wood frame on the inside. I can remember
walking in there and seeing Col. (Dwight D.) Eisenhower and
Gen. (Walter) Kruger (during the big Louisiana Maneuvers)
before World War II,” he said. “I was intrigued. We were
getting ready to get in a war, and I thought it would be
over before I ever got a chance to get in it. Boy, was I
He said the Majestic had a great
ballroom, but it was the long porch on the outside that
everybody enjoyed. On the inside were a barber shop, drug
store and some offices.
“I remember when I came back to Lake
Charles in 1950, I got a haircut every Friday and six of the
leading men in the town went in there every morning at 8
o’clock and got a shave and a shoe shine. They left there
and went to breakfast every morning. They all got a hair cut
every Friday,” he said.
With regard to the future of
architecture in the city, he said Lake Charles is doing much
better than much of the rest of the country.
“In Lake Charles, there is a lot of
building going on and a lot of architecture work,” he said.
He also credits the people of Lake Charles for supporting
good architecture. “I think Lake Charles was lucky that
Favrot & Livaudais came in here, and we have a tradition of
good architecture, and they started it,” he said. Gallaugher
praised the community for appreciating quality architecture.
“I think that says a lot for Lake Charles,” he said.