Patrick Donovan Gallaugher, Sr.


Born: April 30, 1926 in Lake Charles, Louisiana
Father: Francis Valerie Gallaugher
Mother: Barbara Christina "Babette" Fitzenreiter
Wife: Dorothy Jane Aberle
Married: September 16, 1950 in Lake Charles, Louisiana
Children: Patrick Donovan Gallaugher, Jr.
  Karl Kevin Gallaugher
Adele Christine Gallaugher
Michael Paul Gallaugher

Lake 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:

Influential architect still working in LC after 60 years of shaping city


        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 1910.
        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 headaches.
        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 practicing.
        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 erasing.
        “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 in 1950.
        “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 conditioning.
        “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 artificial.
        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 everything.
        “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 Hall.”
        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 lot.
        “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 wrong.”
        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.