Friday night, Lake Charles hosted the grand re-opening of the Lakefront Promenade and dedicated the new Speckled Belly geese fountain and Bord Du Lac marina.
There was always a walkway there, along the seawall, at least as long as we’ve lived here. And while the lake has always been lovely, the lakefront was rather plain and functional. The city of Lake Charles decided to spruce it up a bit.
Just as Pittsburgh years ago had to overcome its negative image of a grimy soot-belching steel mill town by focusing on technology, healthcare, and culture, so too Lake Charles strives to downplay the petrochemical plant image and does a good job emphasizing its southwest Louisiana cultural heritage through the art community, food, music, theater, and festivals.
So in the name of city beautification and I imagine tourism, they barricaded the walkway behind chain link fence running the length of Bord Du Lac (the street parallel to the promenade) and set to work. One year and 4.9 million dollars later, the fence came down and the palm trees went up. The city hired excellent contractors. It really is beautiful. Boaters used to have to tie up together along the sea wall for events. Now they have this terrific marina.
They hired a local iron artist, Josh Guillory, to make these creative lampposts, benches, and tables. Decorative pole lights glow at night in alternating multi-colors, pretty as Christmas.
In addition to all the cool new stuff, there remains many nifty older attractions; fishing piers, Millennium Park, the amphitheater, the PPG fountain (not quite the PPG fountain in Pittsburgh, but there are always kids playing and cooling off here in the summer.)
. . . the war memorials – this helicopter Vietnam War memorial is fairly new.
I love this giant American flag overseeing the east end of the lake.
To all my out of town readers, come visit so I can show off the new Lake Charles Promenade!