James Wade Bolton House / River Oaks Square Arts Center

The Bolton House holds both architectural and local significance: it exists as one of the largest examples of the Queen Anne Revival style as applied to residential architecture in Louisiana and as the home of members of the Bolton family, a family of prominent local bankers. James Wade Bolton acquired the residence from Joseph Hirsch in 1899 and remodeled it in 1910 – it has changed little since. Bolton was president of the Rapides Bank and Trust Company from 1912 to 1936 and was also president of the Louisiana Bankers’ Association in 1916-1917. He served on the Rapides Parish School Board and was a proponent of quality public education, donating the site of the first Bolton High School on Sixth and Beauregard Streets. Typically in Louisiana, Queen Anne style residences follow the central hall plan with one principle floor and a wing in the rear, but are made to appear asymmetrical through the use of applied gables, dormers, semi-octagonal bays, and verandahs. The house was donated by the Bolton family to the City of Alexandria in 1979 to be used as a contemporary regional fine arts and crafts center. River Oaks Square Arts Center began operation here in 1984 under an operating agreement between the City of Alexandria and the non-profit organization, River Oaks Square Arts Center.

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