Kress Building / Rapides Foundation Building

This Alexandria Kress Building was built in 1939 as one of the hundreds of fiveand-dime Kress department stores across the country. The chain of S. H. Kress & Co. 5-10-25 Cent Stores was established in 1896 by Samuel H. Kress, and operated until 1981. Kress wanted his stores to exist as works of architecture to be appreciated by the public. The Kress brand was recognizable through noticeably stylized architecture, which distinguished the Kress store from its competitors. Despite the ultimate closure of Kress stores in the 1980s, preserved Kress buildings throughout the country have become great examples of adaptive reuse. The Alexandria Kress moved from its previous location on Third St. to the larger facility on this site. The building was designed by Edward F. Sibbert and Charles T. Roberts in the Art Deco style, constructed predominantly of blonde brick. Edward Sibbert designed more than fifty Art Deco S. H. Kress & Co. stores between 1929 and 1944. While the form of the building is primarily horizontal, the window placement and decorative elements give the structure a more vertical appearance. After closing in 1974, it housed the Brown Furniture Store, and was subsequently used as bank offices and storage for Rapides Bank. It was renovated in 2003 and is now known as the Rapides Foundation Building with the ground floor in use as the Hearn Stage/Kress Theater. The Kress store had a sign where the Rapides Foundation sign is currently located in the same style as the original sign, and another horizontal sign above the canopy.

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