My obsession with historic houses started a long time ago. I will always remember going on a date in college with a local guy who drove me to see an amazing house that he just had to show me. We stood outside the fence and read the historical marker and looked at the house in the moonlight. I fell in love completely. With the house. I would always remember the Cook House after that, but can’t remember the guy at all. Sorry man.
Here I am decades later and I have the honor of representing the Cook family in their endeavor to sell their family home to a new owner who will love it and be wonderful stewards, just as they have been for over one hundred years.
Sherman Cook was born in Simcoe Province of Ontario, Canada August 26, 1865. He came to Alexandria thirty-one years ago and associated with his life-long friend and partner J.M. Houston assisted as engineer in the building of the Kansas City Watkins & Gulf Railway which was later taken over by the Iron Mountain and now a part of the Missouri Pacific system. Mr. Cook was also associated for many years with the late M.L. Alexander in real estate business. He was prominent in the Republican party.
The Cook home is one of the prettiest in Alexandria which is located on Florence Avenue and Monroe Street, West End. This was the first brick veneer residence erected in Louisiana and led the way for the construction of many similar houses in this section. He took great interest in horticulture and tree propagation, and beautified his home with many rare plants, trees, and flowers.
(excerpt from Sherman Cook obituary, Page 2 of Weekly Town Talk, published in Alexandria, Louisiana on Saturday, July 28th, 1923 The Town Talk)
It has recently been suggested that the house is a design from George Franklin Barber, one of the most successful residential architects of the late Victorian period in the United States. Barber sold his plans through catalogs offering to modify plans as many times as a client might wish to write back and make changes. While not having a definite confirmation that the house was his design- it has striking similarity to Design No. 212 in the Modern Dwellings Book of Practical Designs and Plans For Those Who Wish to Build or Beautify Their Homes (1909).