Historic Egan Hotel Undergoing Repairs
Contractors have recently begun repairing the historic Egan Hotel in Downtown Crowley, Louisiana, with hopes that one day the facility will become a boutique hotel.
“It opened around 1913 and it rented rooms until about 1960,” said Lazar Gielen, Owner of The Egan Hotel. “It was one of the premier hotels in Crowley and I’d like to see it one day come back that way.”
The Egan Hotel History
According to Acadiana Historical, The Egan Hotel is located alongside the city’s Grand Opera House. The three-story, 38-room structure has some unique characteristics, the most notable its differing floor designs for each room.
Part of the Crowley Historic District, the National Register database shares that the area’s period of significance was from 1887-1931. During that period, construction on the hotel launched sometime in 1912, with a grand opening taking place around 1913.
In an interview with Acadia’s News Channel KATC 3, Gielen said that, in its prime, the hotel witnessed many governors of the state, including Huey Long. The hotel also hosted the New York Yankees when they came to Crowley in 1921 to play the Indianapolis Hoosiers.
While the facility itself seems to have a limited history, many reports have focused on the location’s supernatural occurrences. According to the online blog Haunted Nation, the hotel was once “a major mob hangout” and could be assumed for grounds of illegal activity.
Additionally, numerous reports have shed light on the murder of a young boy and his father, as well as the murder of an unnamed woman by her own husband. On several occasions, priests were brought onto the property to perform cleansings.
To these reports, Gielen shared that, “between The Opera House and this hotel, we’ve had our eventful times, let me put it that way.”
Despite its haunted background, efforts are now being made to renovate the structure. In January 2021, the hotel was awarded a $55,000 National Park Service grant from the Louisiana Office of Cultural Development.
These funds are currently being used for the hotel’s ongoing restoration efforts. Primarily, they will be used for the repair of the 66 double-hung windows on the second and third floors of the building.
At the time, the hotel was one of six locations in the area to receive grant funding through the Historical Revitalization Sub-Grant program administered through the Louisiana Main Street program.
The Acadia Parish Chamber of Commerce shares that while the Lazar John Properties currently owns the building, Puddles and Lace, L.J. Gielen Enterprises, Southern Security and Rice City Designs occupy the ground floor while the upper floors remain vacant.
“As this preservation project gets underway, we are very excited to see the historic buildings in our parish get the recognition they deserve,” wrote the Chamber. “Hopefully this project along with others will attract new businesses and investors, and they will see just what a beautiful place Acadia is!”
Although Gielen estimates that a full restoration of The Egan Hotel will require millions of dollars to complete, work has already begun on the structure’s exterior. Completing waterproofing currently on the project is Marsh Waterproofing (Vidor, Texas).
According to Mike McDowell, a contractor from Marsh Waterproofing, crews are painting the windows and the exterior walls of the structure.
Benjamin Doughty, the Manager of Rice City Designs—which is located next to The Egan Hotel—hopes that if the building is fully remodeled, it could drive more consumers to Crowley's Historic District.
“We’re hoping there’s going to be a restaurant in it. Which would be very fun,” Doughty said. “Hopefully, people will stay on top and generate some business in our storefront.”
Gielen shared that his family are the third owners of the property, with main control over the three-story sections, where 19 rooms are located on each floor. He is currently working with architects while restoration work is underway to see how the hotel could be converted into a commercial space.