In addition to their offices, the first and second floors housed a pharmacy, beauty shop, boutique, and insurance office to name a few. This hub of commerce and activity was vital to the black community in Monroe and Northeast Louisiana.
But if these walls could talk, they would sing! Located on the 3rd floor of the building was the Savoy Ballroom. This entertainment venue was a stop on the popular Chitlin Circuit and played host to Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Fats Domino, Lena Horne and so many more. It was here that many artists even got their first break. The Savoy Ballroom was honored with a marker on the Northeast Louisiana Music Trail for its impact and importance in the legacy of music in Northeast Louisiana.
Today the building is once again vital to the community that surrounds it. The building was revitalized thanks to the vision of Michael & Christie Echols and Ben Marshall. The first floor is now home to several nonprofit organizations addressing economic opportunity, housing programs, and workforce initiatives. Eighteen affordable homes are located in the top two floors of the building.