Former Mayor "Mr. Shreveport" Jim Gardner died

Shreveport, LA(KSLA)- Shreveport's former Mayor Jim Gardner died today at the age of 86.

Gardner served as Mayor of Shreveport from 1954 to 1958 and is credited with implementing a city-wide master plan that laid the groundwork for Shreveport's highway system and modernized much of the city's infrastructure back in 1954.  He was a state legislator for two years prior to becoming Mayor and was the city's first Councilman representing District B from 1978-1982 when the modern council system was implemented.  Further, he offered advice throughout and helped kick off the current Shreveport-Caddo Master Plan.

Mayor Cedric B. Glover released a statement on the passing of former Shreveport Mayor Jim Gardner.

"Mayor Gardner was a great man and a superb leader in our community, and the citizens of Shreveport will certainly mourn his passing and celebrate his life of service," said Mayor Glover.  "Whether as Mayor, state legislator, civic leader or mentor, Jim displayed a dedication and commitment to our city that was truly unparalleled.  So many of the blessings we enjoy in Shreveport today were a result of his vision throughout his half-century of public service.  I will dearly miss the sage wisdom and kind friendship of the man they called "Mr. Shreveport."

According to the statement by Mayor Glover, Mayor Gardner will be remembered for his over 50 years of service to the City of Shreveport.

In a ceremony on May 30, 2008, Mayor Glover named the Shreveport Police Headquarters building the "James C. Gardner Building" in honor of the former Mayor's civic involvement and impact throughout the years.  He became known as "Mr. Shreveport" because of his exemplary civic leadership.

Upon his retirement from the City Council in 1982, Stanley Tiner of the Shreveport Journal offered the following comments on Gardner's contribution to the city:

"Jim Gardner has been a giant in our midst.  He was the rare combination of theoretician and practitioner….But most of all he has been two things: a thinker and a city's conscience. That fine mind seems to always be alive and vibrant with new thought, new questions, new clarity. It has been the architect of much of the progress of the last three decades in Shreveport. It has been the sounding board against which the ideas of many others have been tested..."