New owner of burned out funeral home vows to fight demolition - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

New owner of burned out funeral home vows to fight demolition


Two years after a well-known Shreveport funeral home burned to the ground, the new owner is fighting to save what remains of the building from demolition.

The Patterson Funeral Home on Hearne Avenue caught fire in August 2012. The investigation into the cause remains open. Now the building is set to be demolished, but Rosalind Patterson-Nelson has filed an appeal with the city and she says she plans to fight until the end.

The business was run by her father until March 1st, 2004. When Leroy Patterson passed away in 2005, the funeral home fell into the hands of other family members. In July, bankruptcy left the property up for grabs at auction. "I went to the auction and I was determined to leave the auction with that building, and I did.” But she also inherited the building's trouble, “After the fire when that individual did not comply with the cities demands the city contracted to have it demolished,” said Nelson. Now Nelson is fighting to keep some parts of her father's original building intact, “the preparation room area, and the hallway where the staterooms were, that is all salvageable.”

That's why she is appealing to the city to allow a partial demolition instead.

As the oldest child in her family, Nelson has vowed to continue her father's work. "I intend to pick up where my father left off on March 1, 2004.” The fire may have destroyed the family's funeral home business, but she sees an opportunity for a new beginning among the ashes. "It's going home for me, I am very happy to be able to carry on the legacy that my father intended to leave.”

She will make her case before the city on October 27, but says she plans to move forward with revitalizing her father's dream now matter what they decide.

Earlier this year, the Patterson family tried to reestablish their funeral home business at the old Don's Seafood building in Shreveport's Highland neighborhood but many neighbors were against the idea.

The Caddo Commission voted against rezoning the building into a funeral home in February.

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