Downtown Covington's Legacy of Art & Artists

To say that downtown Covington supports the arts is an understatement. 

Downtown Covington business owners are artists themselves in many ways, both in the traditional ways of thinking about art, and in more outside-the-box creative techniques of showcasing art as well. Here are the stories of the central business district merchant/artists who demonstrate skills central to the creation and  appreciation of art. 

In the middle of it all stands the landmark St. Tammany Art Association building, originally a toy store 100 years ago, now a resource providing outstanding classes, gallery exhibitions, and a mission of promoting the arts throughout the community. 

Below is a sampling of art galleries.  

Saladino Gallery, 409 E Boston St
Brunner Gallery, 215 N. Columbia St.
The Rutland Street Gallery, 828 E Rutland St
Gallery 421, 421 N Columbia St
Tripolo Gallery, 323 N. Columbia St
Marianne Angeli Rodriguez Studio Gallery, 430 Gibson St
Savoye Originals, 1601 N Collins Blvd
BB's Eclectic Creations, 203 N New Hampshire St
Covington Art & Frame, 529 N Florida St 


The list of artistic businesses is also quite impressive.

Several incredible restaurants showcase the culinary arts across downtown Covington, in every setting from elegant evening eating to the daily lunch cafe encounter. The unique Louisiana style of delicious menu favorites is well represented, but there is an array of unique dining experiences available that cater to all tastes.

There are clothing stores that range from avant-garde fashion to vintage collectibles you can wear, apparel for the young and the young-at-heart. The downtown Covington offerings include general merchandise and sporting goods stores, as well as shops for the discriminating cigar-smoking aficionado and artists who need supplies, easels, and frames for their finished products.

Since Covington is a courthouse town, there are a number of attorney offices scattered about, but even the attorneys show off their artistic skills, with one attorney the recipient of many national awards for his essays, poems, and humorous cartoon books on the legal profession itself. Google the "Bard of Boston Street" to see what we mean. 


The Tammany Trace Bike Trail runs through the middle of downtown Covington.

One place of business specializes in the beauty of glass, for pieces of art as well as large corporate architectural installations.

And speaking of art, there's a galaxy of galleries, from exhibit galleries that offer works by a wide variety of artists in a wide variety of media, to individual galleries that spotlight the creations of individual artists, many of whom are nationally-known. Art schools are also a favorite, and visitors often seek out places where the famed writer Walker Percy used to hang out. 

Photographers are among the artists with their own galleries and studios. You can often see them taking clients for a downtown walk-around for pictures and posing in front of the classic old town storefronts.

For visitors who can't see it all in just one day, award-winning boutique hotel suites and several nearby bed & breakfast accommodations are available.

As time goes on, we will be adding to this website the stories of downtown Covington merchant artists, how they discovered their niche in the art of business (and the business of art), how they laser-focused their creativity, and most of all, how they packaged and promoted their art through successful merchandising. 

So sit back, take out a map (or a smart phone GPS app) and chart your course to downtown Covington, Louisiana. 

It's the place to be to be the artist you are.

showing where Covington downtown can be found.


Antiques and Uniques Festival
Walker Percy 
The Southern Hotel
Three Rivers Art Festival Flows Into Covington 
The Columbia Street Landing Archways  
Movies Filmed In Downtown Covington 
Fall For Art
Covington Art Market

More information about Covington area artists:

John Akers - The Wildlife Environment Artist 

Artist Ann Gauthier 

Florence "Winky" Chesnutt 

Artist Claire Rohrbough  

The Stained Glass Windows of Carol Lapari  

John Hodge, Pottery Artist Extraordinaire 

Hasslock Re-creates New Orleans Street Name Tiles 

Mrs. Miriam Barranger, Artist  

Lyn Hill, Artist Teaching Art

Artistry in Woodworking 

Covington Artist Famed for Stage Scenery

 
Covington's favorite poster artist Suzanne King,
showing off her 2016 St. Tammany Parish Fair Poster. Her 2019 fair poster won first place statewide at the Louisiana Association of Fairs and Festivals annual meeting. 

For more information about Suzanne, CLICK HERE.

 

Belinda Miley of Covington is well-known for her creativity and design excellence. Now Living in Houston, Texas, Belinda began by designing custom items for special events of friends and family, and has risen in the industry as a national licensed designer. From Frames to shadowboxed crosses, wedding items, wall decor and other decor or celebration products, every Belinda Miley design sparkles with an inspirational touch. Many of her items can be seen at Once In A While Gift Shop in the old Alexius Brothers Hardware store building on Lockwood Street. 


Marsolan Feed & Seed

 A landmark business in downtown Covington, LA, was Marsolan Feed & Seed located at 316 East Gibson Street. Its main building burned down the night of Monday, November 15, 2021.

 
Click on the image to see a larger version.

Founded in 1939 by Norman Marsolan, it was being operated by his son Harvey Marsolan. Marsolan's sold products for pet care, gardens, lawn, and landscaping services. And on certain days it hosted a music show. 


 Hundreds of Covington area residents have fond memories of the establishment, its seeds, garden tools, straw hats, its selection of washtubs and buckets. They recall going there as children, mesmerized by the sights and smells. Farmers and ranchers frequented the place, not only for the fertilizers and gear, but to visit and check on what's new.
 
In recent years, the business was the site of occasional entertaining music programs, featuring a wide variety of bands. 


 
In 1947, the business was located at 425 N. Columbia Street


 
Taking part in community festivities


 An advertisement from 1918





 
Photo by Google street view


 

 
The Old Feed Store Music Series
 
 
 
 
 
Performing live on stage- The Necessary Gentlemen 

To view videos of the music being performed at Marsolan's



 Photos from their Facebook page








 
For information on the devastating fire, CLICK HERE. 
 
The morning after the fire...

 

 








See also:
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

History of 200 Block Of New Hampshire St. Revisited

  The Covington Heritage Foundation offered a guided tour of the 200 block of North New Hampshire Street on Sunday, October 3, 2021, between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. The event was the latest in the group's "History and Mystery" events showcasing individual blocks in downtown Covington. 


The history of the buildings and businesses (and the individual personalities that made them a success) were featured, with several knowledgeable people on hand to share their memories. 

Click on the following images to make them larger. 

 
Louis Ross Jr. entertained the crowd with his stories of Citizens Bank and Trust Co., as well as other financial institutions  along New Hampshire Street, "Covington's Wall Street."

 
 
A picture of Citizen's Bank in the 1970's 
 
Mayor Mark Johnson detailed the history of the Majestic Theater building, now a church. 
 

 After the group heard the Majestic Theater talk, they were taken inside and shown a segment of the wall and ceiling artwork painted by C.S. A. Fuhrmann, the Covington theater showman who built and ran the Majestic as well as other theaters in the area.

 
Memories of the teen age club Harvey House were shared by Kay Morse, left, and Diane Kramer, right.


 
The story of the corner of New Hampshire and Boston Sts was told, from the time when it was a Ford dealership, a drug store, a florist and now a restaurant.  Councilman Mark Verrett served as the presenter.

 
The Del Porto Building  
 

The Wehrli House

In 1974 Citizens Bank announced that it would give the Wehrli House, shown above, to any non-profit organization which would remove it from its location in-between Hebert's Drugs and the bank in the 200 block of North New Hampshire. If no one agreed to move it, then it would be dismantled.

The structure at that time was 110 years old, meaning it was built in 1864, according to local records. The bank wanted to use the location occupied by the house as a parking lot and drive through window facility.

Dr. Howard Nichols, president of the St. Tammany Parish Historical Society, reported that the society itself had considered moving the house which could then be used as a headquarters for the group, as well as a museum. The project was beyond the resources of the society, however, as determined by the board of directors. The group did pass a resolution to the City of Covington recommending that the city move the structure back onto the ox lot directly behind it so it could be stored until moved somewhere else.

Either that, or it could be set up permanently in the ox lot and used as a tourist attraction, the historical society suggested. It was hoped the project would capture the interest of the local committee planning a celebration of the American Bicentennial in 1976, Dr. Nichols stated.

No one stepped up to take advantage of the bank's offer, however, and the building was dismantled shortly afterwards.

 
A 1970's pen and ink sketch of the Wherli House by Artist Winky Chesnutt.  

 
Jan Gardner and Debbie Mendow


The Majestic Theater


This building later became a branch location of Commercial Bank,and then served as the land records office for the St. Tammany Parish Clerk of Court's office 


 
 
A 1970's view of the street, looking northward


Kentzel Printers, one of Covington's oldest businesses




The old St. Tammany Homestead Association office


Now the home of Jeff Bratton Law Office and Kimsu Oil Co.

 
Now the location of Sarabeth T. Bradley Law Offices


Toad Hollow Cafe site in 1997 (when it was The Gourmet Beignet)

  

Toad Hollow Cafe Today
Toad Hollow was once the location of Hazel Ogden Photo Studio


Corner N. New Hampshire and Rutland St.
 
 

Jewel's Cigar and Briar Shop 

 
Jewel's Cigar and Briar Shop was once the location of the Martindale Home. 
 
 
The Rodrigue law office was at one time the location of the city's first telephone exchange. 
 


A remnant of the Harvey House decor
 
 
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