Restoration of the Cooley House began with the roof in July of 2008, and continues today. Once restored, the home will be opened to the public as a museum. In addition to showcasing the home, the museum will also present exhibitions and educational programming.

The Cooley House is one of several historic homes, including the Masur Museum of Art and Layton Castle, along South Grand Street. Opened as a museum, it will contribute to the cultural corridor being developed along the Ouachita River from The Biedenharn Museum & Gardens, past the Northeast Louisiana Children’s Museum, and south to the Masur Museum of Art.

Restoration of the roof was carried out under the auspices of the Division of Historic Preservation, Office of Cultural Development, Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, and the National Park Service, U. S. Department of the Interior. Restoration of this property, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, has been funded with the assistance of a matching grant-in-aid from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service, under the provisions of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.

Three-phase restoration

A three-phase restoration plan has been outlined as follows:

  1. Stabilize the building in order to save it
  2. Prepare the building for tour by visitors
  3. Additional enhancements for visitors and added educational opportunities

    The museum will operate as a partnership between The Cooley House Foundation and the City of Monroe. The City of Monroe owns the property and will provide on-going maintenance for the museum. The museum will operate as part of the city’s Department of Community Affairs. The Cooley House Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is raising funds for the restoration of the home and gardens and will provide on-going support for exhibitions and educational programs.


    Even though the museum will not open to the general public until after Phase 2 of the restoration has been completed, educational opportunities are regularly scheduled. To receive information on these events, please subscribe to our mailing list.

Phase 1
Waterproofing and Code Enhancements

This phase stabilized the building, including replacement of the roof, service of mechanical equipment, replacement of lighting, and repair to sidewalks and parking. It also provided for new security and fire systems. Finally, it repaired severely damaged finishes such as the original cork floor.

Phase 2

This phase will restore interior walls, floors, ceilings, as well as millwork, woodwork, and masonry. It will also repair the electrical and plumbing systems and will install appropriate HVAC systems. Restoration will include interior and exterior.

During this phase restoration of the house can serve as a learning project for area universities. At the end of this phase, the home will be opened to the public as a museum.

Phase 3

Historic photographs show the home’s original gardens and furnishings. The Cooley House Foundation plans to restore the gardens to their original state and to work toward refurnishing the home.