Crowley, Louisiana is rich in history, culture and architectural design. Crowley’s Historic District, with more than 200 structures on the National Register of Historic Places, is a classic example of Victorian residences that feature Queen Anne-style architecture and Eastlake galleries.
Crowley City Hall & Museums
Originally a Ford dealership, Crowley City Hall houses municipal government offices as well as four museums. Constructed in 1921, this building is one of the few remaining 1,000 similar structures built in the U.S.
The Ford Automotive Museum has on display two 1923 Model T Fords, history information panels, photographs from when the dealership was operating and an award-winning short film on the Ford-Crowley connection.
In the History of Crowley Museum, exhibits, displays and artifacts showcase Crowley’s founding by the Duson brothers in 1887 and the town’s growth spurred by the Louisiana Western Railroad. Crowley blossomed through advancements in the rice industry as many local residents made their living farming, processing, or shipping rice.
The oldest recording studio in continuous use in Louisiana, J.D. Miller Music Museum, has been restored to its original look and features exhibits, photos and a video that chronicles the history of J. D. Miller and his music, as well as the artists that recorded at the studio. J. D. began his career as a musician and in 1946 opened his own studio to produce records featuring the local talents of Cajun, Zydeco, blues, country and swamp pop artists. His most famous song, “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky-Tonk Angels,” was recorded by Kitty Wells. The chart-topping record made her a star.
Crowley’s Mill Street, lined with a large number of rice mills, mill more rice annually than any other city in the U.S. Exhibits, displays, and artifacts in the Rice Interpretive Center give a step-by-step glimpse into the rice growing and harvesting process in Crowley.
Crowley City Hall Museums
425 North Parkerson Avenue
Monday – Friday, 8 am – 4 pm,
or by appointment
Grand Opera House of the South
Built in 1901, this masterpiece of virgin Louisiana cypress, pine, and oak only cost $18,000. Vaudeville acts and minstrel shows graced the stage in its early years, followed by silent movies and talkies in later years. Clark Gable, Babe Ruth, Huey Long and famous opera singer Enrico Caruso once stood on the mammoth stage for the 39 years the Grand remained open.
In 2008, after undergoing a $4.5 million renovation, the Grand Opera House of the South reopened its doors. Today, you can see comedy acts, musicals, plays and children’s shows in this beautifully restored Grand.
There is also a museum within the theatre that showcases the original sign that hung from the Opera House, old ticket stubs, and old stage clothes and costumes.
You can find show times and schedules at www.thegrandoperahouse.org.
Grand Opera House of the South
505 North Parkerson Avenue
The Southern Amusement Company built the art deco movie theatre in 1940. But before it could open its doors, it was damaged by the Great Flood of 1940, which left 8 feet of water in the streets of Crowley and rendered 80% of the homes uninhabitable. The theatre had to be totally renovated before it finally opened its doors in January 1941. The newly renovated theatre now features live shows, including the monthly “Nite at the Rice.”
323 North Parkerson Avenue