Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Gibson Street Overview

Gibson Street in downtown Covington has its share of remarkable buildings and historic connections. While it may seem today in some respects like just a side street, it actually is home to a wide array of landmark locations.

The first bridge across the Bogue Falaya River coming into Covington came in on Abadie Lane and emptied its traffic out onto Gibson Street and Boston Street.

One of the first houses you'd see coming into Covington was on Gibson Street
The train tracks were another Gibson Street highlight. Trains arrived at Covington coming across the river and proceeded along Gibson Street. It was a major event for the passenger trains to come with load after load of weekend visitors and summer time residents. 
Click on the images to make them larger. 

Even the first train station was located on Gibson Street

 The hotels were on Gibson Street, along with restaurants and bars. 

One of Covington's most famous bars, the Little Napoleon, was at the corner of Gibson and Columbia. 

The Patrick Hotel was on Gibson, and later became Hebert's Cleaners

The building fell victim to the 1997 tornado
Then Hebert's Cleaners rebuilt in the same location

The train tracks down Gibson are seen in this snow picture early in the 1900's

View looking towards Columbia

The same view a little later, still with the train tracks
Gibson St. has been home to some memorable businesses
A downtown putt putt golf course 
The Star Theater's side entrance was on Gibson. 
The view towards Gibson Street, with a bench in the background where the train depot used to be. 

The Gibson Street side of the Star Theater, 2021.

Behind the Star Theater is the building shown below.....
Charlie's Bar later became Nathan's Sandwich Shop

Then Judice's 

And now Mattina Bella Restaurant

A key business on Gibson is Brooks Bike Shop. And that's because Gibson Street is now carrying the Tammany Trace Recreational Bike Trail straight into the heart of downtown Covington, where it gently curves past Rosemary's Closet and heads for the Covington Trailhead.

Over the years a number of businesses have kept Gibson St. in the forefront

Maison Nez was a popular Gibson Street business 

Now the corner of the building is occupied by Gulf Coast Lanterns

The Covington Post Office was located next to Gibson Street, with the La. Dept. of Motor Vehicles Driver's License Office right behind it. Here's a Tammany Talk column I wrote in 1972 about the daily experience of "going to the post office" on Gibson Street.
Art students from local high schools used to paint holiday greetings pictures on the windows of the post office to further enhance daily visits to the facility. 

Many Covington residents shopped at the Gibson Street A&P when it was located there.

Generations of Covington area residents have shopped at Marsolan's Feed & Seed Store on Gibson
Dependable Glass, an outstanding local store with an impressive national outreach, has its service and manufacturing facilities on Gibson  

Dependable Glass staff in June of 1979, with railroad tracks still running down the middle of Gibson Street 

The Renaissance Antiques Building

Executive Office Center

And with some irony, the Gibson's Department Store on the southern edge of the Bogue Falaya Plaza Mall was located on Gibson Street. 

What else is located on Gibson?

The Maritime Pilots Institute is at the corner of Gibson and New Hampshire, diagonal across from the Star Theater, which commands a rich history with Covington area residents. Also along Gibson are the popular Bogue Falaya Fitness Center, Gulf Coast Lanterns, a number of professional offices, the Artmasters Screen Printers and Promotions, the Renaissance Gifts and Cabaret Cafe (original Covington Ice House), and ending at the Bogue Falaya River with Gilsbar Inc. although the last few hundred feet of Gibson Street is now called Hebert Lane.
Bogue Falaya Fitness

Across Gibson (also referred to as Hebert Lane at that point) from Gilsbar is the tallest building in Covington, Bogue Falaya Towers
The other end of Gibson St. brings you to the St. Tammany Parish Public School System Administrative Building on Theard St.  
And all of this with Gibson St. being only six blocks long.  

See also: