Shreveport community members come together to help restore B’Nai Zion Temple


SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The recent February winter storm and heavy rain events caused significant roof damage to the B’Nai Zion Temple on Cotton Street.

The temple was constructed in Shreveport in the early 1900s. Since the 1970s, the building is vacant. In an effort to save the temple, Shreveport Common is happy to see outside resources coming in to check out the roof.

“I know a lot of people in the community that love this building and want to do something about it,” said Executive Director Wendy Benscoter.

Eric Hess, President of the Sanctuary Arts School is pitching in his time after hearing about efforts trying to preserve this building. Hess created a Facebook called Save the B’Nai Zion Temple.

“People are driven to do things in life and I wanted to help out,” said Hess. Hess and Benscoter teamed up to reach out to Matt Varnell with Bayou State Roofing and Randy Mangrum with Storer Construction Solutions.

Varnell and his team will work on putting a tarp on the roof to eliminate any more rain getting inside the church. Varnell is volunteering his time for free.

“I was excited to be able to do this. I have always had an interest in this building for years. The architecture is beautiful. It is one of our last classic buildings in the city,” said Varnell. Once a roof estimate is complete, Hess says a fundraiser will begin soon to raise those funds.

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