The two story brick commercial building was constructed in 1891 with four separate storefronts.

JW Fritz

It was originally occupied by many different merchants and professionals.

It may well have served as Louisiana’s first “mall”.


A picture of the building taken between 1892 and 1900. The building was home to a barber shop, The White House grocery store, Bekerman Brothers Cigars,  Fry and Paul Tailoring, Martin Carr Tailoring, and a branch office for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Corporation.

507 Georgia:

Bekerman Bros

Bekerman Bros cigars and tobacco occupied 507 Georgia from 1891 through at least 1906 where they engaged in the manufacture of cigars. “… for many years the firm of Bekerman Bros. was one of the important industries of this city and conducted a large and prosperous cigar and tobacco business, both retail and wholesale. Two of their brands “C. H. B.” and “Joe Bowers” were well and favorably known, both far and wide.” 1

The Bekerman Bros are John (1858-1926) and Charles (1852-1922). John and Charles Bekerman are the sons of John and Dene Bekerman immigrants from Germany and Prussia who settled in Louisiana in 1856. John and Charles also had three sisters, Julia A. (1855-1921), Lizenia (1861-1941) wife of John W. Fritz, the owner of this building and Laura (1864-?).

507 1/2 Georgia Street:

wj brady
1893 advertisement in the Louisiana Journal

509-511 Georgia Street:

ma martin

W.A. Martin and Sons Grocery

These photographs of W.A. Martin and Sons Grocery, which occupied 509 and 511 Georgia, were taken some time around 1906 when they opened at this location.

wa martin and sons exterior
On the left is Jack Lonergan and the man second from the right is Clarence Martin.
wa martin grocery
This picture features William A. Martin leaning up against the counter, Walter C. Martin behind the counter, and Robert McDaniel Smith in the back of the store.
Lampe & Schmitt Fritz Bldg
1892 ad in the Louisiana Press
Lampe & Schmitt Fashionable Tailors
1. Louisiana Press Journal. 1926. “John H. Bekerman Found Dead Monday Morning.,” October 12.
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