Elizabeth “EB” Brooks of Lafayette and Liz Swaine of Shreveport received Patron of Architecture Awards from the Louisiana Architectural Foundation on September 10. The awards were given during the American Institute of Architects Louisiana Chapter (AIA LA) Awards Banquet, held in conjunction with its annual Design Conference in Lafayette.
Brooks received the Patron of Architecture Award for her significant and passionate commitment to the preservation of green space and quality of life through better urban planning in Lafayette and Acadiana, and her encouragement and promotion of public understanding and appreciation for architecture and community planning in Louisiana.
Swaine received the Patron of Architecture Award for her significant and passionate commitment to neighborhood revitalization, historic restoration and effective adaptive reuse of the buildings of the Downtown Development Authority of Shreveport, and for her promotion of architecture in Louisiana.
Brooks is executive director of Lafayette Central Park, Inc., a non-profit that handles development of a 100-acre horse farm in the middle of Lafayette. The property is being converted into a community green-space. She led the successful effort to save the horse farm property from being rezoned for commercial development in 2005, and has since worked both in Lafayette and Houston, Texas on community and urban design projects. In Houston, she managed BetterHouston, a non-profit that champions quality of life through better planning.
Brooks was the Independent’s 2006 “Person of the Year,” one of Acadiana’s 2013 “Top 20 Under 40,” was featured in the state’s “Come Home, Louisiana” campaign, and is a graduate of Leadership Lafayette. She is a board member with TRAIL (Transportation and Recreation Alternatives in Louisiana), is chair of the Freetown-Port Rico Coterie, which was recently designated a historic district; and was a member of Lafayette Consolidated Government’s Unified Development Code Committee.
She has dual masters’ degrees in community and regional planning and urban design from the University of Texas at Austin, and an environmental and sustainable resources degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Swaine became executive assistant to the mayor of Shreveport in 1998 following a long career in print and TV news. Community leaders recruited her to become executive director of the Downtown Shreveport Development Authority in 2010, and in that capacity she has been a prominent leader in projects and initiatives that have transformed downtown Shreveport into a vibrant, fresh, sought-after district. She is also executive director of Downtown Shreveport Development Corp., which promotes business growth in the district. That organization won the Louisiana Historic Preservation Heritage Award in 2016 for its efforts in saving and utilizing historic properties.
Through Swaine’s leadership, historic buildings have been restored and renovated into mixed use spaces of retail buildings and the Lofts at 624. She also was instrumental in renovations of Artspace and the Central Art Station and other buildings into theater, coffee, restaurant and other businesses, bringing new life to downtown Shreveport.