Ponchatoula is mourning the loss of Harry Gabriel, a philanthropist that founded the Twin Steeples Creative Arts Center, which is expected to open this fall.
Gabriel was diagnosed with leukemia in 2004 and had been in remission for 10 years until his cancer returned two months ago.
Renovations are underway to a former Presbyterian church and Lutheran church that will serve as the site for the center. The two churches, both built in the late-1890s, are located downtown on East Oak Street and have been rotated to face each other. Project leaders employed the help of Davie Shoring to initiate the project. The goal of the project is to bring the arts to Ponchatoula with a first-class facility while preserving the legacy and history of the two buildings. The center will provide a space for intimate gatherings, exhibits, concerts, and performances. Larger gatherings can overflow onto a plaza connecting the two buildings.