April 25, 2012 06:00 AM
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The small-town charm of Louisiana circa 1930 gets a reverent retrospective in a new book by writer Anne Butler and photographer Henry Cancienne.

MAINLY MAIN STREET
The small-town charm of Louisiana circa 1930 gets a reverent retrospective in a new book by writer Anne Butler and photographer Henry Cancienne. A worthy addition to the coffee table, Main Streets of Louisiana ($35, UL Lafayette Press) brings the reader on a tour of some of the Bayou State's most picturesque towns. Notably absent in the book is Lafayette, but Acadiana is well-represented by Abbeville, Crowley, Eunice, New Iberia and St. Martinville. Many of these old downtown districts were saved thanks in no small part to the National Trust for Historic Preservation's National Main Street Center, a national network that Louisiana joined in 1984. Mixing pictures and prose in equal measure, Main Streets serves as both a lively guide for history buffs and a reminder than many a historic downtown went to seed across the state in the second half of the 20th century as people and businesses fled to the suburbs. - Walter Pierce

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