William Burwell Ogilvie (1847-1899) was born in Georgia. Orphaned at 15, he traveled to Bossier Parish, Louisiana, and was raised by relatives. During the Civil War, he was a private in Company A of the 6th Louisiana Cavalry, deemed the "Caddo Light Horse", CSA. After the war, he started a wholesale grocery business in the 100 block of Texas Street, which became a very successful venture. The Ogilvie’s would eventually move into the hardware business.
In 1870, the 600 block of Christian Street was platted by Shreveport attorney John N. Hicks (1845-1910), and became the city’s first subdivision. Shortly afterwards, William purchased property at 624 Christian Street from J. Patzman for $821.25 and constructed an antebellum style L-shaped house. The house could not provide for his growing family, so it was razed and a second was built on the same lot, this time in the Queen Ann Victorian style, designed by Shreveport architect Luther T. McNabb, completed in 1897. The original architectural rendition of the house is shown above. William died in 1899 and his wife in 1906. They are buried in Greenwood Cemetery on Stoner Avenue in Shreveport.
Within a year of Mrs. Ogilvie’s passing, the mansion was sold to Samson Wiener (1864-1942). The son of German parents, Sam was born in Mississippi, later moving to Shreveport with his two sons, Earl Loeb Weiner and Samuel Gross Weiner, after the death of his first wife, Tillie Loeb. He then married Florence Loeb and had two more sons, William Benjamin Weiner and Jacque Loeb Weiner. The Weiner children attended Shreveport High School, located at the corner of Hicks Street (now Oakland Street) and Hope Street, about three blocks from their home. The principal was C. E. Byrd.
Samson opened a chain of retail grocery stores under the name of the Weiner Loeb Grocery Company, which eventually was renamed Big Chain. That business was sold to Kroger in the 1950’s.
Both William B. and Samuel G. became architects, designing the Municipal Auditorium, one block away from the mansion. Finished in 1929, it contains one million bricks.
In the early 1930’s, they traveled to Europe to study an emerging architectural design termed "International". Influenced by this new style, they designed numerous residential and commercial buildings in the city, including Samuel’s home on Longleaf in the Highland neighborhood.
The mansion stayed in the Weiner family until being sold in 1948 to the J. V. Sclifo family for $10,000. In 1951, the Sclifo family leased the house and it was remodeled and opened as a private supper club, "The Florentine Club". The upper-class establishment featured entertainment by nationally known performers, such as Perry Como, pianists Ferrante and Teicher, Big Band orchestras (notably Jan Garber, of Shreveport) and many others.
Among the famous that patronized The Florentine were John Wayne, Bette Davis, Doris Day, William Holden, Ethel Merman, just to name a few. The Florentine operated until 1960, closing due to financial troubles.
The house remained vacant from 1962 to 1972, when it experienced a reawakening, again as "The Florentine" under the new ownership of Shreveporter Gene Barnett, and went through numerous reincarnations, eventually being renamed "Clue’s". It closed in 1996 after Barnett’s death and began a series of ownerships until 2011, when it was purchased by John and Debbie Bryant of Shreveport.