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Spirit of Acadiana: 1830s Opera House for Sale

Spirit of Acadiana - 1830s Opera House for Sale 3-31-2021.jpg
Posted at 7:38 PM, Mar 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-31 20:38:54-04

ST. MARTINVILLE, La.  — Here in St. Martinville, it's our story brings us to the Duchamp Opera House. It's been a performing arts venue, an art gallery, retail space, and now, this piece of living St. Martinville history can be yours. It's for sale at $299,999.

“Built in 1830, itt was an opera house and actually it's thought to be one of the oldest surviving opera houses in the United States,” says Jennifer Stelly, Executive Director of the St. Martin Economic Development Authority.

Right here in downtown St. Martinville, it’s a gorgeous opera house, after that a department store for over seven decades.

Then, around 20 years ago, the property was turned over to the city for a million-dollar renovation and the return of some fabulous productions.

A lot of productions featuring some notable St. Martinville residents. Such as… current city councilman Mike Fuselier.

“I was one of the original Evangeline players when the building first got restored,” he recalls. “We started the theatre troupe that brought in all these plays for about 20 years.”

But now, the city of St. Martinville is putting the ‘For Sale’ sign on the Duchamp Opera House.

“We are selling it because we need to get out of the building business,” explains Fuselier.

And, understandably, focus more on governing. So, St. Martinville is looking is looking for a buyer. $299,000. $42 a square foot. And the possibilities for the right buyer?

“It's whatever somebody can see this building become,” adds Fuselier. “Whether it's a business, upstairs, downstairs, residential upstairs/business downstairs, several businesses downstairs, just whatever someone would like. We just want to see the integrity of the building kept."

The city has had a couple inquiries; and while It's about finding the right buyer, the sale of the Duchamp Opera House is also legacy... about the new buyer becoming part of that which makes St. Martinville special.

“It's one of the oldest structures in Louisiana,” says Stelly. “So, it's definitely important to our history here in St. Martin Parish. But it's also in the middle of our St. Martin Parish seat. it's in the main square, and we want to see activity, we want to see it come alive again, we want to drive by and see people in here with the lights on.”

“I want it to be filled with the Spirit of Acadiana.”

Thank you for the plug, Jennifer!

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