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Dave Trips: National Register of Historic Places

Lafayette Parish has 37 Treasures
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Posted at 5:30 AM, Dec 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-20 08:47:35-05

I often say to my kids, "Man, I remember when this was just a big field with cows!" And I've only lived here 25 years, far less than someone who has lived their whole life here. When someone tells me the Judice Inn was in the country, I'm floored. Are you aware of the number of places here in Lafayette Parish that are on the National Historic Registry? According to Wikipedia, there's 37 of them.

Some, I'm sure, you're familiar with. The Alexandre Mouton House was added to the registry in 1975. It was once home to the 9th Governor of Louisiana. Jean Mouton, Alexandre's father, and one of the earliest settlers of Acadiana built the home in 1800. Today it's a museum and is run by the all women service group Les Vingt-Quatre French for The 24, for the first 24 women who started the group.

And the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. Towering over Lafayette, it's one of the city's most iconic sites. Even though the building is the third structure built on this site completed in 1916, the land was donated by Jean Mouton in 1821. It's Dutch Romanesque Revival Style. It boasts red and white brick, and shines at with stained glass produced in Munich. While your there you can't miss the historic St. John's Cemetery and the St. John's Live Oak, it's circumferemce over 29 and a half feet. Some estimate the oak is nearly 500 years old.

You can see several places within walking distance in downtown Lafayette. The old City Hall across from the courthouse. The Lafayette Hardware Store, The Old Gordon Hotel, and the Hope Lodge Number 145 all on Vermilion Street. The Old Guranty Bank Building and the Evangeline Hotel on Jefferson Street. Entire neighborhoods are also on the registry including Freetown and Sterling Grove. In all there are 23 historic properties and districts in the city of Lafayette alone.

In Scott there's the Bank of Scott building, recently added to the registry in 2016. It's a one story building on St. Mary built in 1910. It was used as a bank until the Great Depression.

In Carencro, Our Lady of the Assumption School was originally a one room school in the 1930s. It's located on North Michaud Street behind the church.

Broussard has eleven different properties. It's easy to park and walk to nearly all of them. Familiar to most of us is St. Cecilia Catholic School. It was opened to seventy students 1909 at a cost of $25,000 and operated by the Sisters of the Divine Providence. Several are clustered in the Main Street Historic District that is also on the Historic Register. The Roy LeBlanc House built in 1886, The Martial Billeaud Jr. Home built in 1893, and The Ducrest Building erected in 1903. Eight of the properties are on either Morgan or Main Streets, the others are just a few blocks away.