Lafayette’s Old City Hall

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It's hard to go down West Main Street in downtown Lafayette without noticing this building built in 1898. It served as the Bank of Lafayette.

But as with any growing city the bank outgrew the building and needed more space.

In 1906 the building was sold to the city for $4,500 and soon became Lafayette's first city hall.

“When Lafayette was still a village, all of the cities operating administration happened here.” said Roxana Usner with the Preservation Alliance of Lafayette.

But the building wasn't only used for city government, Usner said it was also used as a jail, with a pair of segregated jail cells built out back.

The buildings unique design was thought up by self taught architect George Knapp.

“The style is Italian 8 revival. Very popular in the 1800's. Some of the details are so wonderful. There is a half balcony on second floor.” said Usner.

As the city grew, so did the need for more space. In 1939 city hall relocated to the corner of Jefferson and Lee Streets.

One more move happened in 1980 where the current city hall resides.

Inside the old Sears department store building. But even as the city outgrows buildings, the Preservation Alliance is dedicated to preserving its history.

“This building is a gem. We don't have a lot of buildings from the 1800's in the city so preserving this is a rare gem.” said Usner.

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