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Lafayette is known as the “Hub City.” Lynn Guidry’s love of the community inspired him to develop a fascinating presentation on the history of Lafayette and its visionary decisions which positioned it to become the hub of Acadiana. Guidry has shared this historical account countless times with civic clubs and Leadership Lafayette classes so that Lafayette’s history can be understood in the context of today’s entrepreneurial environment.
The City of Lafayette and its leaders have a strong history of stepping up to provide infrastructure and advanced technological services with the financial support of its residents. Guidry has created a timeline showcasing the important milestones which triggered growth. beginning in 1836 when Lafayette residents passed a referendum to build a series of five roads, each leading from Lafayette to Abbeville, St. Martinville, Crowley, Opelousas, and New Iberia. People had to pass through Lafayette to get from one town to another if they wanted to travel on good roads, hence leading Lafayette to become the “Hub City.” Next, the Lafayette Utilities Systems was proposed by city leaders after the world watched in awe as the 1893 Chicago’s World Fair was lit up by electricity; the desire for pressurized water, as well as the ability to light its towns and streets, drove the public to demand its own electrical system. Lafayette was “lit” decades before the surrounding towns and growth commenced.
By 1897, Lafayette Utilities System was operational with the opening of its Grant Street plant. The ability to offer electricity placed Lafayette in the lead position to be selected as the site for the Southwest Louisiana Industrial Institute (now UL – Lafayette) which opened its doors in 1901, and set Lafayette apart from neighboring cities as electricity attracted commerce, opportunity and growth. Maurice Heymann’s development of the Oil Center in the early 1950’s was the critical component leading to Lafayette’s emergence as the hub for the emerging oil industry.
A well-known architect, Guidry’s projects include downtown’s Parc International & Parc Sans Souci, Carencro City Hall, the Junior League building, the Carencro Sports Complex and so many more which enrich the local quality of life. Lynn has been active in politics, having served on the Carencro City Council and then on the Lafayette Parish Council. Lynn Guidry is a man who continually gives of himself to make Lafayette Parish a better place.