Our current Lafayette City Hall, located at the corner of St. Landry and University Avenue, has a rich past. The original structure was built by Mr. and Mrs. Luke Martin in 1918 on what was known as the “Old Spanish Trail.”
The beautiful home was sold to the Carmelite Nuns in 1936, the year in which they were established in Lafayette by the Catholic Diocese. The three acre property was perfect for the cloistered nuns, its beautiful entrance graced with lovely live oak trees covered with Spanish Moss. A 15 foot wall surrounded the property and it was overtaken with English Ivy.
Over the years, many additions were made to the house but the growing flock needed more space. A permanent monastery was proposed and money was raised by the Carmelite Guild. The nuns moved into their new home at 1250 Carmel Drive in Lafayette on January 22, 1956.
In 1957, the building was purchased by Sears & Roebuck to build a new store.
In 1979, when Sears moved into the new Acadiana Mall, it sold the building to the City of Lafayette to use as our current City Hall. Visitors to City Hall can now understand how riding the escalator to visit with city officials feels reminiscent of shopping at Sears back in the day…..it was Sears!