Lafayette, LA- The local history of La Place Neighborhood will be recognized and celebrated with a heritage walk tomorrow morning, February 21, 2020 at 9 a.m. Created in 1856, La Place is the location of the first subdivision to be developed after the development of Downtown Lafayette.
Located across from West Congress Street near downtown, the La Place neighborhood holds a wealth of local history including the first school in Lafayette to offer academic classes to African Americans (in 1903), the first African-American Catholic Church (built in 1911), Lafayette’s first all-black baseball team, and “The Block,” which was the center of commercial, residential and social life for African-American and Creole populations throughout most of the 20th century.
Beginning 9 a.m. at the Saint Paul Church Rectory building, the walk will feature music by the Soul Express Brass Band, the unveiling of historic signage and historical information at each site with French translation provided by CODOFIL. This event is made possible by the Lafayette Preservation Commission, Saint Paul Catholic Church, Lafayette Consolidated Government’s (LCG) Development and Planning Department, the City and Parish Council Offices and the Mayor-President’s Office.
Lafayette City Councilman Pat Lewis has a personal connection to La Place, “This neighborhood has a tremendous amount of history that we don’t want to forget. My father attended St. Paul Catholic Church in the 1920s. My sisters and I were baptized and had our first communions there. I remember attending Church fairs for fundraisers and enjoyed eating Mr. Alfred McZeal’s famous hamburgers. During segregation St. Paul Catholic Church was the only catholic church that had Sunday service for black people. St. Paul’s Catholic Church has the oldest existing Knight of Peter Clever chapter for black men and my father was a member.”
More information on tomorrow’s event can be found HERE<https://www.facebook.com/events/2554737228179187/>.