Lafayette, Louisiana
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Lafayette, Louisiana
Lafayette, Louisiana
City of Lafayette
From top, left to right: Downtown Lafayette, the Cajundome, John M. Shaw U.S. Courthouse, Clayton Martin House, Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist, Cajun Field
Flag of Lafayette, Louisiana
Nickname(s): 
The Hub City
Motto(s): 
The Heart of Cajun Country
Interactive map of Lafayette
Coordinates: 30°13?N 92°2?W / 30.217°N 92.033°W / 30.217; -92.033Coordinates: 30°13?N 92°2?W / 30.217°N 92.033°W / 30.217; -92.033
CountryUnited States
StateLouisiana
ParishLafayette
Founded1821 as Vermilionville
Renamed1884 as Lafayette
Founded byJean Mouton
Named forGeneral Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette
Government
 o TypeConsolidated city-parish
 o MayorJosh Guillory (R)
Area
 o Total55.65 sq mi (144.13 km2)
 o Land55.57 sq mi (143.92 km2)
 o Water0.08 sq mi (0.20 km2)  auto%
 o Metro
3,408.5 sq mi (8,828 km2)
Elevation
49 ft (15 m)
Population
 o Total121,374
 o RankUS: 234th
 o Density2,270.78/sq mi (876.75/km2)
 o Urban
252,720 (US: 148th)
 o Metro
489,759
 o CSA
627,146 (US: 77th)
 o Consolidated
244,390
Demonym(s)Lafayettien
Time zoneUTC−6 (CST)
UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
70501-9, 70593, 70596, 70598
Area code(s)337
FIPS code22-40735
Websitewww.lafayettetravel.com

Lafayette (, French: [lafaj?t]) is a city in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The city is the most populous and parish seat of Lafayette Parish,[3] and is located along the Vermilion River. It is Louisiana's fourth largest incorporated municipality by population and the 234th-most populous in the United States, with a 2020 census population of 121,374;[4] the consolidated city-parish's population was 244,390 in 2019.[5][6] The Lafayette metropolitan area was Louisiana's third largest metropolitan statistical area with a population of 489,759 at the 2020 population estimates program,[7] overtaking the Shreveport-Bossier City metropolitan area in 2015.[8]

Originally established as Vermilionville in the 1820s and incorporated in 1836,[9] Lafayette developed as an agricultural community until the discovery of oil in the area in the 1940s; since the discovery of oil, the city and parish have had the highest number of workers in the oil and natural gas industry in Louisiana as of 2018.[10] With the establishment of the University of Louisiana System's Lafayette campus, and the diversification of its economy, Lafayette and its metropolitan area have experienced population growth and became nicknamed "The Hub City".[11] Culturally, the city and parish of Lafayette are also known as the "Heart of Acadiana".[12]

The city, metropolitan area and Acadiana region are major centers for the technology industry,[13][14] and home to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, the second largest public research university in Louisiana. Lafayette is also a major center for health care and social services, aerospace, banking and retail.[15] Notable corporations with headquarters or a large presence in the Lafayette area include the Ochsner Health System,[16] IberiaBank,[17] Rouses Market,[18] Petroleum Helicopters International,[19] Amazon,[20][21] Brookshire Grocery Company,[22] JP Morgan Chase, Albertsons,[23] Perficient, and CGI.[24] The Lafayette area is home to a diverse population from Louisiana Creole and Cajun backgrounds,[25] and was named the "Happiest City in America" in 2014.[26][27]

Etymology

Lafayette is named after Marquis de Lafayette.[28] Little is known about early settlements or if the area had a different name prior to European colonization. The city was originally founded in 1821 as Vermilionville.

History

The Attakapa Native Americans inhabited this area at the time of the first European encounter. French colonists founded the first European settlement, Petit Manchac, a trading post along the Vermilion River.[29] In the mid-to-late eighteenth century, numerous Acadian refugees settled in this area,[30] after being expelled from Canada after Great Britain defeated France in the Seven Years' War.[31] They intermarried with other settlers, forming what became known as Cajun culture, which maintained use of the French language and adherence to the Roman Catholic Church.[32][33]

Jean Mouton, an Acadian settler, donated land to the Roman Church for construction of a small Catholic chapel at this site. In 1824, this area was selected for the Lafayette Parish seat and was named Vermilionville,[9] for its location on the river; in 1836, the Louisiana State Legislature approved its incorporation.

The area was initially developed by Europeans for agriculture, primarily sugar plantations, which depended on the labor of numerous enslaved Africans and African Americans. They made up a large percentage of the antebellum population.[29] According to U.S. census data in 1830, some 41% of the population of Lafayette Parish was enslaved.[34] By 1860, the enslaved population had increased to 49.6%. Some free people of color lived in Lafayette Parish, as well;[35][36] they made up 3%, to a low of 2.4% between 1830 and 1860.

In 1884, Vermilionville was renamed for General Lafayette, a French aristocrat who had fought with and significantly aided the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War.[37] The city and parish economy continued to be based on agriculture into the early 20th century. After the American Civil War, most of the labor was done by freedmen, who worked as sharecroppers. From the 1930s, mechanization of agriculture began to reduce the need for farm workers.[38]

By 1898, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette was established in the city as the Southwestern Louisiana Industrial Institute. It opened in 1901, and changed its name to the University of Southwestern Louisiana in 1960.[39] The university's current name was chosen in 1999.

In the 1940s, after oil was discovered in the parish, the petroleum and natural gas industries expanded to dominate the economy. As of 2018, Lafayette had the highest number of oil and natural gas industry workers in the state.[10]

Since the latter half of the 20th century, Lafayette has hosted the Festivals Acadiens et Créoles, and was candidate as site for the New Orleans Pelicans NBA G League team in 2017.[40]

In 1992, the city and parish consolidated;[41][42][43][44] the city's boundaries encompassed the entirety of Lafayette Parish, though incorporated municipalities continued to operate with their own municipal governments and departments. Since the beginning of the 21st century, a committee proposed the deconsolidation of the city and parish.[45][46][47]

Geography

The city of Lafayette is located at 30°13?N 92°2?W / 30.217°N 92.033°W / 30.217; -92.033 (30.2139, -92.0294),[48] in southern Louisiana's Acadiana region on the Gulf Coast of the United States. It was part of the seabed during the earlier Quaternary period. During this time, the Mississippi River cut a 325-foot-deep (99 m) valley between what is now Lafayette and Baton Rouge. This valley was filled and is now the Atchafalaya Basin. The city is located on the western rim of this valley.

The Lafayette area is part of the southwestern Louisiana Prairie Terrace; it is higher and not made of wetlands like much of the surrounding areas to the south and west of Lafayette. Lafayette does not suffer significant flooding problems, outside of local flash flooding. Lafayette has developed on both sides of the Vermilion River. Other significant waterways in the city are Isaac Verot Coulee, Coulee Mine, Coulee des Poches, and Coulee Ile des Cannes, which are natural drainage canals that lead to the Vermilion River.[49]

Lafayette lies approximately 135 miles (217 km) from New Orleans,[50] 59 miles (95 km) from the state capital of Baton Rouge,[51] 75 miles (121 km) from Lake Charles,[52]and 89 miles (143 km) from Alexandria.[53] The city has an elevation ranging from 36 feet (11.0 m) to 49 feet (15 m) above sea level.[54][55] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 55.65 square miles (144.1 km2), of which 55.57 square miles (143.9 km2) is land and 0.08 sq mi (0.21 km2) (0.19%) is covered by water.[56]

Cityscape

Lafayette has maintained a modest downtown skyline throughout much of its history; in 2021, two high-rise towers were planned for the downtown area, the latest addition in over 40 years.[57] This follows efforts to redevelop the downtown area in the 2010s.[58][59]

Climate

Lafayette's climate is described as humid subtropical using Köppen climate classification. It has year-round precipitation, especially during summertime. Lafayette's highest temperature was 107 °F (42 °C); it has hot, moist summers and warm, damp winters.

Climate data for Lafayette Regional Airport, Louisiana (1991-2020 normals, extremes 1893-present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 87
(31)
87
(31)
93
(34)
93
(34)
98
(37)
106
(41)
107
(42)
104
(40)
103
(39)
98
(37)
92
(33)
89
(32)
107
(42)
Average high °F (°C) 62.2
(16.8)
66.1
(18.9)
72.6
(22.6)
79.0
(26.1)
85.9
(29.9)
90.2
(32.3)
91.5
(33.1)
92.3
(33.5)
89.0
(31.7)
81.3
(27.4)
71.5
(21.9)
64.4
(18.0)
78.8
(26.0)
Daily mean °F (°C) 52.8
(11.6)
56.8
(13.8)
62.9
(17.2)
69.2
(20.7)
76.5
(24.7)
81.6
(27.6)
83.3
(28.5)
83.5
(28.6)
79.7
(26.5)
70.7
(21.5)
60.8
(16.0)
54.9
(12.7)
69.4
(20.8)
Average low °F (°C) 43.5
(6.4)
47.4
(8.6)
53.3
(11.8)
59.3
(15.2)
67.2
(19.6)
73.1
(22.8)
75.1
(23.9)
74.7
(23.7)
70.4
(21.3)
60.1
(15.6)
50.2
(10.1)
45.3
(7.4)
60.0
(15.6)
Record low °F (°C) 10
(-12)
6
(-14)
22
(-6)
32
(0)
42
(6)
51
(11)
59
(15)
58
(14)
41
(5)
27
(-3)
21
(-6)
9
(-13)
6
(-14)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 5.92
(150)
4.07
(103)
3.72
(94)
4.91
(125)
5.44
(138)
7.09
(180)
6.27
(159)
6.26
(159)
5.02
(128)
4.76
(121)
4.39
(112)
4.96
(126)
62.81
(1,595)
Average precipitation days 10.0 9.3 8.7 7.5 8.4 12.2 14.1 12.2 9.4 7.6 8.3 9.8 117.5
Source: NOAA[60][61]


Demographics

At the 2020 United States census, 121,374 people lived in the city.[4] The U.S. Census Bureau's 2019 American Community Survey determined 126,199 people lived in the city limits,[5] and 244,390 within the consolidated city-parish.[6] The 2010 U.S. census reported 120,623 people, 43,506 households, and 27,104 families were residing in the city proper,[63] up from 94,440 in the 1990 United States census. The growth of Lafayette and its metropolitan area's population from the later 20th and earlier 21st century has been attributed to the oil and gas industry, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and Acadiana tourism.[64]

Per the American Community Survey's 2019 estimates program, the city proper's age distribution was 21,104 under 15; 20,835 aged 15 to 24; 45,707 aged 25 to 54; and 38,553 aged 55 to 85 years and older.[65] The consolidated city-parish's age distribution was 48,548 under 15; 132,872 aged 15 to 54; and 62,970 aged 55 to 85 years and older.[66] In 2019, Lafayette had a median age of 37.6 and the consolidated city-parish 35.9. For every 100 females there were 88.3 males in the city proper limits and 93.1 males per 100 females for the consolidated area.

There were 59,431 housing units for the city and 105,067 for the consolidated city-parish in 2019. Lafayette proper had an owner-occupied housing rate of 56.6% and the parish had an owner-occupied housing rate of 64.8%.[67] Owner-occupied housing units had a median value from $185,300 to $195,400. Median homeowner costs with a mortgage were estimated from $1,362 to $1,420. Lafayette Parish had an estimated 1,162 building units in 2019. In 2019, the median household income was $56,999 for the parish area and $51,264 for the city proper. The median rent was from $870 to $890.

In 2010, 84.2% of the population over the age of five spoke only English at home, while 11.5% of the population spoke French.[68]

Race and ethnicity

Of the population in 2019, 62.5% were non-Hispanic white, 29.6% Black or African American, 0.3% American Indian or Alaska Native, 2.7% Asian, 1.4% two or more races, and 3.5% Hispanic or Latin American of any race.[65] The consolidated area of Lafayette 65.2% non-Hispanic white, 26.6% Black or African American, 0.3% American Indian or Alaska Native, 1.8% Asian, 0.3% some other race, 1.0% two or more races, and 4.6% Hispanic or Latin American of any race.[66] The largest single Hispanic or Latin American group overall were Mexican Americans.

The 2010 American Community Survey determined the racial makeup of the city was 64.1% White, 29.1% African American, 0.2% Native American, 2.5% Asian, and 0.8% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 3.2% of the population.[69] At the 2000 U.S. census, 68.50% were White, 28.25% Black or African American, 0.25% Native American, 1.42% Asian, 0.2% Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, 0.58% some other race, 0.98% two or more races, and 1.88% Hispanic or Latin American.[70]

Religion

In common with Louisiana's religious demographic as part of the Bible Belt, the Lafayette consolidated city-parish and metropolitan area are majority religious (78.6% and 71%), dominated by Christianity.[71] As of 2021, the Catholic Church was the single largest Christian denomination (46.4%), and Protestants were the largest collective Christian group. Among Protestant Christians, Evangelical Protestantism was the largest transdenominational body and historically Black or African American churches were the second largest. Mainline Protestantism remained a minority.

Owing in part to Spanish and French colonialism and missionary work, Christians are primarily served by the Latin Church's Roman Catholic Diocese of Lafayette in Louisiana. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Lafayette in Louisiana was founded in 1918 and its see is the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist.[72] Baptists were the second largest individual Christian denomination (17.8%). The most prominent Evangelical Baptist denomination in the Lafayette area as of 2021 is the Southern Baptist Convention.[73] The National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. and National Baptist Convention of America were the largest historically Black or African American Baptist denominations. Independent Baptist churches also have a significant presence in the metropolitan area.[74]

Pentecostals made up the third largest Christian community in Lafayette (3.6%), and have been primarily served by the Church of God in Christ and Assemblies of God USA.[75][76] Following, Methodists, Episcopalians or Anglicans, Mormons, Lutherans, and Presbyterians formed the remaining mainstream Christian population of Lafayette and its metropolitan area. Christians of other faiths including the Jehovah's Witnesses, united and uniting churches,[77] and Independent Sacramental Movement collectively formed 5.6% of the population.

In 2021, Judaism and Islam were tied as the second largest non-Christian religions within Lafayette and its metropolitan area (0.1% each). Jews began immigrating to the area in the 1800s,[78] and one of Louisiana's oldest continuously-operated synagogues (Temple Shalom) has been present in the city since 1869. The historic synagogue of Temple Shalom originally functioned as an Orthodox Jewish congregation before joining the Reform Judaism movement.[79] Lafayette's Jewish community has assisted in economic and cultural development of the area since their arrival.[80]

Education and healthcare

Primary and secondary schools

Public schools

The public schools in the parish are run by the Lafayette Parish School System (LPSS). The system has 45 schools: 25 elementary schools, 12 middle schools, and eight high schools. The LPSS offers nine career academies at the high-school level, school curricula designed to prepare students in certain career fields.[81]

Private schools

Lafayette is home to a large Roman Catholic population. They support many private parochial schools, including kindergarten through 12th grade.

Universities and colleges

Lafayette has one university, one community college, and two vocational colleges.

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is part of the University of Louisiana System. It is a national research institution, home to more than 18,000 students, over 100 programs, and home of the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns. It is the second-largest university in the state. Schools and colleges related to the institution have been located in Lafayette since 1898.

One of the newest college systems in Louisiana, South Louisiana Community College (SLCC), is headquartered in Lafayette. SLCC partnered with Acadian Ambulance to form the National EMS Academy, which offers EMT-Basic and EMT-Paramedic certification. SLCC is part of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System.[82] Louisiana Technical College (Lafayette campus) is part of the Louisiana Technical College System,[83] which in turn is part of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System. It offers associate degrees in several fields.[84] is a vocational school that offers a few bachelor's-degree programs, many associate-degree programs, and a few diploma programs.

It is also home to the Lafayette campus of the Academy of Interactive Entertainment, a technical college that specializes in video game programming, art and animation, and SFX.

Public library system

Healthcare

Lafayette's major healthcare facilities are:

  • Lafayette General Medical Center
  • Lafayette General Surgical Hospital
  • Lafayette Surgical Specialty Hospital
  • University Hospital and Clinics (formerly University Medical Center, and now part of the LGH system)- As of October 1, 2020 University Hospitals and Clinics merged with Ochsner Medical Center to become Ochsner University Hospitals and Clinics.
  • Women's and Children's Hospital
  • Lafayette General Orthopaedic Hospital (formerly the Regional Medical Center of Acadiana)
  • Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center
  • Heart Hospital of Lafayette
  • Park Place Surgical Hospital
  • Cardiovascular Institute of the South

Government and politics

See also Notable local politicians

Since the consolidation of city and parish governments in 1992, Lafayette's chief executive is known as the mayor-president. Republican Josh Guillory was elected to this office most recently.[85]

Some residents did not like the consolidated government, but in 2011, parish voters soundly rejected a proposal to separate parish and city governments. Under consolidation, the City of Lafayette and Parish of Lafayette have a common representative body and executive officer. Public works and other services, such as land use and plat review, are operated by the Lafayette Consolidated Government to serve the City of Lafayette and unincorporated areas of Lafayette Parish, and by contract some of the area municipalities. Zoning rules apply only within the city and unincorporated areas of Lafayette Parish.[86]

Some neighboring municipalities have adopted their own planning and zoning protocols. The suburban and rural cities and towns maintain independent city councils, local executives, police and fire departments, and other public services. The LPSS operates independently of any municipality, and its jurisdiction is coterminous with the Parish of Lafayette.[87]

Lafayette is also home to a regional office of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, and the headquarters of the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana, the state agency that oversees preservation and documentation of Louisiana French for tourism, economic development, culture, education, and the development of international relations with other Francophone regions and countries.[88]

Law enforcement

Lafayette is served by four local police agencies:

Note: City Police and Parish Sheriff's office were not combined during consolidation.

Military

Lafayette is home to the National Guard headquarters of the 256th Infantry Brigade, a military unit of more than 3,000 soldiers. The unit served in Iraq in 2004-2005. The brigade was deployed again in January 2010.[89]

Until 2014, Lafayette was also home to the United States Marine Corps Reserve Unit, F. Co. Anti-Terrorism Battalion commanded by Captain Cole Clements. This unit went on several deployments, many related to the Iraq War. In 2014, F. Co. Anti-Terrorism Battalion was decommissioned, to be replaced with H&S Co. Det. 4 4th Tanks Tow and Scouts, 4th MARDIV.[89]

Utilities

  • Electricity, water, and waste water

Lafayette is served by Lafayette Utilities System (LUS), a city-parish government-run, publicly owned utility company. This water and electricity utility was created in 1897.[90][91]

Both electricity and water services have been continuously provided by LUS to the residents of the City of Lafayette since that time. LUS has expanded to provide electricity, drinking water, and sewage treatment throughout the City of Lafayette, and to some unincorporated parts of Lafayette Parish. LUS also provides bulk sales to the water systems of most surrounding municipalities.

In 2009, LUS installed infrastructure for a fiber telecommunications network. Called LUSFiber, the network provides digital cable, telephone service, and high-speed internet to all households in Lafayette.[92]

  • Natural gas

Natural gas service is supplied by Atmos Energy.

  • Telephone

Local land-line telephone service is provided by AT&T. Cox Communications and LUS Fiber provide Voice over Internet Protocol phone service.

  • Television

Cable television service in Lafayette is provided by Cox Communications. LUS provides FTTH video services through LUSFiber. DirecTV and Dish Network both include Lafayette TV stations in their local packages.[]

Downtown Lafayette from the air
Lafayette is the location of the last remaining Borden's Ice Cream outlet in the United States.

Culture and contemporary life

Cultural organizations and institutions

Cultural organizations include the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra and Conservatory of Music, Chorale Acadienne, Lafayette Ballet Theatre and Dance Conservatory, the Lafayette Concert Band, and Performing Arts Society of Acadiana; as well as the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum and the Acadiana Center for the Arts.

The 2018 television film, The Christmas Contract, set in Lafayette, features many Cajun Christmas customs. In the story line, Jolie Guidry (Hilarie Burton) dreads returning to her home town when she learns that her former boyfriend, Foster Broussard (Hunter Burke) will be present at social gatherings with his new love interest. Jolie persuades Jack (Robert Buckley) to be her "contracted" escort in Lafayette. Then romance blossoms between Jolie and Jack. Bruce Boxleitner plays Jolie's father, Tim.[93]

Sports

Lafayette is home to the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns, the athletic teams of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. It is home to the Bayou Hurricanes, a semiprofessional football team that plays at Clark Field. Between 1995 and 2005, Lafayette was home to the Louisiana IceGators ECHL hockey team. In 2009, the IceGators returned as a member of the Southern Professional Hockey League until 2016. Also from 2009 to 2012, Lafayette was home to the Lafayette Wildcatters of the Southern Indoor Football League. It is also home to the Lafayette Bayou Bulls, a semipro football program started in 2003. Lafayette is also home to the Acadiana Cane Cutters, a summer-league baseball team. The team plays its games at Fabacher Field and is a member of the Texas Collegiate League. The Lafayette SwampCats (1997-1999) and Lafayette Swamp Cats (2000-2004) soccer teams played in the city. The Cajun Soccer Club of the Gulf Coast Premier League was founded in 2013. The Acadiana Rollergirls of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association is a roller derby league in Lafayette.

The Lafayette area is home to multiple sports venues: Blackham Coliseum, Cajundome, Cajun Field, Earl K. Long Gymnasium, Evangeline Downs, and Planet Ice Skating and Hockey Arena.

Lafayette was home to minor-league baseball teams in various seasons from 1907 to 2000. Lafayette was an affiliate of the St. Louis Browns 1936-1941, Chicago Cubs (1955-1957) and San Francisco Giants (1975-1976). The Lafayette Browns (1907), Lafayette Hubs (1920), Lafayette White Sox (1934-1942), Lafayette Bulls (1948-1953), Lafayette Oilers (1954-1957), Lafayette Drillers (1975-1976) and Bayou Bullfrogs (1998-2000) all played in Lafayette. The teams were members of the Gulf Coast League (1907), Louisiana State League (1920), Evangeline League (1934-1942, 1948-1953, 1954-1957), Texas League (1975-1976) and Texas-Louisiana League (1998-2000). Lafayette teams played at Parkdale Park (1934-1942), Clark Field (1945-1957, 1975-1976) and Tigue Moore Field (1998-2000).[94][95][96]

The Lost Bayou Ramblers at the Blue Moon Saloon

Media

Print

  • The Daily Advertiser, daily Gannett broadsheet-style newspaper
  • 337 magazine, regional lifestyle publication
  • The Advocate, daily newspaper with local coverage from Baton Rouge
  • The Independent, monthly locally owned newspaper (compact style)
  • The Times of Acadiana, weekly Gannett tabloid format
  • AcadianaMoms magazine
  • Acadiana Gazette, weekly newspaper published by Ron Gomez
  • Acadiana Profile magazine, established in 1968 by Robert Angers
  • The Vermilion, University of Louisiana at Lafayette student newspaper
  • Acadiana Catholic, monthly Catholic magazine of the Lafayette Diocese

Television

Lafayette is served by Cox Communications and by LUS's LUSFiber.[97]

Lafayette is home to:

Lafayette is also served by:

Radio

See List of Lafayette radio stations for full list

Popular radio stations in Lafayette:

Record labels

See List of Lafayette record labels for full list

Places of interest

  • Acadiana Center for the Arts
  • Acadian Village is a reconstructed Cajun bayou community (of moved and reassembled authentic buildings) and has a representative collection of Cajun furnishings.
  • Alexandre Mouton House Museum - a historic house museum, the home of Louisiana's first Democratic governor, Alexandre Mouton; contains a collection of antiques, historical documents, and old Mardi Gras costumes
  • Borden's Ice Cream - the last Borden's Ice Cream location in the United States
  • Caillouet House
  • Children's Museum of Acadiana
  • Cité des Arts
  • Cypress Lake is a two-acre swamp-like lake in the heart of the UL campus that is a unique university landmark and a habitat for native irises, alligators, turtles, birds and fish, as well as a hangout for students and a point of interest for tourists visiting the city.
  • Downtown Lafayette
  • Girard Park
  • Heymann Center - performing arts center
  • Acadian Cultural Center of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
  • Katog Choling Tibetan Cultural Center
  • Lafayette Natural History Museum & Planetarium
  • Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise (LITE) - a 70,000-square-foot facility at the Research Park; owns the world's first six-sided, digital virtual reality cube as well as the world's largest digital 3-D auditorium
  • Mouton Plantation Bed and Breakfast - originally built by Governor Charles Mouton (1797-1848), son of Lafayette's founder, Jean Mouton (1754-1834)
  • Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum
  • Vermilionville Historic Village - one of the world's largest Cajun and Creole living history museums, with seven restored historic structures from the 1765-1890 era
  • Zoosiana - located nearby in Broussard

Events

Transportation

  • Air: Lafayette Regional Airport (LFT) is located on US Highway 90 (future Interstate 49), on the southeast side of the city with daily scheduled passenger airline services nonstop to Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston and effective April 2, 2021 to Charlotte. Charter services also depart Lafayette Regional as well as helicopter flights and cargo jets. A new airline passenger terminal at the Lafayette airport is currently under construction and is scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of 2021.[99]
  • Interstate Highways: I-10 and I-49 (Lafayette currently serves as I-49's southern terminus at its intersection with I-10 with plans for I-49 to be extended to New Orleans).
  • Passenger rail: The Amtrak Sunset Limited offers service three days a week from New Orleans, Louisiana and Los Angeles, California with selected stops in Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. Connections are available in New Orleans to Chicago and to the East Coast via Atlanta. Service eastward to Orlando, Florida remains suspended in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
  • Intercity passenger bus: Greyhound operates a station downtown on Lee Avenue with destinations east and west on I-10, north on I-49 and southeast on US Hwy 90
  • Public transit: Lafayette Transit System (formerly City of Lafayette Transit (COLT)) provides bus service. Public transportation is provided only within Lafayette City Limits.
  • Bicycle facilities: There are certain areas within the city of Lafayette dedicated to growing into a bicycle-friendly community. The Lafayette MPO Bicycle Subcommittee meet once a month and has developed long-term goals for bicycling in the area. BikeLafayette is the area's bicycle advocacy organization which is very active in promoting bicycle awareness, safety, and education in Acadiana. TRAIL is an organization that promotes bicycling, canoeing, and pedestrian activities. Right now Lafayette has a growing number of dedicated commuter and recreational bicycling facilities, including a bicycle lane on each side of Johnston Street from UL-Lafayette area at Lewis Street to near Ambassador Caffery, ending at Ridge Road. Henderson Levee has opened a 55-mile trail, and there is a mountain bike park in Acadiana Park. UL-Lafayette has installed an off-road paved bicycle path beginning at its Horticultural Center on Johnston Street extending up Cajundome Boulevard to Eraste Landry Road. A number of out of use bicycle/pedestrian sidewalk paths remain from the 1970s and 1980s but are unsigned. A recreational trail extending from Downtown Lafayette into the Cypress Island region of Saint Martin Parish is under development. This path will connect neighboring Breaux Bridge and Saint Martinville with Lafayette.
  • Main road arteries: U.S. Routes 90 (co-signed with Evangeline Thruway, Mudd Avenue and Cameron Street within the city limits) and U.S. Route 167 (co-signed with I-49, Evangeline Thruway and Johnston Street). Ambassador Caffery Parkway, named for Jefferson Caffery, serves as a partial loop connecting I-10 at Exit 100 on the west and US 90 on the south. Other arterial roads include Verot School Road (LA 339), West Congress Street, Kaliste Saloom Road (LA 3095), Ridge Road, Carmel Drive/Breaux Bridge Highway (LA 94), University Avenue (LA 182), Pinhook Road (LA 182), Camellia Boulevard, Guilbeau Road, Moss Street, Willow Street, Louisiana Avenue, Pont Des Mouton Road, Eraste Landry Road, and South College Road.

Notable people

Sister cities

Lafayette has seven sister cities:[101]

Six intersections in the downtown area are each named after one of its sister cities.[]

See also

References

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  6. ^ a b "2019 Parish Population Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved .
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  34. ^ Written at Duff Green. Abstract of the Fifth Census of the United States (PDF). Washington DC: House of Representatives, United States of America. 1832.
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