The Sustainable Development Lab at the University of Louisiana School of Architecture and Design is proud to announce the Freetown-Port Rico Historic District is now, officially on the National Register of Historic Places!
This is the first such designation in the city since the Sterling Grove Historic District was listed in 1984. Lafayette now has two.
We anticipate this news factoring positively in the way the neighborhood develops and is impacted as the I-49 design continues to move forward.
Director of the Sustainable Development Lab (SDLab), Corey Saft discusses the preparation that went into the project:
"Over the past two years the Sustainable Development Lab has been working on a National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) historic district nomination for the Freetown and Port Rico neighborhoods. The district has well over 800 structures that needed to be documented - we didn't appreciate how much work this was until we were well into it. This is the kind of work UL's Sustainable Development Lab hopes to keep doing so we can help bring progressive urban development that doesn't loose our unique sense of place. There are many more important neighborhoods, especially the first ring suburbs around downtown and important cultural centers like Four Corners, that need to be documented and qualified for tax credits. The State is very supportive of these efforts.
After about two years of planning and work we are thrilled to have this confirmed. We can't thank enough all the people who were involved. It was really a great story of collaboration. between architecture, anthropology, history, historic preservation and local and state government.
This is really just the beginning. There are so many important stories from inside this neighborhood that need to be told and need to be remembered. This district captures a quality of tolerance, creativity and vibrance that is really unique. It is not only the history of Lafayette but a history of social, racial and cultural integration that is being remembered through this designation. These are the stories that need to be told and retold as the news seems filled with much less flattering stories.
We are really excited about the extensive tax credits that the neighborhood and individuals will now be eligible for."
Executive Director of the Lafayette Central Park Board, EB Brooks also took part in the effort. According to Brooks, "This will increase the mitigation strategies that are considered through the I-49 planning process, AND opens up historic tax credit availability to our residents and business owners, making restoration and preservation more affordable and attractive."
Read more about it in this article in the Independent.
To learn more about what this means for the neighborhood, check out the National Register of Historic Places Website.