City of Broussard Tourism

Architecture Buff

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In 1984, a National Register of Historic Places Inventory was performed by the State Historic Preservation Office and determined that 15 buildings were nominated to be listed. The entire nomination can be read here a the National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form.


According to their documentation, “All but one of the fifteen date from the turn-of-the-century (c. 1890-c. 1910).” They include “eight substantial frame Queen Anne Revival houses, three late Italianate frame commercial buildings, one late Italianate residence, one frame commercial vernacular store, and a large brick school building which reflects the late Italianate taste. (The home of the founder of Broussard is also included in the nomination even though it dates from c. 1876).”

The nomination also goes on to say, “The superiority of Broussard’s turn-of-the-century architecture within the context of Lafayette Parish is obvious to even the most casual observer. Other collections in the parish pale in comparison … Broussard is significant because it contains, especially for a small town, so many first-rate examples of turn-of-the-century architecture. The collection is noteworthy not for its size, but for the superiority of each individual example. There are only four known examples of Italianate commercial buildings remaining in the parish, and three of those are in Broussard. St. Cecilia School and 106 St. Pierre Street are two more examples of Italianate taste in Lafayette Parish.” It continues with, “The superiority of noteworthy examples of Queen Anne Revival residences in other towns in the parish rests largely upon the application of manufactured ornamentation … By contrast, the superiority of the examples in Broussard rests additionally upon their elaborate massing and upon the variety of specific features employed on each residence (turrets, cupolas, multiple gables, projecting bays, double columns, stained glass, etc.).



Andre Billeaud House

203 East Main Street

Built in 1903 by Andre Billeaud
Current use: Private residence, currently listed for sale

The main roof structure of the house is gable running east and west with gabled dormer centered over the entry with a matching one on the rear side. The octagonal shaped parlor to the left as you enter has a large gabled roof with “fish scale” shingle siding at pediments. Gables of east and west ends of main portion of home match, with the east side sheltering a sun porch and the west (left) side, a two-story octagonal shaped wing. Interior features include a large entrance foyer, 14-foot ceilings, 12-foot double hung windows, operable transoms above all doors, large double raised panel sliding doors between parlor and dining room.

Bernard Building

211 East Main Street

Built in 1902 by Guilliam Bernard and operated as a grocery store
Current Use: David Bernard & Associates

Typical commercial building at the turn of the century, this structure was altered to accommodate its use as a service station in later years. The porch is free span supported by tension rods and turn brackets. Large glass windows and transom for display and interior light are noteworthy. The building is wood frame with the exterior front face façade covered with embossed galvanized metal in the shape of stone masonry. There is an open gallery in the main store area.

Bobby's Lounge

305 East Main Street

Built in 1910
Current Use: Young's Sports Grill

It was a relatively simple frame commercial building with a stepped parapet front (it has been replaced and modernized). It retains its original galleries, although some of the ventilators have been filled in. In about 1940, a small brick side wing was added (now a barbershop).

Old Comeaux Home

208 E. Main Street

Built in 1910 by Mrs. Alphonse Comeaux, nee Eulalie Billeaud, a daughter of Martial Billeaud
Current Use: Private residence/formerly Hub City Bank

A fine example of Late Victorian fantasy, the Old Comeaux Home is considered by some to be the most successful representative of the era in Lafayette Parish. The elaborate woodwork, contrasting geometric shapes, and irregular roof planes combine in ostentatious display. A wide gallery wraps three-quarters of the way around the house and is supported by pairs of fluted Ionic columns resting on paneled rectangular piers. Similar columns support the balcony directly over the main entrance. Clusters of three columns are located at either end of the front gallery. The elaborately turned spindles of the railing continue to the side and rear portions of the gallery, which are supported by simple Doric columns.
The large octagonal bay to the left of the entrance is decorated with corner brackets, stained glass, and paneled exterior walls. The gable-end over the bay has scalloped shingles (“fish scales”) and a triple stained-glass window with a central arch reminiscent of a Palladian window. The entrance and balcony pediments are finished in the “sunburst” motif. The octagonal bay in the extreme left of the photograph is entirely paneled and contains an oval cameo window. A domed octagonal tower is located on the right side of the structure. Note the large windowpanes in the tower and other areas of the house.
The front entrance is a heavily leaded glass door with side lights and a segmented arch transom. The doors upstairs are beveled glass with elaborate carvings. There is a magnificent staircase in the entry hall and another leading from the kitchen to the servants’ quarters upstairs. One can still see the tubing for the ceiling gas lights and crystal chandeliers.

Paul Billeaud Home

302 East Main Street

Built in 1911 by Paul Billeaud, one of Martial Billeaud's sons
Current Use: Private residence

The Paul Billeaud home is the largest and most flamboyant of all Victorian structures in Lafayette Parish. Asymmetry and irregular mass characterize the house as late Victorian with elements of several architectural styles including Queen Anne, Gothic Revival, Italianate, Greek Revival and even Palladian. The contrasting shapes, irregular floor plan, complex geometry, galleries, bracketed overhangs, bay windows, pseudo-half-timbered gables, balconies, leaded glass, dormers, the domed octagonal turret, varying roof planes, the mixed used of Doric and Ionic columns, and elaborate woodwork combine to make the structure both stately and whimsical.




110 North Morgan Avenue

Built c. 1900 by Hebert Billeaud for his wife Alice, for whom it is named
Current use: Walter Rippas & Associates

Alesia is a large, frame, story and a half, Queen Anne Revival cottage with a central hall plan. It follows the standard Queen Anne cottage formula found throughout the parish and indeed the state – i.e., a central front door with a window on one side and a projecting semi-octagonal bay on the other. However, it has two asymmetrically placed forward-facing shingled gables, something which is found on only a handful of Queen Anne houses in the parish. The roofline is additionally enlivened by the use of a central dormer. Moreover, the house has a Colonial Revival gallery with double columns, which is an unusual feature within the context of the parish. Finally, the gables have elaborate Eastlake aprons such as are seldom seen on period houses in Lafayette Parish.

Billeaud House

303 West Main Street

Built c. 1907 by Charles Billeaud
Current use: Private residence

This rambling, frame, story and a half, Queen Anne-Colonial Revival house has an asymmetrical hall-less plan. The Ionic front gallery protrudes to encompass a semi-octagonal bay under a shingled gable. The hip roof features large, decorated dormers on three sides. The carport and the brick bases for the columns were added in the 1920s.
About half of Lafayette Parish's Queen Anne Revival style residences have semi-octagonal bays. Of these, the subject property is one of the five or six largest. It is also one of the very few where the massing is enlivened by the use of a protruding gallery section as described above. It is also one of the very few that has a large bay dormer. For these reasons, it is a landmark in the turn-of-the-century architectural heritage of Lafayette Parish.

Comeaux House

101 East 2nd Street

Built c. 1908 by Edmond Comeaux and his wife Cecile St. Julien Comeaux
Current Use: Nash's Restaurant

This frame, story and a half, Queen Anne-Colonial Revival house is symmetrical except for its corner turret. The house as a semi-octagonal bay at each end of the façade and an all-encompassing semi-octagonal Doric front gallery. The building has been converted into a restaurant, and, as part of the renovation, glass panels have been fitted between the gallery columns. However, this constitutes only a minor loss of integrity. In any case, the panels are removable, and they have not affected the house's most significant feature, its extraordinary roofline. Of the approximately 55 examples of Queen Anne Revival houses in Lafayette Parish, the house is one of the most elaborately massed. There are only about a half dozen Queen Anne houses in the parish that have corner turrets. This property is one of only about four that have corner turrets plus the additional pretention of a bell cast cupola.

Ducrest Building

100 West Main Street

Built in 1903 by T. Lucien Ducrest, who operated a pharmacy there for more than 35 years
Current Use: House of Broussard

This two-story, frame, pressed tin-sided commercial building retains its original shopfront and corner entrance, though it has lost its original gallery. Nonetheless, it retains the Italianate styling for which it has been judged significant. There are about 75 100+-year-old commercial buildings in Lafayette, most of which date from the 1920s. Of these 75, the Ducrest Building is one of only four known examples that reflect the commercial Italianate taste. This can be seen in the pressed tin siding, which imitates stonework, and in the elaborate, ornamental modillion cornice. Virtually all other old commercial buildings in the parish reflect later styles.

Janin Store

123 North Morgan Avenue

Built c. 1890 by Francois Janin, who came to the US in the late 1880s from France
Current Use: Morgan Street Dance Co.

This frame, pressed tin-sided, story and a half commercial building still retains its original shopfront windows and its original gallery, although the interior has been remodeled. Like the Ducrest building, it is one of only four known examples that reflect the commercial Italianate taste in Lafayette Parish.

Martial Billeaud, Jr. House

113 North Morgan Avenue

Built in 1893 by Martial Billeaud, Jr., son of the founder of the Billeaud Sugar Factory
Current Use: Private residence

This imposing Victorian structure contains a basement, which is an unusual feature in South Louisiana. Other than that, it resembles the other late Victorian Billeaud homes in Broussard with its asymmetrical floor plan, irregular mass, elaborate woodwork, stained glass and broad galleries. The stained glass is considered to be among the finest in a residential structure in the part of Louisiana. Hitching rings can still be seen in the sidewalk in front of the home.

Roy-Leblanc House

105 South St. Pierre Street

Built in 1886 by Joseph Arthur Roy for his bride, Cornelia Bailey
Current Use: Private residence

This home is a five-bay, frame, story and a half, late Italianate house with two front dormers. The side wing is recent, but it does not detract from the articulation of the house. The most distinguishing feature of the residence is its handsome bracketed pedimented portico. The house is architecturally significant on the local level. It has the only two pediments to be found in Broussard. Moreover, of the city's numerous turn-of-the-century residences, the property is the most consummate reflection of the Italianate taste.

St. Cecilia School

302 West Main Street

Built in 1909
Current use: Private Catholic school,

This is a late Italianate, three-story, brick building, seven bays wide with a symmetrical front entrance. The ground story is set below a water table and has segmentally arched windows. The second story, which is the main story, feature a band of arched windows interrupted by the central entrance. The entrance vestibule, which is reach by means of a central stair, is set in a pedimented aedicule motif with an inscribed archway. The building has a brick cornice surmounted by a hip roof with a front facing ventilation dormer. The interiors are large and plain. The building has a rear wing that is connected by a breezeway.
St. Cecilia is locally significant in the area of architecture because it is a landmark within the City of Broussard. It is the City's tallest 100+-year-old structure as well as the largest. It also has an impressive second story arcade effect. Finally, it is one of only two buildings in the city that feature a pedimented entrance.

St. Julien House

203 East 2nd Street,

Built c. 1910 by Mrs. Marguerite Helena Roy St. Julien, widow of Gustave St. Julien. After her husband's death, she wanted to leave her country home and move to town to be near her daughter Cecile St. Julien Comeaux. She had the builder copy her daughter's home (Comeaux House at 101 E. 2nd St.) exactly, except for the turret and cupola.

This is a frame, story and a half, Queen Anne-Colonial Revival house. In 1979, the house was renovated for restaurant use, at which time glass panels were fitted between the gallery columns, an awning was installed, and new balustraded steps were built. Both the glass panels and the awning are easily removable. In any case, these changes have had only a minor effect upon the massing of the house, which is the source of its architectural significance. Of the approximately 55 Queen Anne Revival houses in Lafayette Parish, few have double front gables and a dormer, as well. Only a handful have the dormer, enlarged and articulated as a balcony.

Valsin Broussard House

408 West Main Street

Built in 1876 by Valsin Broussard
Current Use: Currently being developed by the City of Broussard as a meeting and welcome center

This frame, two-story, gallery fronted Creole-style house has a hall-less plan two rooms deep. The round gallery columns and the single-story rear wing were added c. 1900. The lower gallery has been partially screened in and the central chimney has been removed. Despite these changes, the house would still be easily recognizable to its builder.
It is the building's historical significance, rather than its architectural, that places it on the register. The home of Valsin Broussard, the founder of the city of Broussard, is the oldest remaining house in the city today. Broussard and his family settled on the land where the city is presently located soon after the Civil War. To encourage the growth of the town, Valsin donated the eight arpents of land on which the church and cemetery are located and the land on which the Southern Pacific depot was built. In appreciation of these gifts, the town was named in his honor when it was laid out. In 1884, Broussard was duly incorporated and received a charter, which provided for a government consisting of a mayor, council, clerk, and marshal. Two years later, in 1886, the people became discontented and elected no officers, thus allowing the charter to lapse. It was not until 1906 that the town was reincorporated, and a new government put into operation.

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