Is It Time To Let Go Of These Three Lafayette Landmarks?
Lafayette is known for its food, fun and history. However, there are a few landmarks in the city that may need to be put to rest.
As difficult as it may be to admit this, some of our most notable landmarks in Lafayette look dated. Hey, it happens. Even landmarks like the original Yankee Stadium and Cowboys Stadium had to be put to rest.
One of the first landmarks that Lafayette may soon have to let go of is Blackham Coliseum on Johnston St. Sure, it's a staple for the university here, but Blackham Coliseum has seen better days. After all, this venue was built in 1949.
The only real purpose of the venue today is to host the annual rodeo, agriculture shows, and a few cook-offs. Couldn't this space, which is 46,500 sq. feet, be used for student housing, parking, etc? If I recall, the long-term plan for the city is to include student housing on this lot. How convenient would that be?
Now, before you get upset with my suggestion here, if UL wants to keep Blackham on location, a modern day renovation could go a long way. But where will these funds come from? After all, we know the current financial state of Louisiana and it's not pretty.
Another landmark that Lafayette should probably soon let go of is the old Federal Court House building in downtown Lafayette. The building is in terrible condition and it's one of the first things you see in the downtown district if you enter off Johnston St.
Having gone by recently, I could not help but notice all of the broken windows on the building and it shows its age. It's simply an "eyesore" for the downtown Lafayette district. If you're going to be at Festival this week, take a look.
Why hasn't it been demolished? I'm sure there's some "legal" reasoning behind it, thus it is still standing.
Lastly, and this one hurts to admit, the Northgate Mall in "Upper Lafayette" may soon need be torn down. As a kid, I couldn't wait to go to this place, but having walked through it a few years back, It's sad now. It's the once healthy man that has now lost all mobility.
This piece of real estate could be prime. Personally, I'd love to see something new developed on the same piece of property and it start a chain reaction for the rest of that area. Best Buy and/or a Sam's or Costco?
While south Lafayette is booming, the upper part of the city is aging, and it starts with the Northgate Mall. Seeing this building in the shape it's in now really brings a tear to my eye. That's not how it should be remembered.
While it's hard to swallow the fact that it may be time to let go of these landmarks, it would only make the city we love, Lafayette, better. Sometimes in life you just have to let go of things and these are three places/things we need to let go of in Lafayette.
Sure, they all carry so much history with them, but just because a building isn't there any longer doesn't mean that its legacy will be forgotten or erased.