Recently Nathan Norris, CEO of the Lafayette Downtown Development Authority joined Ken Romero and Dr. John Sutherlin on 'Go Acadiana' to discuss delaying the destruction of historic buildings for Interstate 49 construction.

We asked Norris if the controversy involved more than one building and he said,

It's a block of buildings but the focus is primarily on the two story all masonry building that was built in 1885...It's between West Second and West Third between Cyprus and Grant right by the railroad tracks.

When asked to explain the historic significance of the building Norris replied,

It's longest history was with I believe Merchant's Grocery and I'm not the expert on this. This is all second hand information to me. Which was owned by the first Bishop of the Diocese of Lafayette so that's what made it historic. It was also important to the African-American community because it was one of the first businesses to actually hire a lot of African-Americans.

Dr. John said at some point there must be some intended use for a building of this type if government grants were to be applied for. John asked Norris if an intended use had been thought of? According to Norris,

Well ideally we would move forward with what we started with last January, leveraging our food economy. This is a community that has a tremendous amount of expertise and passion for food. Yet how do we leverage that and what I found out is that we have a bunch of people working in silos and so the idea we started a conversation in January 'how can we bring that together and leverage it more to our advantage'?

To hear the entire conversation with Nathan Norris click on the blue arrow below.