Lafayette, Louisiana

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Lafayette, Louisiana
De Lafayetta en, Louisiane
City
City of Lafayette
From upper left: Statue in front of downtown fire station, Oak lined street in the University district, Downtown Lafayette, Louisiana, The Cajundome, and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette quad.
From upper left: Statue in front of downtown fire station, Oak lined street in the University district, Downtown Lafayette, Louisiana, The Cajundome, and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette quad.
Nickname(s): The Hub City
Motto: The Heart of Cajun Country
Lafayette, Louisiana is located in Louisiana
Lafayette, Louisiana
Location of Lafayette in Louisiana
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
Country United States
State Louisiana
Parish Lafayette
Founded 1821 as Vermilionville
Renamed 1884 as Lafayette
Founded by Jean Mouton
Named for General Gilbert du Motier, Marquis De Lafayette
Government
 • Type Consolidated City-Parish
 • City-Parish President Joey Durel (Republican)
Area
 • City Total 49.2 sq mi (127 km2)
 • Land 49.1 sq mi (127 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.3 km2)  auto%
 • Metro 5,252 sq mi (13,600 km2)
Elevation 36 ft (11 m)
Population (2011)
 • City Total 120,687
 • Density 2,482.3/sq mi (958.4/km2)
Demonym Lafayettiens
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 70501–9, 70593, 70596, 70598
Area code(s) 337
Twin cities
 • Le Cannet France
 • Longueuil, Québec Canada
 • Moncton, New Brunswick Canada
 • Poitiers France
 • Namur Belgium
 • Agnibilékrou Côte d'Ivoire
Website www.lafayettela.gov

Lafayette (/lɑːfˈɛt/; French: [lafajɛt]) is a city located along the Vermilion River in southwestern Louisiana. The city of Lafayette is the fourth-largest in the state, with a population of 120,623 at the 2010 census. The combined statistical area of Lafayette–Opelousas-Morgan City was 611,774 according to 2012 estimates.[1] Lafayette is the parish seat of Lafayette Parish, Louisiana[2].

The European-American city was founded as Vermilionville in 1821 by Jean Mouton, a French-speaking man of Acadian descent. In 1884, it was renamed for General Lafayette, who fought with and significantly aided the American Army during the American Revolutionary War.[3] The city's economy was primarily based on agriculture until the 1940s, when the petroleum and natural gas industries became dominant. Lafayette is considered the center of Acadiana, the area of Cajun culture in Louisiana and the United States. It developed after Acadians were relocated here following their expulsion by the British from eastern Canada in the late 18th century following the defeat of France in the Seven Years' War. There is also a Louisiana Creole influence in the area. Most Creoles of color and their descendants originated to the east in New Orleans, descendants first of French colonists and African slaves, then a third class of free people of color, French speaking and Catholic.[citation needed]

This city should not be confused with the former city of Lafayette in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana; that city was absorbed into New Orleans in 1852.

History[edit]

Geography[edit]

Lafayette is located at 30°13′N 92°2′W / 30.217°N 92.033°W / 30.217; -92.033 (30.2139, -92.0294)[4] and has an elevation of 36 feet (11.0 m)[5]. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 49.2 square miles (127 km2), of which 49.1 square miles (127 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.19%) is water.

Lafayette is located on the West Gulf Coastal Plain. What is now Lafayette 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. Lafayette is located on the western rim of this valley. This land, called the southwestern Louisiana Prairie Terrace, is higher up and not made of wetland like much of the surrounding areas to the south and west of Lafayette. Because of this, Lafayette does not suffer significant flooding problems. The Vermilion River runs through the center of Lafayette. 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.[citation needed]

Climate[edit]

Lafayette's climate is described as humid subtropical using Köppen climate classification. Lafayette is typical of areas along the Gulf of Mexico in that it has hot, humid summers and mild winters. (See table below for average temperatures for Lafayette.)


Climate data for Lafayette, Louisiana
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 89
(32)
87
(31)
93
(34)
93
(34)
98
(37)
106
(41)
107
(42)
103
(39)
101
(38)
96
(36)
92
(33)
89
(32)
107
(42)
Average high °F (°C) 64
(18)
66
(19)
72
(22)
79
(26)
86
(30)
91
(33)
92
(33)
92
(33)
89
(32)
82
(28)
72
(22)
64
(18)
79.1
(26.2)
Average low °F (°C) 43
(6)
45
(7)
51
(11)
57
(14)
64
(18)
70
(21)
72
(22)
72
(22)
67
(19)
57
(14)
48
(9)
43
(6)
57.4
(14.1)
Record low °F (°C) 10
(−12)
2
(−17)
24
(−4)
32
(0)
42
(6)
53
(12)
57
(14)
53
(12)
41
(5)
27
(−3)
21
(−6)
14
(−10)
6
(−14)
Precipitation inches (mm) 5.0
(127)
4.5
(114)
4.2
(107)
4.3
(109)
4.8
(122)
5.5
(140)
6.7
(170)
5.6
(142)
4.1
(104)
3.3
(84)
3.9
(99)
5.4
(137)
57.3
(1,455)
Source: Weatherbase[6]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 2,106
1900 3,314 57.4%
1910 6,392 92.9%
1920 7,855 22.9%
1930 14,635 86.3%
1940 19,210 31.3%
1950 33,541 74.6%
1960 40,400 20.4%
1970 68,908 70.6%
1980 81,961 18.9%
1990 96,022 17.2%
2000 110,257 14.8%
2010 120,623 9.4%

As of the census[7] of 2010, there were 120,623 people, 43,506 households, and 27,104 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,316.7 people per square mile (894.5/km²). There were 46,865 housing units at an average density of 984.7 per square mile (380.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 68.23% White, 28.51% African American, 0.25% Native American, 1.44% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.58% from other races, and 0.97% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.88% of the population. In 2010, 84.2% of the population over the age of five spoke English at home, and 11.5% of the population spoke French or Cajun French, a dialect that developed in Louisiana.[8]

There were 43,506 households out of which 31.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.9% were married couples living together, 14.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.7% were non-families. Nearly 29.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.1% under the age of 18, 13.3% from 18 to 24, 29.5% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 11.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 93.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,996, and the median income for a family was $47,783. Males had a median income of $37,729 versus $23,606 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,031. About 11.6% of families and 16.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.3% of those under age 18 and 14.5% of those age 65 or over.

Education and healthcare[edit]

Primary and secondary schools[edit]

Public schools

See Lafayette Parish School System for more information.

The public schools in the parish are run by the Lafayette Parish School System. The system has 33 schools, 21 elementary schools, 12 middle schools, and seven high schools. The LPSS offers nine career academies at the high school level, school curricula designed to prepare students in certain career fields.[9]

The nine academies are:

The LPSS also offer schools of choice, a program to improve racial diversity at schools. Accepted students are allowed to attend schools outside their school zone (but still within the parish) to receive their state-mandated core curriculum using specialized themes or programs. This is available at all levels, elementary, middle, and high schools, and is designed to provide a more interesting learning experience for the students in the program.[10]

Private schools

See Lafayette Parish Private Schools for list of schools.

Lafayette is home to a large Roman Catholic population and, because of this, Lafayette Parish has many private parochial schools, with grades from kindergarten through twelfth grade.

Universities and colleges[edit]

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 the second-largest university in the state, with an enrollment of approximately 16,000. Schools and colleges related to the institution have been located in Lafayette since 1898. Today it is one of the top-ranked universities in the South. It has a nationally ranked business college along with noted nursing, architecture, biology, and computer sciences departments.

One of the newest college systems in Louisiana, South Louisiana Community College 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.[citation needed]

Louisiana Technical College (Lafayette campus) is part of the Louisiana Technical College system, which in turn is part of the Louisiana Community and Technical college system. It offers associate degrees in several fields. Remington College (Lafayette campus) is a vocational school that offers a few bachelor's degree programs, many associate degree programs, along with a few diploma programs.

Public library system[edit]

Healthcare[edit]

Lafayette's major healthcare facilities are:

Government and politics[edit]

See also Notable local politicians Since the consolidation of city and parish governments, Lafayette has had a city-parish president as its chief executive, rather than a mayor. The current city-parish president is Republican Joey Durel.

On election day, October 22, 2011, Lafayette parish voters 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 Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG) to serve the City of Lafayette and unincorporated areas of Lafayette Parish, and by contract to some, but not all of the area municipalities. Zoning Rules apply only within the City of Lafayette. 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, as well as other public services. The Lafayette Parish School System operates independently of any municipality, and its jurisdiction is coterminous with the Parish of Lafayette.

Law enforcement[edit]

Lafayette is served by five police agencies:

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

Military[edit]

Lafayette is home to the National Guard headquarters of the 256th Infantry Brigade, a military unit of more than 3,000 soldiers, which served in Iraq in the years of 2004-2005. The brigade was deployed again in January 2010. Lafayette is also home to the United States Marine Corps Reserve Unit, F. Co. Anti-Terrorism Battalion commanded by Captain Cole Clements. This unit has been on several deployments, many related to the Iraq War.[citation needed]

Utilities[edit]

Electricity, water, and waste water service Lafayette is served by Lafayette Utilities System, a city-parish government-run, publicly owned utility company. Started over 100 years ago as an electrical company, LUS has expanded into a full-service utilities company. It provides electricity, drinking water, and sewage treatment throughout the City of Lafayette, as well some unincorporated parts of the parish, along with 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.[11]

Natural gas service Natural gas service is supplied by Atmos Energy.

Telephone service Local land line telephone service is served 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. Lafayette Utilities System provides FTTH video services through LUSFiber. DirecTV and Dish Network both include Lafayette TV stations in their local packages.[citation needed]

Economy[edit]

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

Manufacturing[edit]

Lafayette has some manufacturing and fabrication businesses, including Frank's Casing Crew and CIS Hammers.

Information technology[edit]

The city has an IT community including such businesses as:

  • Center for Business and Information Technologies(CBIT)
  • National Incident Management Systems and Advanced Technologies (NIMSAT) Institute
  • Louisiana Immersive Technology Enterprise (LITE)
  • Presidio Networked Solutions

Culture and contemporary life[edit]

Cultural Organizations and Institutions[edit]

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.

Sports[edit]

Lafayette is home to the Louisiana–Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns, the athletic teams of The University of Louisiana at Lafayette. It is home to the Louisiana Hurricanes, a semi-pro football team that plays at STM Stadium. Between the years of 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. As of 2009, Lafayette is home to the Lafayette Wildcatters of the Southern Indoor Football League. It is also home to the Lafayette Bayou Bulls, a semi-pro football program that started in 2003. Lafayette is home to three sports venues: the Cajundome, Cajun Field and Blackham Coliseum.

The Lost Bayou Ramblers playing at the Blue Moon Saloon

Media[edit]

Print[edit]

Television[edit]

Currently, Lafayette is served by Cox Communications, as well as Lafayette Utilities System's LUSFiber.[12]

Lafayette is home to:

Lafayette is also served by:

  • KPLC-TV, 7.1, Cable 7 (NBC), located in nearby Lake Charles (Lafayette does not have an NBC affiliate, so KPLC serves all of southwestern Louisiana)
  • WVLA-TV, 33.1 (NBC), located in nearby Baton Rouge
  • WBRZ, 2.1, Cable 17, (ABC), located in Baton Rouge
  • WAFB, 9.1, Cable 18, (CBS), also located in Baton Rouge

Radio[edit]

See List of Lafayette radio stations for full list. Popular radio stations in Lafayette:

Places of interest[edit]

  • 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, this was the home to 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
  • Children's Museum of Acadiana
  • Cité des Arts
  • Downtown Lafayette
  • Girard Park
  • Heymann Center – performing arts center
  • Acadian Cultural Center of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
  • 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
  • Vermilionville – reconstruction of a Cajun-Creole settlement from the 1765-1890 era
  • Zoo of Acadiana – located nearby in Broussard

Events[edit]

Transportation[edit]

  • Air: Lafayette Regional Airport (LFT) is located on US Highway 90, on the southeast side of the city with daily scheduled passenger airline services to Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Atlanta. Charter services depart Lafayette Regional as well as helicopter services and cargo jets.
  • Interstate Highway: I-10 and I-49 (Lafayette serves as I-49's southern terminus, at its intersection with I-10)
  • 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, 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[2] provides bus service, (formerly City of Lafayette Transit (COLT). Public transportation is provided only within Lafayette City Limits.
  • Bicycle Facilities: Lafayette has a limited 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. UL-Lafayette has recently 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 80's 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.

Sister cities[edit]

Lafayette has six sister cities:[13]

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

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Table 2. Annual Estimates of the Population of Combined Statistical Areas: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012 (CBSA-EST2007-02)" (CSV). 2012 Population Estimates. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. 2012-07-27. Retrieved 2013-06-24. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Niles' Weekly Register, BALTIMORE, June 26, 1824; LAFAYETTE
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "Historical Weather for Lafayette, Louisiana, United States of America". Weatherbase.com. 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-20. 
  7. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ "LPSS Career Academies". Retrieved July 20, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Lafayette Schools of Choice". Retrieved July 20, 2009. 
  11. ^ "LUS Services". Retrieved July 21, 2009. 
  12. ^ "LUSFiber". Retrieved July 20, 2009. 
  13. ^ "Lafayette's six sister cities". Retrieved October 16, 2009. 

External links[edit]