Downtown Architecture

Provided in an ebrochure format, the Lafayette Architectural Self-Guided Walking Tour highlights the historic buildings in downtown Lafayette.

Founded by William Digby in 1825, Lafayette was a river town and prospered because of the development of the Wabash River, Erie Canal and the railroads. Improved transportation allowed for the importation of goods to what had once been an isolated settlement. Soon Lafayette became a trading center for the area, often with up to 15 boats docking in a day’s time. This prosperity fostered the construction of significant commercial and public buildings which are still largely intact and architecturally cohesive. The craftsmanship of many of the buildings is excellent.

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As with all vital and interesting cities, the area continues to evolve and change. Specialty shops, antique stores, galleries, museums, restaurants and community festivals and events make this a place of diversity, rich in human activity. Upper story and converted use of buildings have provided apartment living opportunities for city residents. The community is again turning to the river for recreation and relaxation. Professional and service businesses, as well as city, county and federal government offices find it a convenient location.