Girard Park Property & Midcentury Buildings
Girard Park Property & Midcentury Buildings
Built Circa Year: 1957-1965
Address: 500 Girard Park Dr.
National Register of Historic Places: Lafayette Historic Register Number 117
Historic Register Listing:Designated August 15, 2019

In the fall of 1863, the Union Army, used Girard Park, a portion of land owned by Basil Crow and his wife, Maximillian Brashear, as a site to dig the breastworks needed to protect Pinhook Bridge from Confederate Troops. In 1934, descendants of their daughter, Maxime Crow and her husband Michael Eloi Girard, donated the 35 acre plot of land to the City of Lafayette with the intention that it be used as a park. The 1957 Midcentury recreation center and outdoor restroom buildings were designed by architect, Robert L. Stephan. The recreation center was later expanded by Dave Perkins in 1965. Perkins’ second floor addition to the recreation center, shown in the top photo above, includes his signature, Midcentury Modern architectural features. Examples are the thin, exposed structural elements and the use of large expanses of glass. Stephan’s restroom accessory buildings are distinctively Midcentury Modern designs that feature exposed, tapered column and beam structural units as a design aesthetic. Lafayette’s economic growth during the middle of the 20th century is responsible for the uncharacteristically large quantity of exceptional Midcentury modern architecture and is due in large part to Lafayette’s successful Oil Center.