Givens Townhouse
Givens Townhouse
Built Circa Year: Built 1893
Address: 324 North Sterling
National Register of Historic Places: Lafayette Historic Register Number 85
Historic Register Listing:Designated March 15, 2012

Givens Townhouse was built by Sarah “Sallie” Lyle Torian, widow of Judge John Slye Givens (1835–1887). Sallie was the daughter of Dr. Thomas Torian of Halifax County Virginia and Agnes Glenn Bethel, daughter of a wealthy planter in North Carolina. When Sallie was 10 years old, her family suffered a tragic financial loss and moved to Saint Mary Parish Louisiana to live with Agnes’ brother, Pinckney. Uncle Pinckney was a wealthy planter who owned several sugar plantations and sugar mills along the Bayou Teche near Patterson, Louisiana. A few years following the Torian’s move to Louisiana, Sallie’s parents died, and Sallie and her siblings became wards of their uncles, Pinckney and William Bethel. The Torian children lived the usual life of wealthy southern planter families, spending the “opera season” in New Orleans and visiting the resort hotel at Isles Dernières during the summer. Sallie was married 7 years after the Civil War ended, moving to Corpus Christi, Texas where her husband, John S. Givens, practiced law and later served as a Judge. After the death of her husband, Sallie moved back to Lafayette with her three children to be close to her two brothers, William Bethel Torian and Walter Scott Torian. She built Givens Townhouse to resemble a house she saw in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Elements such as multiple bays and gables, copious spindle work, fish scale siding and pierced wood give the house it’s Eastlake designation. It is one of the few remaining buildings that feature a double polygonal bay under a gable roof and a double gallerie.