COPYRIGHT 2020 © PRESERVATION ALLIANCE OF LAFAYETTE
A shoe salesman, Minor Meriwether built this stately, Italianate house after buying the property from Dr. Francis S. Mudd in 1901. In 1903, Joseph Raoul Jeanmard, brother of Bishop Jules B. Jeanmard, purchased the house for his family home. Joseph Jeanmard, his wife and his family lived there for 65 years. Bishop Jeanmard lived in the house in 1917 and 1918 during the construction of Saint John Rectory. The Jeanmard family is credited with being the first to bring azalea plants to Lafayette, and some of the oldest Azaleas in Lafayette can still be found on the property. Much later in 1968, Frank Hanley and Jeffery Gueno purchased the house. Frank Hanley, a university music professor, and Mr. Jeffrey Gueno, an interior designer, carefully rehabilitated the house, restoring the historic Italianate elements. Hanley and Gueno lived in the house for almost 40 years. They are also well known for creating the Baroque Neapolitan crèche that is still on permanent exhibit at Saint John the Evangelist Cathedral Museum. Creating the crèche was a two-part process, taking close to 30 years to purchase figurines made in the 1700s by Italian artisans and then building the nativity scene and surrounding sets to display the characters in scenes that depict daily life in Naples in the 1700s.