La Maison Française
La Maison Francois
Built Circa Year: Built Circa 1920
Address: 1511 Johnston Street
National Register of Historic Places: Lafayette Historic Register Number 046
Historic Register Listing:Designated December 3, 1997

La Maison Française, was named, “The French House”, by UL Lafayette, after they acquired the house and property in 1955. For many years, the building was used as the “Center for the Edification of the French Language and Acadian Culture”. The house was designed by Henri Bendel. He built it for his sister, Louise Bendel Meyer and her husband, and he lived in the house during the construction of his own home at the corner of Marguerite Boulevard and Bendel Road. Bendel children, Sam, Henri, Isaac, Fanny, Rose Lena, and Louise were the children of William Louis Bendel and Mary Plonsky Bendel. William died in 1874 when Henri was six years old. Mary Bendel was an astute businesswoman who owned and operated a retail furniture outlet, a drug store, a dry goods store, and an undertaking parlor in Vermilionville. In 1878 she married Mr. Benjamin Falk who owned a dry goods store and the popular Falk’s Opera House that was located on Washington Street between West Vermilion and West Main Streets. Henri Bendel was well known for his skills in design, branding and marketing. His ladies accessories shop first opened in Greenwich Village and later in New York City’s fashion district. It became nationally known for its Parisian fashions.