COPYRIGHT 2020 © PRESERVATION ALLIANCE OF LAFAYETTE
When Saint John Rectory was built, it was designed to reflect the architecture of the Cathedral next door, using Romanesque elements such as the Renaissance arcade, the quoin details at the chimney corners, as well as the contrast of plaster, masonry and tile. L’Ancien Évêché is the French name for the building, and it means the old Bishop’s residence. L’Eveche, as it is commonly referred to, was completed in 1921 by the New Orleans architectural firm of Burton and Bendernagel for Bishop Jeanmard, first bishop of Lafayette. Reproductions of the diocesan coat of arms can be seen on either side of the main doorway arch, facing the Cathedral. Just above, crowning the roofline under a cross, hangs Bishop Jeanmard’s coat of arms. In the garden of L’Eveche, a replica of the shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes dates back to the early 1920s, and it is a reminder of Bishop Jeanmard’s great devotion to the Virgin Mary. Bishop’s apartments, guest rooms, and a chapel occupied the second floor, while diocesan offices occupied areas of the first floor in L’Eveche for many years. In 1964, with the completion of the Diocese of Lafayette administrative offices building on Carmel Drive, L’Eveche was for the first time used only as a residence. Today, the current bishop lives in the bishop’s residence at Immaculata Seminary Building on Carmel Drive, and L’Eveche serves as a residence for the clergy of St. John Cathedral Parish.