COPYRIGHT 2020 © PRESERVATION ALLIANCE OF LAFAYETTE
Pastor of Saint John the Evangelist Catholic Church, Father W. J. Teurlings was responsible for the design and construction of Saint John Cathedral. When Teurlings returned to Holland to visit his parents in 1909, he met Mr. Cousin, who was a practicing architect there. The two men met in Holland and discussed the design and construction of the Cathedral in detail. Within several months, Mr. Cousin completed the set of plans that would become the Cathedral’s construction documents. Once funding was established, Father Teurlings hired Eugene Guillot of New Iberia as the general contractor, and by November of 1913, the first cornerstone was set. To minimize construction costs, many parishioners transported building materials using their personal horse-drawn wagons from the railroad depot to the building site. Construction continued for two years and was completed in 1916. Next door to the Cathedral building on the same property, is the Saint John Oak, one of the country’s largest Live Oak trees, estimated to be just under 500 years old.