Old Opelousas City Hall/Town Market

The abandoned building was once the center of commerce in Opelousas

The old Opelousas City Hall was once the center of one of the oldest towns in Louisiana. Today it is nothing more than a run-down building sitting on a street corner in downtown Opelousas. Many people can tell what it once was due to the words “City Hall” engraved over the door, but most do not know the story behind this historic building.

The site of the old City hall was used as a market with the original building being built before the Civil War. The current building was built in 1888 as a Victorian style marketplace and was the center of commerce for Opelousas. Fresh fruits, vegetables, and other foods were sold or traded there, along with a coffee shop for the town. In the early 1900’s the building housed the Electric Light Supply Storage Company and later on the Opelousas Public Library. In the 1920’s, the women of Opelousas cast their first votes and held a reception in the building to note the occasion. Later in the 1920’s, Opelousas started to make plans to build a City Hall and in 1932 it was announced the building would house the Opelousas government. The city government put massive renovations into the new City Hall. There have not been any renovations after 1932. The city government occupied the building until 1962. The building has deteriorated and remained vacant. The building is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and part of the Opelousas Historic District, but many do not know it’s long history.