So I know you are probably wondering what so special about 421 Carmel Drive. Well it’s not about the street but what is on the street. Located at that address is a building that was once Holy Rosary Institute. Before coming to Lafayette, the Holy Rosary Institute began as an industrial school for African American young women in Galveston, Texas. In 1913 it moved to Lafayette, Louisiana, and in 1947 began admitting males as well as women. The purpose of Holy Rosary was to help educated and uplift black during a time where the education of African Americans were critical to be able to function in the world. This historical landmark is important to the city of Lafayette because it was able to house and educate black men and women the city during the time of segregation. The school closed down in 1993 and the site has been abandoned since.
Now the National Park Service is looking into redeveloping this historical building. According to Dustin Cravins, president of the Holy Rosary Redevelopment Board, “South Louisiana weather dictates that we have to do something with that building. We’re one storm away from losing it,” he said. “As we stabilize that building and get it in a state we’re comfortable with, we can begin the work of planning and putting some tenants in there and making it a living and breathing thing for this community. We can’t let historical building fall by the waste side and be lost in history.