1014 South Street, Lafayette
Stuck in Limbo
Demolition threatens a standout Italianate-style house at 1014 South Street in Lafayette’s National Register-listed St. Mary Historic District. The property’s owner, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lafayette, filed permits in 2018 on behalf of the nearby Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception to tear down the house, planning to replace it with a new rectory designed to mimic the historic original.
The proposal sparked protest among neighborhood residents and preservation advocates who urged church leaders to explore alternatives that would save the house. Local preservation group Wabash Valley Trust for Historic Preservation launched an online petition opposing demolition, drawing over 3,500 signatures. However, with no local designation to protect the house, the City approved demolition, pending a 60-day waiting period that expired in 2019. While church leaders haven’t set a timeline for the wrecking ball, they also haven’t committed to the house’s preservation.
Though the house was rumored to have belonged to Lafayette businessman Meyer Rose, recent research by the Tippecanoe County Historical Association revealed that it was built c.1884 for Susannah Falley, wife of hardware merchant James B. Falley. After serving as a single-family residence for decades, the house was subdivided into apartments. Though it shows signs of deferred maintenance, the landmark retains eye-catching details, including carved limestone door and window surrounds featuring a stylized floral motif. A wrought iron fence surrounds the property, which also includes a historic carriage house.
Losing the Falley-O’Gara-Pyke House would diminish the historic and architectural fabric of the surrounding neighborhood, and a plan to renovate and retain it deserves deeper consideration.
Saving threatened buildings takes teamwork. You can be a part of that team. Reach out to local leaders. Let them know these buildings are important to you. And support state and local preservation groups.