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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Half an Hour in Lafayette

At the last minute my mother decided she wasn't coming along on the late winter road trip so Cory and I took our time and we got on the road about 10:00 a.m. this morning.  Total driving was about  4.5 hours today with a half hour stop for some lunch at Panera and then another half hour stop for a quick architecture walk in downtown Lafayette, Indiana.

The Ross Building and First Merchants National Bank, Main Street

Why would I stop in a town that was less than an hour from our destination?  Why, they had a U.S. Post Office mural, of course!  Turned out there was more to see than that so I walked around for a few blocks while Cory waited in the car.

Ross Building, monks on corners originally held lanterns

Built in 1918 the Ross Building pictured above is a good example of Gothic Revival.  Right next door and a strange neighbor to be nestle up to was the vault style First Merchants Bank built the same year. Generally two to three stories high, the vault has a facade penetrated by a large, tall and generally narrow central opening, and occasionally smaller ones on either side.

First Merchants

I walked the square around the Tippecanoe County Courthouse and saw many things to catch my eye, including the coolest bench ever.

The courthouse was a beauty too, Finished in 1884,  it's built of Indiana limestone and is two-and-a-half stories tall on a raised basement. Architecturally, it is a mix of styles including Second Empire, Beaux Arts, Baroque, Rococo, Georgian and Neo-Classical.

Indiana limestone

It was a pricey courthouse to build and included 100 columns and nine statues!

I really enjoyed the massive wood doors. You don't see 'em like that very often.

500 lb walnut doors at each of the 4 entrances

Inside the guards were friendly and I was told I could take all the pictures I wanted as long as I didn't take any in the courtrooms, standard for the courthouses I've visited.

looking up into the rotunda

A cool feature on the inside was the elevator, installed in the early 1900's.

Also on display was a couple of paintings on the first floor depicting historical scenes.

Quite a lot to absorb in just half an hour!   I could have walked around longer but I wanted to get to Turkey Run State Park before dark.

 Cory and I have a room at the Inn that has windows that open...always something I'm looking for in case I have to air the room out.  I'll take an older building any day over a newer one.  Definitely well kept up though for an older building and no pesky odors to bother my allergies.  The room is really large and quite a bargain for only $75.

We had time for a short walk before settling in for the night.  I'll tell you more about the park tomorrow, and I'll share the post office mural on Monday probably.


  1. That's some really interesting architecture there, and a truly unique bench!

  2. That's one crazy-mixed-up courthouse! Really like the shot looking up into the rotunda -- quite striking.

  3. I am amazed at your knowledge of architecture. I love those old buildings too, especially if I don't have to go into a big city to see them. But I seldom know the style I am looking at. There sure must have been some money in Lafayette at one time.

  4. Hope you are heading this way even as I write excited for our quarterly girl's meet-up!! Be safe! Loved this stop and the courthouse pics.