557 Jefferson East Vermilion

View the complete tour Lafayette Walking History Tour with the BaladoDiscovery app for free on Android or iPhone/iPad

557 Jefferson (1826)

Moss Pharmacy, 557 rue Jefferson Street


EN Moss Pharmacy

Moss Building has lived many lives as a pharmacy phasing out to be a sandwich shop with many community leaders coming out of its walls.

This intersection of Vermilion and Jefferson use to be the economic and commercial center of Lafayette. You are in the heart of downtown Lafayette, a city Jean Mouton could’ve only dreamed of when he separated his land into lots at the beginning of the 1800s. Stories of Lafayette surrounds you here; Gordon Hotel, the Buckhorn Bar, and next to it the Jefferson Theater that was demolished in the 70’s; across the street, the First National Bank with its sculpture of General Lafayette (which is now part of the Acadiana Center for the Arts); and then Antlers’, the restaurant that used to be the jazz haven for University of Southwestern Louisiana’s students (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette).

In 1900, P.E. “Pa” Davis opened a pharmacy in this building, renting space from Dr. Moss. Davis was one of the founders of the Boy Scout movement in Acadiana.  This is where the first Police Jury of Lafayette Parish had its first meeting. Pa Davis brought the first soda fountain in Acadiana to his business. His soda sold for $0.05, a nickel. Local schoolboys would work for him. This is where they got involved in civic activities.


Moss Building 1900

Moss Building 1900 (Courtesy Lafayette Clerk of Court)


600 Jefferson (1886)

Gordon Hotel / Hôtel Gordon (Today/Aujourd'hui)

EN Gordon Hotel

The Gordon Hotel was the masterpiece of what was to become and that made Lafayette prospers—a hotel downtown. Its historical importance was the dream of the business community, the Lafayette Improvement Association, since the 1890’s and it became a reality in 1904.

The hotel symbolized the development and prosperity of Lafayette with an investment of $100 000. This magneficient building was finished in 1904 and consolidated the heart of downtown businesses at the corner of Vermilion and Jefferson Street.

From the start, Gordon Hotel hosted great celebrations and conventions. It might have taken its name from a great activist in the Suffragette Movement from New Orleans when they had their major convention in 1914 in town.

The hotel had a jewelry store, a barber and a famous bar, the Buckhorn Bar, known throughout the Second World War as the place to be. Many Hollywood Stars sat at its counters and tables.


Gordon Hotel 1920

Gordon Hotel 1920 - Hôtel Gordon 1920 (Courtesy Lafayette Clerk of Court)


Grado 1969

With Jefferson Theater / Avec le théâtre Jefferson (Courtesy Lafayette Clerk of Court)


101 W Vermilion Arts FR

Acadiana Center for the Arts (formelly First National Bank) Centre des Arts d'Acadiana (anciennement First National Bank)


Fresque Acadiana Center for the Arts

Fresque on the facade of Acadiana Center for the Arts / Fresque sur la facade du Centre des Arts d'Acadiana