City of Opelousas Honors 2019 Historic District Preservation Award Recipient
Photo Credit: Adobe Stock
(Opelousas, LA) – As part of National Preservation Month, the City of Opelousas honors property owners for special contributions and efforts in preserving historic architecture in the city. The award, presented by the Opelousas Historic District Commission, is given to honor preservation and restoration efforts for buildings in the Historic District. The 2019 recipient is Morrow, Gates & Morrow, located in the historic William Sandoz Home at 613 S. Main Street.
William Sandoz, the son of Swiss immigrants, was born in Opelousas and received his law degree at Columbian University (now George Washington University) in Washington D.C. Upon returning to Louisiana, he began practicing commercial law in Opelousas and in 1893 he married Blanche Broussard.
The couple were the parents of four children, two girls and two boys. Ethel Caecilia, their first child, was born in 1894 in St. Martinville. In 1895, William & Blanche Sandoz built a single-story home on South Main Street in Opelousas. Just days before the home was completed, tragedy struck the family when their baby died at the age of only six months.
In the early 1900s, the second story of the Sandoz home was added. One of its special features was the cypress staircase that was constructed at that time. The home was also known for having one of the first modern indoor bathrooms in Opelousas.
The Sandoz family owned the house for several decades, and it was home to three generations. In the late 1970s it was sold, and soon after renovated to house a gift shop that opened there in 1981. In the mist of that renovation, a presence was awoken. Several instances that could not be explain occurred at that time and have continued over the years. Many “ghost stories” are now told by those who have owned the house, or even by those just visiting.
Many other businesses have operated in the Sandoz home over the following decade and in 1999 it became the Law office of Morrow, Gates & Morrow, LLC. The firm operates from the Sandoz Home today.
Over the years the historic home has been renovated and repaired many times. The present owners replaced the roof and restored the oak floors. They have been careful to preserve some of the special features of its Victorian style by maintaining the original windows and the special cypress staircase. Most recently the historic home’s exterior was repainted to reflect the period of its construction.
Commercial 2018 – 2013
Rosemary St. Clergy
119 W. Vine Street
Wilson Chiropractic Center
215 S. Market Street
115 S. Main Street
Holy Ghost Catholic Church
732 N. Union Street
Delta Grand Theater
120 S. Market Street
313 S. Market Street
L. Austin Fontenot, Sr. House, c. 1890
Old Parish Trust & Savings Building, 1927
103 W. Landry Street
Commercial 2012 – 2008
Hope for Opelousas
330 East Madison Street
Teche Federal Savings Bank (for the relocation of the Jarrell House to Le Vieux Village, which is now the new Tourist Information Center)
828 East Landry Street
Opelousas School of Cosmetology
529 East Vine Street
Southern Living Realty
604 S. Union Street
Billy Fontenot of Union Plaza
1214 S. Union Street
Residential 2014 – 2008
St. Cyr Residence, c. 1895
219 N. Liberty
Marguerite Chretien (Lacombe Home), c. 1821
124 West Grolee Street
“Bellevue” (The Old Mayer Home)
629 E. Bellevue
Rozas home, 1939
209 N. Liberty Street
Persimmon Place, c. 1891
809 S. Court Street
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