Historic Lafayette Walking Tours
Explore Historic Sites and Architecture
Explore historic sites and architecture in Lafayette by taking one of the self-guided walking tours described below.
Women with Impact – In 1998, the Lafayette Historic Preservation Board created this walking tour to introduce people to some of the women who influenced Lafayette and the community thru their vision, activism, business savvy and creativity.
First Union – The First Union Addition subdivision was created on October 5, 1904 by the Union Pacific Railroad Co. The subdivision covers eight city blocks and wraps around a school site that was deeded to the school district in 1891. Many homes were moved to the First Union neighborhood, some from Coal mining camps. The neighborhood boasts a deep inventory of homes significant for their architecture and for the people who lived in them. Commercial buildings have been reused as dwellings and the hipped-roof and side-gabled miners’ homes stand as one of Lafayette’s last visible links to its rich coal mining heritage.
Old Town Walking Tour – Check out East Simpson Street, which was once the City’s dynamic business center. This tour also includes a few buildings on Public Road, such as the Starkey Building and the Cannon Mine Coffee Co. The Starkey Building located at 309 S. Public road was formerly the home of the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce. Today the Starkey Building serves as a meeting place and is used in conjunction with various events at the Festival Plaza. The Lafayette Chamber of Commerce currently shares space at City Hall, 1290 S. Public Rd.
Old Town Lafayette Architecture Tour – Check out some of the boarding houses along East Cleveland and East Simpson Streets. Some of the architectural features to look for include the small false front of buildings, the gabled cottages, the wood frame “Hipped boxes” and simple ornamentation on porches. Mary Miller, the mother of Lafayette, resided at 409 East Cleveland Street. The home listed on the National Register still stands today.
Historic Lafayette Walking Tour – Start the 1.5 mile tour at the Native People/American Indian/Hispanic Heritage Memorial located northwest of the Bob Burger Recreation Center near the ball fields. For the next part of the tour, walk south on Public Road to East Simpson Street. There are a number of interesting sites on both sides of the road, so start on the north side of Simpson Street and follow along to Foote Ave, then cross the street and follow along the south side of Simpson Street back to Public Road. There are two more additional stops on Public Road.
Lafayette Landmarked Properties Walking Tour - There are 25 landmarked properties in Lafayette. The map shows the location of 22 of the properties and you can view 10 of the landmarked properties by taking the suggested walking tour. Start at North Public Road and Simpson Street and head east to Foote Street. The Lafayette House, located on 600 E. Simpson Street, was built in 1892 to board coal miners. Head south on Foote Street to Cleveland Street and proceed west toward Public Road. Be sure to look at the properties of Historic Interest during your tour. These notable properties are marked with a historic plaque near the sidewalk or the corner of the building and are indicated on the map with a gray house icon.
A Self-Guided Tour of the Waneka Lake Area - - Waneka Lake Park and the contiguous Greenlee Wildlife Preserve and the Thomas Open Space have an amazing story to tell. The walking tour route is a 1.7 mile, counter-clockwise circle of the lake, starting at the boathouse.