For Immediate Release
October 13, 2021
La’ Bellevue Petit Chateau and Former Austin Perkins Home Awarded 2021 Historic District Preservation Award
(Opelousas, LA) – Each year the City of Opelousas honors property owners for special contributions and efforts in preserving historic architecture in the city. This year, the city is proud to feature both a commercial and residential award winner. The 2021 Historic District commercial award recipient is La’ Bellevue Petit Chateau and the residential award recipient is the Former Perkins Family Home, located at 520 East Grolee Street.
La’ Bellevue Petit Chateau is owned by Vera Nagy, a long-time property and business owner in Opelousas. Nagy began buying and rehabbing commercial properties in Opelousas nearly 30 years ago. Her latest building rehab project is La’ Bellevue Petit Chateau, which is located in the old Bodemuller the Printer building on Bellevue Street. One of the historical gems in the downtown area, the building was constructed in the 1930s. Vera has transformed the building into a private venue which can be used for weddings, showers and other social events.
In 2016, Nagy received a Louisiana Main Street grant to restore the canopy and the interior ceiling of the building. In addition to her new building, Vera has purchased and rehabilitated several other historic buildings in the downtown area, which various business owners in the area currently occupy. “When I first moved here, I witnessed so many vacant buildings in Opelousas,” said Nagy. “Speaking to the residents and hearing the stories of how great businesses in Opelousas used to be, it inspired me to help Opelousas become great again. Many of the restored buildings that I own are operated by driven women of our community who have done remarkable things for downtown Opelousas.”
The former Perkins home on Grolee Street is owned by Tim and Margaret Bertrand, who have resided in Opelousas for over 30 years. The Bertrand’s are long-time restoration partners and over the years, they have made huge efforts to preserve historic buildings in the area. The Perkins home is part of their efforts. Built in the 1910’s and depicting a Post-Victorian Craftsman style, the house was once the home of James Austin and Eva Guidry Perkins. Mr. Perkins worked in the banking industry for a time and ended up being the owner of St. Landry Lumber. The home features three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a formal living and dining room and a kitchen. Although the house needed extensive repairs, the Bertrand’s kept many distinct features of the home such as door knobs, frames, ceiling moldings, windows and hardwood floors. The restoration of the house took three years to complete.
The former Perkins Family home is one of many of the couple’s restoration projects. Another one of the family’s notable rehabilitation projects is the commercial building located at 608 South Market Street. The building initially operated as a hair salon and now serves the community as a place of worship.
“My wife, Margaret, and I enjoy preserving structures in Opelousas. We wanted to protect this historic home; essentially, we see the benefit in renovating our community’s homes and hope people will see what we have done and be inspired to join us, said Tim Bertrand. “We did it to save another home in the historic district.”
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Last modified: October 13, 2021