Seven thousand five hundred souls. Between 1900 and 1910, it had a 669% increase in population - and that's after a 1904 fire that took out most of the downtown. Wonder what happened. Population peaked in 1980.

The overall impression seems better than the constituent elements, as you'll see.

Take a good look, because this is as nice a sight as you’ll see for a while:

Simple and beautiful. Imagine if there had been no Depression, and this style was replicated 10X across the land, instead of confined to small cafes and WPA Post Offices.

Doesn’t look abandoned, but doesn’t exactly promote a bustling image.

It’s a good thing to have downtown. Reminds you of the economic diversity of the place, at least as it once was.

Federal Fertilizers, eh?

Guessing it wasn’t connected to the gummint at all, but used the word because it connoted power and modernity.

Ugh. I like the brick, but not when it’s used like this. Buckaroo’d bay window is pure pain.

And sorry, but it’s always going to look like W. Enders.

“The man who built this, he just loved reading ‘The Man in the Iron Mask.’”

Is that the original storefront, or was the whole thing rehabbed in the 30s or 40s?

The Copper Awning and the faux stone indicate a mid-60s rehab, which didn’t bother with the rest of the facade. Just as well.

An ancient Boston Store. But I don’t think it was part of the chain; don’t think they got this far east. Which is odd for a store called Boston.

Another department store, but I’ll be damned if I can tease the name from the scant remains.

Extension, or intentionally build with the entrance off-center? I believe it's the latter.

Otherwise it's unbalanced from the start. This way, it doesn't feel off-kilter.

Antique stores, pawn shops, and the other hallmark of a faded downtown: nothing.

One of the baffling shots: was it covered up by new construction, and then the new building fell or was burned?

Seems unlikely there wouldn’t have been a structure here.

They never fail to run out of ideas, do they? Every ruination seems unique in its own awful way.

Ruin the windows, despoil the ground floor, put up a tacky-tacky pediment.

I’m starting to think folks don’t go downtown much anymore.

I wonder if it was all green, once. A rectangular spot that poses a mystery.

Maybe it was a bakery. Seems like buildings that had all-green storefronts like this were bakeries.

When it looks like even the city hall went out of business:

And that, it seems, is Lafayette's downtown.