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The Oil Center Association History

The Oil Center in Lafayette, Louisiana, was developed by Maurice Heymann, a prominent local businessman. His vision was to create a centralized location to support the burgeoning oil and gas industry in the region during the mid-20th century.

Heymann's development of the Oil Center turned it into a hub for businesses connected to the oil and gas industry, including exploration, drilling, services, legal, and financial firms. His efforts played a significant role in shaping Lafayette's economy and cemented the city's connection to the energy sector.

The Oil Center in Lafayette, Louisiana, is tied closely to the history of the oil and gas industry in the region.

Here's a brief overview of the history:

Early 20th Century: The oil and gas industry in Louisiana began to develop in the early 1900s. Lafayette became an important hub for the industry, with the discovery of oil in nearby areas.

1940s-1950s: The Oil Center's development started in the post-WWII period when the industry was growing rapidly. It was a planned development, led by Maurice Heymann, a local businessman. The area was designed to be a business and shopping center focused on serving the needs of the burgeoning oil and gas industry.

1960s-1970s: During these decades, the Oil Center expanded further, attracting numerous companies and professionals tied to the oil industry. This included not only drilling and exploration firms but also legal, financial, and other service providers.

1980s-1990s: The oil bust of the 1980s affected Lafayette's economy, including the Oil Center. The decrease in oil prices led to job losses and slowed growth in the area. However, the Oil Center remained an essential part of Lafayette's economy.

1980s-1990s: The oil bust of the 1980s affected Lafayette's economy, including the Oil Center. The decrease in oil prices led to job losses and slowed growth in the area. However, the Oil Center remained an essential part of Lafayette's economy.

2000s-Present: In recent years, the Oil Center has continued to evolve, reflecting the broader shifts in the energy industry and local economy. While still closely tied to oil and gas, the area has diversified with the inclusion of healthcare facilities, shops, restaurants, and other businesses.

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The Oil Center Gardens

The Oil Center Gardens were developed on the grounds of the old Heymann Nursery.
Mr. Maurice Heymann had a keen interest in beautification and landscaped the area with azaleas and crape myrtles; many are standing along Heymann Boulevard today.
Coolidge Boulevard, nicknamed “The Million Dollar Road” on “The Gold Coast of the South” was beautified with azaleas and crape myrtles and made a part of the Lafayette Azalea Trail in the 1950’s.


The Historic Azalea Trail was Christened in the early 1930’s by the Lafayette Garden Club and the Chamber of Commerce and Mayor.


In 2018 OCRA collaborated with Scenic Lafayette to revitalize Coolidge Boulevard with over 100 new azaleas. They were awarded an Atchafalaya National Heritage Area grant for the project.

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