The Duperier Block

Derouen and Wattigny–103 East Main Street

Modish Posh–105 East Main Street

Residence–Gordon Doerle–107 East Main Street

Every Building has a Story

This building, 103 East Main Street, was built as one of three buildings 103, 105, 107 East Main Street known as the Duperior Block after the fire of 1870. They are among the oldest buildings on the street. 107 East Main (Gordon Doerle’s house) is historically significant on another level: it housed the Iberia Parish Courthouse before the 1884 courthouse (now Bouligny Plaza) was built.

Conveyances were traced back to September 4, 1928 when Pierre Jean Louis permitted Burgers Jean Louis to put the building on sale. Days later, on November 13, 1928, the building was bought by the Dreyfus family. The use of the building during this time is unknown. Nine years later, on January 1, 1937, Mrs. Edith Levy mortgaged the building to George and Walter Degravelle. While under the Degravelles’ possession, they used the building for a hardware store called “Degravelle Hardware Company.” Mrs. Levy also leased it out to a Gulf Refining company called Elie Boutte Oil and Gas (on March 9, 1943). Then on July 6, 1960 Walter Degravelle officially purchased the property from Edith L Dreyfus and the property remained under their name until May 28, 1974 when the family sold it for $25,000 to Philip Sliman (president of the Sliman Realty Corporation).

Finally, on September 6, 1996, the Slimans sold the building to Lynn A DeRouen, Shelia Wallace DeRouen, Dean M. Wattigny, and Catherine F. Wattigny for $62,500. Today it still stands as a recently restored law office under their names. While under their possession they continue to take great care and bring a great sense of character to the building.

If Walls and Windows Could Talk

The DeRouen and Wattigny Building is a two story Italianate style edifice with more than 4,000 square feet of office space. The upper facade consists of three sets of windows with shutters on each side. The building has a cast iron front and the storefront contains two display windows on each side of the entrance door. The cornice of the building located near the top has beautiful moldings and details (there are elements of both Greek and Egyptian Revival in the cast iron details). When Dean Wattigny and Lynn DeRouen purchased the building, it was completely renovated. A newspaper article taken from The Daily Iberian says, “All of the original cypress and long leaf pine timbers which were removed for the project were recycled into the building by using it for doors, moldings, and the three custom made windows on the second floor.” The intricate detail and the old elements combined with the functionality of the space create a timeless piece of work with a modern use for all to see in downtown New Iberia.

A Picture Is Worth 1000 Words

This is the building long before it became DeRouren and Wattigny’s law office.

This picture was taken around 1945 when the building was the DeGravelle Hardware Company. From left to right: Emar Delcambre (chief clerk), Jake LaSalle (customer), Henry Peltier (clerk), Alder David (clerk), and Walter DeGravelle (owner).

This is a current photo of DeRouen and Wattigny.

This was an article in the Daily Iberian from about 1998.

References

Iberia Parish. Conveyance. Book 112, Folio 154, Entry 42500. 17 November 1928. Print.

Iberia Parish. Conveyance. Book 119, Folio 286, Entry 24654.11 January 1937. Print.

Iberia Parish. Conveyance. Book 122, Folio 840, Entry 96-8762. 6 September 1996. Print.

Iberia Parish. Conveyance. Book 159, Folio 467, Entry 66042. 15 February 1945. Print.

Iberia Parish. Conveyance. Book 159, Folio 467, Entry 66043. 15 February 1945. Print.

Iberia Parish. Conveyance. Book 159, Folio 467, Entry 66048. 15 February 1945. Print

Iberia Parish. Conveyance. Book 376, Folio 114, Entry116472. 6 July 1960. Print.

Iberia Parish. Conveyance. Book 613, Folio 34, Entry 74-2602. 28 May 1974. Print.

Romero, Chayse, and Meghan Bellingham. DeRouen and Wattigny Building. 2012. Photographs.

Wattigny, Dean. Private Collection. Photographs.