The Lafayette International Center will be renamed in honor of the late Phil Lank, former Lafayette community development director and Festival International de Louisiane co-founder.
Lank died in January at age 73.
The Lafayette City Council recently approved renaming the building, which served as Lafayette’s second City Hall, to the Phillip Arleigh Lank Building.
“Mr. Lank was a visionary community leader. During his tenure, he championed efforts to improve the livability of inner-city neighborhoods, revitalize downtown Lafayette, and generally improve the quality of life for the entire community,” Lafayette Parish Mayor-President Josh Guillory said.
“Phil dared to think out of the box, pave new paths, and travel uncharted waters for the good of Lafayette,” said former Lafayette chief administrative officer Glen Weber, who worked closely with Lank when he served from 1980 to 1992.
In his position, Lank was one of the founders of Festival International, which was intended to revive the then sagging fortunes of Lafayette’s downtown. The festival, which was launched in 1987, was a success and remains a mainstay today.
Stanley said Lank was a visionary who aided arts and entertainment in Lafayette. Among his projects, he said, was enhancing the Heymann Performing Arts Center, which was a major effort at the time.
“During the day and time, Phil recognized the importance of the arts and advocated for them in community development,” said Dee Stanley, who as a journalist covered the administrations of mayors Kenny Bowen and Dud Lastrapes. Lank served under both men.
But he was also a “stickler for procedure and compliance,” Stanley said, who was well known for the quality of his spending reports and for accountability in office.
Lank, following his time at City Hall, also served as a consultant and in other roles for the city.
Lank earned a master’s degree in urban, community and regional planning at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 1966.