On the touristic map of Saint-Denis, Villa Marie-Lucie stands out as a remarkable historic building to be preserved.
Located on the edge of the central district in the first grid plan layout of the city, the land on which Villa Marie-Lucie sits was part of the lands belonging to Sieur Prevost de la Croix. After the estate was inherited by Prevost de Langristine in 1850, Mr. Houareau bought the land from Sieur Victor Sers and built Villa Marie-Lucie just as it stands today.
Mr. Alexandre Houareau was a sugar industrialist from Saint-Philippe. Given his fortune, it would seem that the villa, which is conveniently located in the school district, may have been his city residence, but must not have been the family’s only residence.
In 1931, a couple bought the house, where their children grew up and where they lived all the joys and dramas of life. The cyclone of 1958 killed 8 people in Réunion and was an ordeal for Villa Marie-Lucie. The large mango tree fell on the corner of the house, requiring major repairs, and the garden was transformed.
Life went on, the children grew up and left home. Madam became a widow. Thanks to her commitment and determination, Villa Marie-Lucie was kept in a condition close to the original in a lush Creole garden.
She lived at Villa Marie-Lucie untill the honorable age of 99 as a proof of the benefits from his uncomparable surroundings. The current Master of the house acquired it at that time.
The major restoration work in 2012-2013 enabled Villa Marie-Lucie to regain its magnificence. It was modernized while continuing to preserve this little jewel of our cultural heritage. The restoration is a tribute to Madam and to everyone who, like her, have a passion for Creole gardens and traditional homes.