See Rock City

See Rock City

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Baton Rouge, LA

Downtown Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge (French: Bâton-Rouge pronounced /ˌbætən ˈruːdʒ/ in English, and [bɑtɔ̃ ʀuʒ] (help·info) in French) is the capital city and the second largest city of Louisiana. It is located in East Baton Rouge Parish which contains 430,812 residents. The Greater Baton Rouge population is approximately 790,037.

Baton Rouge is located in the southeast portion of the state along the Mississippi River. It owes its location and its historical importance to its site upon Istrouma Bluff, the first bluff upriver from the Mississippi delta, which protects the city’s 229,661 residents from flooding and other natural disasters. In addition to the natural protection, the city sports a levee system stretching from the bluff southward to protect the riverfront and the southern agricultural areas.

Baton Rouge is a major industrial, petrochemical, and port center of the American South. The Port of Baton Rouge is the ninth largest in the United States in terms of weight.

The Baton Rouge region, like that of other capital cities in the United States, is called the "Capital Area."

Nickname(s): Red Stick
Motto: Authentic Louisiana at every turn



Baton Rouge dates back to 1699, when French explorer Sieur d'Iberville leading an exploration party up the Mississippi River saw a reddish cypress pole festooned with bloody animals and fish that marked the boundary between Houma and Bayou Goula tribal hunting grounds. They called the tree "le bâton rouge," or red stick. The native name for the site had been Istrouma. From evidence found along the Mississippi, Comite, and Amite rivers, and in three native mounds remaining in the city, archaeologists have been able to date habitation of the Baton Rouge area to 8000 B.C.

Pierre Le Moyne, Sieur d'Iberville provided Baton Rouge as well as Lakes Pontchartrain and Maurepas their current names

Capital City Progresses

Louisiana's Old State Capitol

Since European settlement, Baton Rouge has functioned under seven governing bodies: France, England, Spain, Louisiana, the Florida Republic, the Confederate States, and the United States. In the mid-1700s, driven into exile by British forces, many French-speaking settlers from Canada's maritime provinces known then as Acadia, took up residence in rural Louisiana. Popularly known as Cajuns, descendants of the Acadians, (French: Acadiens), maintained a separate culture that immeasurably enriched the Baton Rouge area. Incorporated in 1817, Baton Rouge became Louisiana's state capital in 1849. Architect James Dakin was hired to design the new Capitol building in Baton Rouge, and rather than mimic the federal Capitol Building in Washington, as so many other states had done, he conceived a Neo-Gothic medieval castle overlooking the Mississippi, complete with turrets and crenelations. The edifice was famously lampooned by Mark Twain in his Life on the Mississippi, calling it a "little sham castle" and an "architectural falsehood" among other maledictions of the style which Twain attributed to nefarious influence of Sir Walter Scott. During the first half of the nineteenth century the city grew steadily as the result of steamboat trade and transportation; at the outbreak of the American Civil War the population was 5,500 people. The Civil War halted economic progress but did not actually touch the town until it was occupied by Union forces in 1862.The Confederates gave up Baton Rouge without a fight, deciding to consolidate their forces elsewhere, during which time, the state capital had been moved to Shreveport, but it was returned to Baton Rouge in 1880.


Map of Baton Rouge in 1863

Increased civic-mindedness and the arrival of a north-south railroad led to the development of more forward-looking leadership, which included the construction of a new waterworks, widespread electrification of homes and businesses, and the passage of several large bond issues for the construction of public buildings, new schools, paving of streets, drainage and sewer improvements, and the establishment of a scientific municipal public health department.By the beginning of the twentieth century, the town had undergone significant industrial development as a result of its strategic location for the production of petroleum, natural gas, and salt. In 1909 the Standard Oil Company built a facility that proved to be a lure for other petrochemical firms. The New Louisiana State Capitol was built in 1932 by Huey P. Long and signaled the eventual growth of the city. Throughout World War II, these plants increased production for the war effort and contributed to the growth of the city.

The New Louisiana State Capitol was built in 1932

The Louisiana State Capitol (French: Capitole de l'Etat de Louisiane) building is the capitol building of the state of Louisiana, located in Baton Rouge. The capitol houses the Louisiana State Legislature, the governor's office, and parts of the executive branch. At 450 feet (137 meters) tall, with 34 stories, it is the tallest capitol building in the United States, the tallest building in Baton Rouge, and the seventh-tallest building in Louisiana. It is located on a 27-acre (110,000 m2) tract, which includes the capitol gardens. The Louisiana State Capitol building is a National Historic Landmark.

The building features sculptures depicting scenes from Louisiana and U.S. history. Engraved into the stone around the main entrance is the quotation "We have lived long but this is the noblest work of our whole lives...The United States take rank this day among the first powers of the earth," said by Robert Livingston on the signing of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803[3]. Leading up to the main entrance are a series of steps with the names of all of the United States in the order of each state's admittance to the Union. After the first 13 steps (symbolizing the original 13 states) there is a small platform. Behind this platform, the steps continue again with the rest of the 48 states. The 49th step lists both Alaska and Hawaii, which were admitted to the Union in 1959 after the Capitol was constructed.

As part of his gubernatorial campaign in 1928, Huey Long advocated the construction of a new, modern capitol building to replace the Old Louisiana State Capitol building, built in 1847. Ground was broken in 1930 after Long was elected governor of Louisiana, and the structure was completed in March 1932 after 27 months at a cost of $5 million. In 1935, Long—then a U.S. Senator–was fatally wounded by an assassin in the Capitol building, where the bullet holes are still to be seen on the wall. He died two days later as a result of his wounds and is interred in the Capitol gardens.

Long contracted New Orleans architectural firm Weiss, Dreyfous and Seiferth to design the building, and expressed interest in a tower. They took Bertram Goodhue's Nebraska State Capitol Building as their model, which was still under construction at the time. The building includes integrated sculpture by Ulric Ellerhusen, Lee Lawrie, Adolph Alexander Weinman, Corrado Parducci and Lorado Taft, among others. The building also contains murals by Jules Guerin.

The Capitol was a major filming location for the film All The King's Men by Steven Zaillian, based on the novel by Robert Penn Warren. Scenes from the film Everybody's All-American were also filmed here.


Capitol Building.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Baton Rouge experienced a boom in the petrochemical industry, causing the city to expand away from the original center, resulting in the modern suburban sprawl. In recent years, however, government and business have begun a move back to the central district. A building boom that began in the 1990s continues today, with multi million dollar projects for quality of life improvements and new construction happening all over the city. In the 2000s, Baton Rouge has proven to be one of the fastest growing cities in the South, in terms of technology. Baton Rouge's population exploded after Hurricane Katrina as residents from the New Orleans metropolitan area moved northward following the devastation, estimates in late 2005 put the displaced population at about 200,000 in the Baton Rouge area. However, despite claims from mayor Kip Holden of permanent growth in the region the growth proved to be only temporary as displaced citizens returned to their home regions. Due to the hurricane victims returning home and native Baton Rouge residents fleeing to outlying parishes, the U.S. Census Bureau has designated Baton Rouge the second fastest declining city in it's 2007-2008 estimate making New Orleans the largest city in Louisiana once again. Baton Rouge Metropolitan Area has been cited as one of the faster growing metropolitan areas in the U.S. (under 1 million), with 600,000 in 2000, and 770,000 in 2008, with most of the growth concentrated in Livingston Parish and Ascension Parish. Aside from politics, there is also a vibrant mix of cultures found throughout Louisiana, thus forming the basis of the city motto: "Authentic Louisiana at every turn".

Livingston Parish

Livingston Parish is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. Its parish seat is Livingston. As of 2000, its population was 91,814.

Livingston Parish is part of the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as the Baton Rouge–Pierre Part Combined Statistical Area.

Map of Livingston Parish, Louisiana With Municipal Labels


It is named for Robert Livingston, who helped negotiate the Louisiana Purchase from France in 1803.

Livingston was originally part of the St. Helena District. In 1832, St. Helena was divided in half and the Louisiana legislature created Livingston Parish. It was named for Edward Livingston, a prominent statesman who served as a senator, a minister to France, and Secretary of State under Andrew Jackson.

By 1835 several small industries were thriving in the area, notably sawmills and brick factories. The timber industry brought the railroads through in the early part of this century, changing commercial and residential patterns. With the construction of modern highways and the encroachment of metropolitan Baton Rouge, Livingston Parish continues to attract residents as well as businesses. The parish is located between the state capitol at Baton Rouge and the city of New Orleans.

The parish has a total area of 703 square miles (1,820 km²), of which, 648 square miles (1,678 km²) of it is land and 55 square miles (142 km²) of it (7.80%) is water. The parish is 32 miles long by 30 miles wide. The northern part of the parish consists of rolling terrain covered by pine and hardwood forests about 50 feet above sea level. In the southern end of the parish, the land submerges into rich cypress forests and marshes that border on Lake Maurepas and the Amite River.

The parish seat is located in Livingston in the center of the parish. Other towns in the parish are Albany, Denham Springs, French Settlement (so named because of the many French and Acadian settlers), Killian, Port Vincent, Springfield (Livingston's oldest community, incorporated in 1838), and Walker (only 20 miles from the State capitol).

Livingston's neighboring parishes are Tangipahoa (east), St. Helena (north),St. John (south), East Baton Rouge (west) and Ascension (southwest).


As of the census of 2000, there were 91,814 people, 32,630 households, and 25,549 families residing in the parish. The population density was 142 people per square mile (55/km²). There were 36,212 housing units at an average density of 56 per square mile (22/km²).

Hurricane Katrina had a dramatic effect on the population in Livingston Parish. Many displaced families of the affected Parishes have moved into the area and as a result, the population of the parish has increased significantly. On June 6, 2007, the Census Bureau published a report "Special Population Estimates for Impacted Counties in the Gulf Coast Area" which shows a population increase for Livingston Parish to 111,863 as of January 1, 2006.

Sometimes the best things to do on a vacation or trip aren't the most known. Off the beaten path in Livingston, you will find a variety of unique attractions. Whether you're looking for an artists market or a pumpkin patch, you'll be pleased with your find.


The Arts Council of Greater Denham Springs (ACGDS) presents an Artists' Market in the Antique Village the third Saturday of each month
from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Artists and craftspeople show and sell their art in front of shops on Range Avenue in the Antique Village. Exhibits include
paintings, sketches, dolls, wood furniture and more. For more
information, call ACGDS at (225) 667-8355.


The Farmers Market is located in the New Covenant Church parking lot on Florida Boulevard (U.S. 190) across from McDonalds. The market is open from 7 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. For more information or an
application to join the market, call market director Ray Gill at


Pick your own pumpkins and enjoys other activities. Also specializing in
school field trips. Mrs. Heather's Pumpkin Patch is located 11215 Lee's Lane Hammond, LA.
Phone: (225) 567-3493.

Old Blue Eyes, Town Alligator

Ponchatoula has an unusual resident who doubles as town mascot and newspaper columnist. Old Blue Eyes, the successor of the more famous Old Hardhide, is a disquietingly large alligator whose cage marks a distinctive center of town. Visitors often stand by Old Blue Eyes' cage, wrapping their fingers through his chain link fence, waiting for him to move slowly around his small pool.

A live music show is held the first and third Saturday of each month at the OLDE SOUTH JAMBOREE. The first Saturday features country and bluegrass music; the third Saturday features gospel music. Shows start at
7:30 p.m. Located on U.S. Hwy. 190, a
half-mile west of Walker. For more info, visit or call 225-567-3516.

Livingston Parish was created on February 10, 1832. It was originally part of the Florida Parishes. The name is thought to derive from a U.S. Senator and Secretary of State under Andrew Jackson named Edward Livingston. However, contradicting arguments state that Livingston Parish was named after Robert Livingston, a well known lawyer and negotiator of the Louisiana Purchase as a minister to France.
Livingston Parish was one of the earliest settled parishes of the state, with both French and Spanish colonists settling here in the early 1700s in the Lake Maurepas area. To get to New Orleans the early settlers traveled the Amite River to Lake Maurepas then crossed the narrow pass into Lake Pontchartrain. At that time, the industry primarily was centered on farming, lumbering, and harvesting fish and seafood from the waterways. Livingston became the parish seat in 1941 when the courthouse was moved there from Centerville. The town of Livingston was incorporated on November 4, 1955, with the following officials: Winson Hoover, Mayor; Victor Smart; Fuqua Sibley and Willie Lee Duffy, Aldermen; and Johnnie Sartwell, Marshall. The growth of the community was lead by the construction of the present Illinois Central Gulf rail line in 1854 and 1856.

In the following years to come the parish was embroiled with the rest of the country in the Civil War. Some 14 engagements of the Civil War were fought in Livingston Parish between 1862 and 1865. They included eight battles fought in the vicinity of the Amite River, one at Benton’s Ferry, two at French Settlement, two in the Springfield area and one on the Tickfaw River. In 1869, the parish lost territory when Tangipahoa Parish was created. It later gained additional land when Maurepas Island was made part of the parish. Today, Livingston Parish has eight municipalities, with Denham Springs being the largest. Other municipalities are Albany, French Settlement, Killian, Livingston (the parish seat), Port Vincent, Springfield and Walker. As in the past, the harvesting of forest products and being the parish seat still plays a major role in the economic life of the town.

Spring Park

This is the spring for which Denham Springs was named.

This park is located on River Road in Denham Springs. There is a trail which leads to the spring and then to the Amite River.


Ground-water springs which some to the surface at the base of the low- lying ridge which runs through the center of the city have figured in the city's name since at least the 1850's. The area has been known as Amite Springs, Hill's Springs, and Denham Springs. The original land claims of John Noblet and Alexander Hogue form what is now the older section of Denham Springs, including the first residential and business districts. In 1828, William Denham, a Wilkinson County, Miss. native, married Mercy Hogue, the daughter of Alexander Hogue, and three months later purchased the 640 acres originally claimed by his father-in-law. A popular belief, supported by previously published histories, is that William Denham discovered the mineral springs on his property and that a health resort quickly grew up there. This belief defies logic, however, con- sidering the number of springs which may be found in this area even today, and the length of time that elapsed before Denham arrived on the scene. No doubt Hogue and other early residents of the area depended on the springs for drinking water.

The Creole House was built in 1898 by Alexander Lambert and his son Harris Lambert for his daughter Louisa, who was married to Alexander Decareaux. The house was purchased by the Village of French Settlement and used as the Town Hall until the new Town hall was built. In 1977, the French Settlement Historical Society took over maintaining the house and it was turned into a museum. The house is made out of cypress and is typical of the dwellings built in the area in the late 1800's by the Creoles. Most of the houses at that time were built out of cypress because it was so plentiful in the surrounding swamps. There are many items and antiques from the period displayed in the house. Included in the collection is a wedding dress from the period, a large armoire, a vintage radio, sewing machine, and many photos. Also, there are genealogy charts documenting the history of the local people. Outside the home is a Tool Shed of the period and Brignac's Slaughter House. The Creole House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 14, 1992.
The home represents the culture and customs of the people of French, Spanish and German origin that have lived in the area since at least 1810. The museum is open the 2nd Sunday from 1 - 4 p.m., October through March. It is open every Sunday 1 - 4 p.m., April through September. There is no fee to tour the museum and appointments are made for special occasions and group tours by calling Mrs. Mercy Lobell at 698-9886. It is located on Highway 16 behind the French Settlement Municipal Building.

I hope you enjoy some of the pictures I have taken of our new Bass Pro Shop here in Denham Springs, Louisiana. I really do like the Cajun theme that this place takes on when you step inside. It's the closest thing to being on the bayou and in the swamplands of Southern Louisiana.

Come On In For A Visit,

Garfish in picture above

Cajun Cabin in the swamps of Louisiana

Great nature scene depicting the swamps of Louisiana

I believe some of the Deer hunters in Livingston Parish have one up on the Bass Pro Shops 3 Deer!

We like our guns here in Livingston Parish!

Try your luck at the shooting gallery

A taste of Louisiana

Bass Pro Shops is the anchor store to the planned 75-acre development at I-12 and Range Avenue. The 163,000 square-foot store includes an Islamorada Fish Company Restaurant. The 11,430 square-foot Islamorada Fish Company Restaurant will be capable of seating 300 people.

The outdoor store features a bayou theme and offers a uniquely designed aquarium, an expansive boat showroom, and museum-quality wildlife mounts and dioramas.

I've been told that the Fish Company Restaurant has some real good Louisiana seafood.

Maybe they will let me eat for free since I am giving them this free advertising. There's always a first time!

Below is one of those boats with the funny engine that lets you get thru the swamps.

Those crawfish we eat come out of them swamps. You might even eat some at the Fish Company. If you have never eaten crawfish boiled the Louisiana way them you are missin it. I highly recommend it!

Each year on the first Saturday of October, the Arpadhon Hungarian Settlement Cultural Association performs the Hungarian Harvest Dance in a traditional celebration.

Anyone who is interested in helping to keep the Hungarian culture alive in this community is welcome to join this organization. Please call (225) 567-9463 or (225) 567-1539 for more information.

The Old School House pictured below may be on it's way back to life. This school house was moved on logs from Springfield to it's present location back in the early 1900's. There is hope of restoring it back to as near original and making it a museum.

Kolbasz, Hurka, Pastries

This is a website for the Árpádhon Hungarian Settlement Cultural Association (AHSCA), which is based in a rural ethnic community known as Hungarian Settlement. This Magyar community is located in eastern Livingston Parish, Louisiana due South of a small town called Albany, Louisiana Highway 43 runs north-south through the heart of this community from Albany to Springfield, which is approximately five miles away. Interstate 12 cuts through the community in an east-west direction. This ethnic enclave, once known as Árpádhon, contains many of the descendants of the early Magyar settlers who immigrated there near the turn of the twentieth century. At the present time, some residents are striving to preserve some of the Hungarian culture of their ancestors, though much has changed over the past hundred years in the community.


The purpose of the AHSCA website is to provide information, not only about this organization, but also about the community of which it is a part. The AHSCA is a registered non-profit organization.

Visible clues are evident that Hungarian Settlement does indeed exist in the Albany-Springfield area of Livingston Parish, Louisiana. For example, a sign erected by the Louisiana Tourist Commission (pictured left) is located where La. Hwy. 43 connects with Interstate 12 at exit 32. There are several other indications in this community that a Hungarian Settlement exists there. On La. Hwy. 43, the north and south entrances of this rural ethnic community are designated by two large green highway signs that proudly display the words, "HUNGARIAN SETTLEMENT." Louis Bartus Hungarian Sausages and Pastries and the Olde World Bakery are two of the ethnic businesses that operate within the borders of this community. The Hungarian Presbyterian Church, which is located just off Hwy. 43 on the Hungarian Presbyterian Church Road, still holds weekly services, though not in the Magyar tongue. An inscription in Hungarian proclaiming the glory of God continues to hold a prominent place above the altar in St. Margaret Catholic Church. Less than a tenth of a mile south of Albany stands the former Erdey-Kiss Amvets building, which now houses the very active Arpadhon Hungarian Settlement Cultural Association. Even after more than 100 years, it is apparent that the Hungarians of Livingston Parish, Louisiana are intent with keeping their culture alive. With the hard work and determination of AHSCA members and others in the community, some aspects of the culture will survive for many years to come.

Entryway to the Carter Plantation House
Courtesy of the Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation

Rear of the Carter Plantation House Courtesy of the Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation

The Carter Plantation House is situated on property acquired by James Rheem under a Spanish land grant in 1804. In 1817, Thomas Freeman became the first African-American man to own property in Livingston Parish when he acquired the pine forest that he would transform into what has come to be known as the Carter Plantation. He was also the first African-American to record a legal transaction in the Greensburg District. By the year 1820, Freeman had built the renowned, Federal style house and remained there with his wife and five children until 1838 when he sold the house and land to then current state representative and later sheriff of Livingston Parish, W. L. Breed. Breed died in Carter House in 1843 while still serving as the parish's sheriff. After Breed's death, George Richardson, acquired the plantation. Richardson lived at Carter Plantation House until his death in 1858. It is Richardson's descendants who carried the surname Carter by which the plantation is known.

Carter Plantation House is one and a half stories high, with front and rear galleries and a central hall plan with 2 rooms on each side. The old rear kitchen and dining room, which was a separate building, burned in the late 19th century; a kitchen and dining room wing on the rear of the house replaced it. There are four main fireplaces in the house, feeding into two interior chimneys. As an early 19th-century house which was built by a free black man and lived in by an important local political figure, the Carter House is significant in the area of African-American history, as well as local politics and government. The Carter House also enjoys a degree of architectural significance as a local example of a raised plantation house. A pine forest area surrounds Carter House and its immediate grounds. The landscape features, including shrubs, flowerbeds and the lake, are comparatively recent in origin.

Carter Plantation is located along State Hwy. 1038, south of US Hwy 190, at 23475 Cater Trace, Springfield, LA. Carter Plantation is now open to the public as a golf and residential community with hotel accommodations and dining. The Carter House is the real estate center and is open to the public. Visit the Carter Plantation website at or call 225-294-7555.

Macedonia Baptist Church Courtesy of the Capital Resource Conservation and Development Council

Interior of Macedonia Baptist Church Courtesy of the Capital Resource Conservation and Development Council

Three country miles down a dirt road leading through a pine forest lies an almost perfectly preserved example of a late 19th-century rural, Louisiana church named the Macedonia Baptist Church. Still retaining and actively using its original cast iron stove and pews, the church was built in 1898 and is renowned as the oldest building in the town of Holden, and the oldest Baptist Church in Livingston Parish. Constructed in 1898, it is a good example of what a typical, vernacular rural Louisiana church was like. The church is currently still used for services; its original congregation was organized in May of 1856 under the shade of a magnolia tree. Its members first worshiped in various homes then later shared a building with a local congregation of Methodists. After leaving this church, the congregation proceeded to build their own church house, which was a log structure. This was followed in 1871 by a board house, then valued at $500 dollars. The present building is the congregation's third church house.

The history of the Baptists in Louisiana begins shortly before the United Sates acquired the territory from France in 1803. Before this time, the Baptists had made tentative efforts to establish themselves in the Catholic colony. In 1799 Bailey E. Chaney, a Baptist minister, was arrested by the Spanish officials for conducting services at an Anglo-Saxon settlement near Baton Rouge. Ministers from several denominations came after 1803 to work among the African-Americans and the Native Americans. Joseph Willis, a mulatto Baptist preacher, conducted meetings at Vermilion (now Lafayette) but was forced to leave. In 1812, Willis returned to Bayou Chicot and organized the first Baptist church west of the Mississippi. A month earlier, his colleagues in the Florida parishes had organized the Half Moon Bluff Church, the first Baptist church in the State, near the Bogue Chitto River in Washington Parish. During the same year, Cornelius Paulding, a Baptist layman, came to New Orleans to engage in business. He donated space in one of his buildings for Baptist meetings and arranged for traveling ministers to hold services. In 1834, the first Baptist Church was established in New Orleans, and in 1854, with funds provided by Paulding's will, the Coliseum Place Baptist Congregation was founded.

Fortunately, the church was not damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Macedonia Baptist Church is located on State Hwy. 1036, 3 miles north of State Hwy. 442, and north of the town of Holden. It is open for church services only, visit the Eastern Louisiana Baptist Association's website for further information.

Decareaux House
Courtesy of the Capital Resource Conservation and Development Council

Decareaux House
Courtesy of the Capital Resource Conservation and Development Council

The Decareaux House, located in French Settlement, Louisiana, was built in the French Creole style in 1898. This is in itself unusual, as after 1860, Creole architecture entered a period of gradual decline. Although a number of Creole homes, such as Decareaux, were built after the Civil War, the style never regained its old monopoly on the cultural landscape. A brief revival of plantation life between 1865 and 1880 saw Creole cottages, manager houses, and Acadian small landholders utilize the style, but after 1880, new national architectural styles such as the Queen Anne Revival style gradually pushed the Creole house into the background. Decareaux House has been slightly remodeled over the last 100 years. However, it still retains the characteristic architectural features of its style, a full-length gallery, exposed ceiling beams, gabled umbrella roofs, and a floorplan which reflects its Creole origin. The floorplan consists of two equal sized front rooms and rooms of unequal size in its rear, which are textbook examples of French Creole design.

The Village of French Settlement is the only part of the surrounding area originally settled by the French and remains to be the only French enclave known to exist there. A boom in the area's lumber industry from 1880 to 1915 employed many of the men of French Settlement who were privy to cheap or free lumber that they used to construct homes for their families. It was during this period that the majority of the houses, which were constructed in the old French Creole style, were replaced by more modernly fashioned homes. The Decareaux House derives its name from its first owners, Mr. and Mrs. Alex Decareaux. The one story frame cottage had been constructed for the couple by Mrs. Decareaux's father, Harris Lambert, and her brother Alexander. The house which was last owned privately in 1977, is now known as the Creole House Museum and is on long-term lease to the French Settlement Historical Society by the Village of French Settlement.

The Decareaux House is located on Hwy. 16 in French Settlement, behind the Municipal Building and Library. It is open for tours by appointment, but the exterior and grounds can be viewed anytime. A Creole Festival is held at the house in September. Call 225-698-6100 for further information.

Ascension Parish

Ascension Parish (French: Paroisse de l'Ascension) is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. It is one of the fastest growing parishes in the state. Its population is estimated to be greater than the 2000 census. One of the major reasons for parish growth is the number of families wanting to move their children from the East Baton Rouge Parish public schools to the higher-performing Ascension public school system.

Map of Ascension Parish, Louisiana With Municipal Labels

Ascension Parish is part of the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as the Baton Rouge–Pierre Part Combined Statistical Area.

Law and government,

The parish is thought to be becoming politically conservative. Since 2000, nearly 14,000 new voters have registered in Ascension Parish, and fewer than 1,000 of those are Democrats.

Democrats still lead in registrants with 28,181; Republicans follow with 16,218. There are also 13,052 "No Party" registrants, as permitted under Louisiana law. Robert Poche, Ascension Parish voter registrar told the Baton Rouge Morning Advocate in 2007 that "History tells us that those with no party affiliation have been voting conservatively."

Ascension Parish also had a small number of voters registered as upper case Independents. There are thirty-one Libertarian Party members, and thirty-three Reform Party registrants. The total registrants in April 2007 stood at 58,221.


Alligator Bayou
Amite River
Amite River Diversion Canal
Anderson Canal
Babin Canal
Bayou Antoine
Bayou Manchac
Bayou Narcisse
Bayou Pierre
Bayou Reponds Pas
Bayou Conway
Bayou Francois
Bayou Lafourche
Bayou Napoleon
Bayou Verret
Bayou Vicknair
Black Bayou
Blind River
Boudreau Bayou
Boyle Bayou
Braud Bayou
Cocodrie Bayou
Cotton Bayou
Crowley Ditch
Duckroost Bayou
Flat Lake
Grand Goudine Bayou
Hackett Canal
Heath Bayou
Henderson Bayou
Jim Bayou
Johnson Bayou
Lake Millet
Lake Villars
Laurel Ridge Canal
McCall Bayou
Mississippi River
Muddy Creek
New River

St. Emma Plantation,built in 1854, is a raised plantation house
Courtesy of the Capital Resource Conservation and Development Council

St. Emma Plantation, located about four miles south of Donaldsonville and just west of the Bayou Lafourche, is a fine example of a large mid-19th-century Greek Revival plantation house. Built in 1847, St. Emma was owned from 1854 to 1869 by Charles A. Kock, one of the leading sugar planters and large slaveholders of Louisiana. Kock also owned the nearby Belle Alliance plantation, and between the two there lived 300 slaves. Born in Breman, Germany, in 1812, Charles A. Kock had become one of the largest sugar producers in Louisiana. St. Emma and the nearby plantation of Palo Alto figured in a Civil War battle, known as the "Battle of Koch's Plantation," in the fall of 1862. Confederate troops quartered in the sugarhouses of the two plantations skirmished with Union forces marching south from Donaldsonville to Thibodaux. The advancing Union army lost 465 men.

St. Emma Plantation House stands five bays wide and three rooms deep, all around a central hall, following a standard raised plantation house plan, though St. Emma is somewhat larger than other examples. Both the front and rear facades have five-bay galleries which are formed of brick posts on the lower story and paneled wooden pillars on the upper story. There are no interior stairs and both staircases are set within the galleries. The house has a brick lower story and a circular sawn frame upper story. Although the upper story is the main floor, there are rooms on the ground floor as well, which appear to be original to the house. The exterior doors have three ventricle panels rather than the usual two. They are encompassed within ear-molded frames with pediment-shaped tops, and the sidelights are separated from the doors by full pilasters rather than molded stripes. Today, St. Emma plantation is furnished with a superb collection of Empire-period furniture.

St. Emma Plantation House is located at 1283 South Hwy. 1, four miles south of Donaldsonville and is open by appointment only. Call the Ascension Parish Tourist Commission at 225-657-6550..

Tezcuco-front entrance, Courtesy of Lagniappe Tours, Foundation for Historical Louisiana

Tezcuco's exterior extends to the restored landscape, Courtesy of Lagniappe Tours, Foundation for Historical Louisiana

Please Note: Unfortunately, Tezcuco Plantation was completely destroyed by fire in May 2002. We have retained this page as a source of historical information.

Tezcuco was a one-story, frame, Greek Revival plantation house located on the east bank of the Mississippi River about a mile and a half south of Burnside. Except for a few alterations, the residence retained its original c.1855 appearance on both the exterior and interior, until destroyed by fire in 2002. The grounds also included a contemporaneous Creole cottage, which echoes the architecture of the main house.

Tezcuco was built for Benjamin Tureaud around 1855. He was the grandson of Emanuel Bringier and the son of Augustin Dominique Tureaud, both plantation owners. The plantation remained in the Tureaud family until 1950 when Dr. and Mrs. Robert H. Potts purchased it. The present owner obtained it in 1982 and restored Tezcuco and furnished it with antebellum antiques, some of which included pieces by the famous New Orleans cabinetmakers, Mallard and Seignouret. Tezcuco contained a number of details that distinguish it as an exceptional example of the raised Creole cottage, including the ironwork in an elaborate grape and vine pattern found on the two side porches and of the railing on the front porch. The raised house rested on a stuccoed brick basement with similar piers under the galleries and porches. The hip roof had gabled, pedimented dormers with entablatures and pilasters.

Tezcuco's plan amounted to an enlarged and developed version of the traditional Creole plantation house plan. The traditional form has a hall-less plan, three rooms wide and one room deep with rear cabinets flanking a gallery. Tezcuco's plan was similar in concept, but was more enlarged. Its floor plan was more elaborate and developed than that of the typical plantation house of the period. The 15-foot ceilings gave the rooms an unusual grandeur and spaciousness. While the Greek Revival influence was prevalent in the house, the Italianate style was also present in the somewhat heavier, more pronounced mantels, ceiling medallions, ironwork and foliated plaster cornice work. Around 1955, a small room was added to the rear of each of the side porches in order to install modern bathrooms. A modern kitchen, housed in a sunporch, was added on the side porch on the upriver elevation. A vestibule entry to the basement was also constructed next to the front steps.

Tezcuco was located at 3138 State Hwy. 44 in Darrow.

Courthouse within the Donaldsonville Historic District
Courtesy of the Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation

Several buildings within the Donaldsonville Historic District, including the Lemann Store and several houses
Courtesy of the Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation

The Donaldsonville Historic District is located on the west bank of the Mississippi River and encompasses an area of about 50 blocks. The buildings, about 640 of them, date mainly from the period of 1865-1933 and include residences, commercial, and public buildings, five churches, and three cemeteries, of the Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish faiths. The Donaldsonville Historic District is architecturally significant because it contains the finest collection of buildings from the pre-Civil War era to 1933 to be found in any of the Mississippi River parishes above New Orleans. Comparable to other Mississippi River towns in Louisiana, Donaldsonville contains a number of Queen Anne Revival residences and a number of Italiante commercial buildings. Donaldsonville is unique in that it retains a sizable complement of working class areas complete with housing including shotgun houses, cottages and bungalows, as well as neighborhood stores. Donaldsonville also possesses several neo-classical buildings and two fine Romanesque Revival office buildings. A Romanesque Revival Courthouse, the site of which was part of the 1807 plan for Donaldsonville, is located on Houmas Street.

Moreover, the Lemann Store, located at 314 Mississippi Street, is probably the finest Italiante commercial building in any Mississippi River town north of New Orleans. With its cast-iron gallery, its three-story sprawling mass, and its rich ornamentation, the Lemnan Store, built in 1878, stands as a monument to architect James Freret, the first New Orleans architect to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

The development of Donaldsonville began in 1806 when William Donaldson hired Bartholemew Lafon to prepare a street plan. It included a number of grand public spaces: a semicircular park and drive along the Mississippi River (Crescent Park and Drive) and Louisiana Square, all of which are still extant. After the majority of the town was destroyed during the Civil War, the town's recovery came in the form of the New Orleans, Mobile and Chattanooga Railroad, which began regular service between Donaldsonville and New Orleans in 1871. Donaldsonville is one of only three Mississippi River towns in the state north of New Orleans, which go beyond the normal speculative grid plan. Donaldsonville's plan incorporates baroque features such as a semicircular park and an axial street leading to an open public square.

The Donaldsonville Historic District is bounded roughly by the waterway of Bayou LaFourche on the west, the Mississippi River levee to the northeast, Church St. on the east and by Marchand Dr. on the south, in Donaldsonville. From I-10, take exit 182 to the Sunshine Bridge and take Hwy. 3120 north to Donaldsonville. Residences are private and not open to the public, but many of the businesses, institutions, and government buildings welcome visitors. Visit the Donaldsonville Tourist Information Center at 714 Railroad Ave., open 8:30am to 5pm daily or call 225-473-4814 for further information.

The Houmas house, designed in the Greek Revival style
Courtesy of Lagniappe Tours, Foundation for Historical Louisiana

Rear of The Houmas house, Photograph from National Register collection

The Houmas house is significant in the area of architecture as an excellent example of a plantation house designed in the peripteral mode of the Greek Revival. It represents an important regional variation of the Greek Revival, which typified many of the grandest residences in the deep South. Houmas house is also historically important because under owner John Burnside in the 1850s and 60s it was the center of the largest slave holding in Louisiana. With over 800 slaves, it represented the largest economic unit in the prevailing slave economy of the state's pre-Civil War period. The plantation house began in the late 18th or early 19th century as a two-story, pitched roof brick building with end wall chimneys and a stuccoed exterior. The house had two rooms on each floor with a central staircase, six over six windows, and exposed beams, some of which were beaded. Although it presents a historic appearance, this old portion of the house has been much reworked. Changes made by Dr. Crozat include the removal of the stairs, the addition of an upstairs hall with a Palladian window, the replacement of the fireplaces and mantels, and the installation of closets and cupboards.

In 1840 a square plan, two and a half-story, peripteral style mansion of stuccoed brick was built in front of the original portion. The normal rear gallery was omitted because of the close proximity of the old house. The 1840 portion is three rooms deep with a wide central hall plan. It has a graceful helix staircase set in a rear vestibule opposite a corresponding curving wall. The dining room and front parlor connect by means of wide doors. Significant exterior features include the handsome colossal Doric galleries, the Federal arched dormers, the cupola, and the movable louvered shutters. The axial formal garden, which extends to the sides and rear of the house, is largely the result of work done by former owner Dr. George Crozat in the 1940s. In the 1940s Dr. Crozat demolished a pair of rooms which had connected the older portion with the 1840 portion, and built a glazed breezeway with an arch at each end. He also installed a modern kitchen and bathrooms in the 1840s portion.

The Houmas is located at 40136 Hwy. 942 in Darrow. Fortunately, the house was not damaged by Hurricane Katrina, but please check with them directly to confirm the current hours of operation. The Houmas is open for guided tours by costumed interpreters daily 10:00am to 5:00 February- October; and 10:00am to 4:00pm November-January, except on major holidays. Call 225-473-7841 or visit the plantation's website for further information.

Ashland-Belle Helene plantation house, an example of Classical Revival style
Courtesy of the Capital Resource Conservation and Development Council

Duncan F. Kenner (1813-1887) built Ashland for his wife, Anne Guillemine Nanine Bringier, a member of an old and influential French family of Louisiana. Ashland-Belle Helene is representative of the massiveness, simplicity, and dignity which are generally held to epitomize the Classical Revival style of architecture. Free of service attachments and with a loggia on all four facades, it is a more complete classical statement than the vast majority of Louisiana plantation houses. With its broad spread of eight giant pillars across each facade and its heavy entablature, Ashland-Belle Helene is among the grandest and largest plantation houses ever built in the state. Ashland-Belle Helene is also important for its association with Duncan F. Kenner, a sugar planter, horse breeder, lawyer and political figure during the antebellum period. The walls of Ashland (as the Kenner plantation was then known) were adorned with paintings of horses, and the grounds included a racetrack. Kenner himself was a keen advocate of scientific methods of farming and experimented with innovations in the sugar production industry. Kenner is said to have been the first in the state to use the portable railroad to carry cane from fields to mill.

In addition to serving in the Louisiana House of Representatives, and as a member of the Confederate Congress, Kenner was appointed in 1865 as minister plenipotentiary by President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, to gain the support of England and France for the Confederacy. When Kenner returned to Ashland at the end of the Civil War, he found his plantation in ruins and his slaves freed, the place having been raided by Union troops in 1862. At the age of 52 he had to start over again, but by persistence and great business skill, and by re-employing as laborers the slaves that had been freed, he built up an estate. When Duncan Kenner died, his plantation was even larger and more valuable than it had been before the war. In 1889, Ashland was purchased by John B. Reuss, a German immigrant who became a prosperous sugar planter. Reuss re-named the plantation "Belle Helene" in honor of his granddaughter, Helene Reuss.

Ashland Plantation is set approximately 1500 ft. from the Mississippi River, just off State Hwy. 75, north of Darrow. Ashland is not open to the public.

East Baton Rouge Parish

View of Mount Hope Plantation House surrounded by gardens, Courtesy of Lagniappe Tours, the Foundation for Historical Louisiana

The Greek Revival style Mount Hope Plantation House, Courtesy of Lagniappe Tours, the Foundation for Historical Louisiana

Mount Hope Plantation House stands as an example of the architecture typical of Southeastern Louisiana farmhouses constructed during the 19th century. Built in 1817, it is the only farmhouse of its kind remaining in the Baton Rouge area. Through the years this plantation house has become part of the landscape of a thriving suburban neighborhood, its Greek Revival style of architecture distinguishing it from its surroundings. Mount Hope Plantation's mid-19th-century features include its mortise and tenon construction. Mount Hope Plantation, like many of its architectural type, embodies many traditional forms and characteristics, including the period cabinets, the central hall, the gabled roof, and the simple mantels. The one and a half-story house has a narrow central staircase flanked by pairs of rooms and a front gallery, which encompasses three sides of the house. The wide gable roof is a replacement of the original one that was destroyed by a hurricane in the 1940s. Chimneys are set between the front and rear rooms with simple mantels and exposed ceiling beams that line the interior. The galleries have simple posts with molded capitals on their upper portions. Mount Hope was originally constructed of cypress from the plantation.

The spacious lawns, oak trees, and colorful flowers and vegetation of the plantation itself find their origins from a 400-acre Spanish land grant endowed to Joseph Sharp, a German planter, in 1786. German families had settled in the region since 1718, when the Company of the Indies recruited them for the then French colony. Most Germans became culturally absorbed into the surrounding French Creole culture, but even with their addition, the European population of the colony remained small. When France ceded Louisiana to Spain in 1763, the total population of the colony stood at about 5,000 Europeans and 3,000 slaves. Later, during the Civil War, the plantation housed Confederate troops for the war effort.

Mount Hope Plantation is located at 8151 Highland Rd. in Baton Rouge. Tours are available 10:00am to 4:00pm, Tuesday-Saturday. Bed and breakfast accomodations are also offered. Please call 225-761-7000

Aerial view of Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Courtesy of Louisiana Office of Tourism

Views of the Lousiana State University campus, including the Memorial Tower and a historic image of the campus c.1909, Courtesy of the Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation and Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

Louisiana State University (LSU) at Baton Rouge is the principal campus of the State University system. The historic campus consists of 46 buildings, with the majority of these dating from the 1920s and 1930s. Styled in a manner reminiscent of the architecture of the Italian Renaissance, many of the buildings achieve this effect with stucco over masonry construction and similar features. The campus presently rests on its fourth location; its first location in Pineville, Louisiana opened in 1860 and was destroyed by a fire nine years later. Following the fire, classes moved to the State School for the Deaf and Dumb in Baton Rouge, which also no longer exists. The third move for the University was to the Pentagon Barracks in 1886, which were used as a stronghold by first Confederate then Federal troops in the Civil War. Finally in 1918 the University purchased Gartness Plantation south of downtown Baton Rouge. Growth of the campus was spurred by the ascension of Huey P. Long to power in 1928. As governor and later U.S. Senator, Long made the growth of LSU a special item of interest, launching a major building campaign which continued through the 1930s.

The 46 historic buildings on the campus vividly reflect an important period in American architecture. The eclectic style they express has its roots in the French Beaux Arts system. This architectural spirit of learnedly imitating the past came to America in the late 19th century; LSU is by far the largest of the dozen or so eclectic complexes in the state, with 43 consistently styled buildings. The Memorial Tower on campus, built to resemble the historic clock tower at the basilica in Vicenaza, and the Old President's Home, designed in the Victorian Italianate Villa style, are but two examples on campus reflecting this architectural movement The architect who is primarily credited with the design of Louisiana State University's campus is Theodore C. Link, a former student of the Ecole des Beaux Arts.

Louisiana State University campus is located near the intesection of Hwys. 30 and 42 in Baton Rouge, with the historic section lying between Hwy. 30 and University Lake. The campus is open to the public Monday-Friday for tours. For further information, please call 225-388-3202.

Magnolia Mound Plantation House, Photographs from National Register collection

Additional views of Magnolia Mound, Courtesy of Lagniappe Tours, Foundation for Historical Louisiana

Located in Baton Rouge, Magnolia Mound Plantation stands as a fine example of the architectural influences of early settlers from France and the West Indies. One of the earliest buildings in the city of Baton Rouge, the property was owned originally by James Hillen, an early settler who arrived in 1786. On December 23, 1791, John Joyce, from Cork County, Ireland, purchased the property. Here he lived with his wife, Constance Rochon, until he mysteriously drowned in Mobile on May 9, 1798.

View of Kitchen

Constance Rochon Joyce went on to marry Armand Allard Duplantier, a former captain of the continental army under the Marquis de Lafayette and a most influential personality in the city. Several persons owned the property from the time of the Duplantier family to the late 19th century when Mr. Louis Barillier sold the land and improvements to Mr. Robert A. Hart. Finally, through family inheritance Mrs. Blanche Duncan acquired Magnolia Mound Plantation. Mrs. Duncan commissioned the architectural firm of Goodman and Miller of Baton Rouge to do extensive alterations and additions in 1951. Eventually, the city of Baton Rouge expropriated the property in 1966 for its historic and visual significance to the community.

The house originally had a three-room side by side room arrangement. It was extended to the rear in the early 19th century to include a formal dining room and two service rooms. A " U-shaped " gallery was constructed during this second stage of development. During the late 19th century, rooms were added under the gallery on the north and south. The basic form of the house is rectangular with a large hipped roof, which covered all rooms and galleries. During the early 19th century double hung windows were added. The interior décor was altered during the early 20th century.

Magnolia Mound Plantation House is located at 2161 Nicholson Dr. approximately one mile south from downtown Baton Rouge. It is open from 10:00am to 4:00pm, Tuesday-Saturday, and 1:00pm to 4:00pm, Sunday; there is a fee for admission. Please call 225-343-4955 for further information.

City Park Golf Course, Courtesy of Lillie Petit Gallagher and Robert Matthews

Fairways and landscaping of City Park Golf Course, Courtesy of Lillie Petit Gallagher and Robert Matthews

City Park Golf Course was Baton Rouge's first public golf course, and the city's only public course until the mid-1950s. The short, 34-par, nine-hole course was completed in 1926 and officially opened in 1928. City Park Golf Course was built during the "The Golden Age of Golf"--when golf's popularity spread from the upper to middle classes as public courses were built at a rapid pace. Public golf courses increased the popularity of the sport because, unlike private courses, they only charged a nominal fee and did not require membership or annual dues. By 1930, 2.25 million Americans were playing golf on 5,648 courses, an 800 percent increase in the number of courses in 1916.

Prior to the opening of City Park, there were two private course in Baton Rouge. In 1923 taxpayers voted for a bond issue to finance the acquisition of park land. The following year, the city signed an agreement to develop a golf course with American Park Builders of Chicago. Scotsman Tom Bendelow was the company's designer and designed hundreds of courses during his career. Bendelow's design for City Park was derived from naturalistic Scottish designs, as was typical for this period of golf course design, and he took advantage of the natural conditions of the land, altering them as little as possible. The course straddles the meandering Baton Rouge Fault, which provides a notably hilly course in a part of Louisiana know for its flatness. Fairways are placed closely together, with no visual delineation. Half of the sand traps of the current course are original, and water hazards on some of the holes are remnants of a bayou in the southwest corner of the course. Local, self-taught horticulturist Steele Burden was responsible for the tree planting, and today numerous mature trees (mostly live oak) define many of the fairways and provide great challenges for golfers. The course also includes the original clubhouse, that combines Colonial and Spanish Revival elements. No longer remaining are other elements of the entire 1920s recreational complex developed by American Park Builders, which included a swimming pool, zoo and amusement pavilion.

City Park Golf Course is located at 1422 City Park Ave. in Baton Rouge. The course is open daily 7:00am until dark. There is a minimal daily fee, cart rental is extra. Call 225-387-9523 for further information

U.S.S. Kidd, part of Destroyer Squadron 48 in World War II, now is open to the public 7 days a week, Courtesy of the Capital Resource Conservation and Development Council

Having undergone almost no alterations since the end of World War II, the U.S.S. KIDD has become one of the most important tourist attractions in the city of Baton Rouge. This extremely rare example of an American World War II Fletcher class destroyer is open daily and is permanently docked across the street from the Old State Capitol on the Mississippi River. Altogether, the KIDD earned 12 battle stars while being used in the Pacific during both World War II and the Korean Conflict. The U.S.S. KIDD was part of Destroyer Squadron 48 of World War II, which was composed of nine Fletcher class destroyers, four of which were constructed at the Kearney Shipyard in New Jersey. The Fletchers were the backbone of the Pacific destroyer force during World War II. Small, fast, fighting ships, they were used to screen task forces, escort convoys, bombard shore positions and deliver torpedo attacks. No aircraft carrier or battleship ventured into enemy waters without her escorting destroyers ahead. On April 11, 1945, during the battle for Okinawa, the U.S.S. KIDD suffered a kamikaze attack when a Japanese pilot targeted and crashed into her, killing 38 crewmen.

After the end of the War, all of the other destroyers of the 245 Fletcher and Sumner class besides the U.S.S KIDD were modernized. This was done by the replacement of the rear island of the ship with a helicopter platform, the addition of side launching torpedo tubes, and the installation of hedgehog depth charge launchers. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of the veteran sailors of the Destroyer Squadron 48 Association, and the people of Louisiana, the ship was saved as a museum-memorial. Towed from Philadelphia to her new home in Baton Rouge in 1982, the 2,050-ton destroyer underwent restorative efforts to get her up to her 1945 VJ Day appearance. The exhibition of the vessel is unique due to the rise and fall of the Mississippi River-which may range up to 45 feet in a year. Because of this fluctuation in water depth, a special mooring system was designed.

The U.S.S. KIDD, a National Historic Landmark, is part of the Historic Warship & Nautical Center, located at 305 S. River Rd., across the street from the Old State Capitol. The site is open daily 9:00a.m. to 5:00p.m., closed on Thanksgiving Day & Christmas Day; there is a fee for admission. For further information call 225-342-1942.

The Old Louisiana State Capitol, one of the most distinguished examples of Gothic architecture in the United States- showing the exterior view and the spiral staircase, Courtesy of the Capital Resources Conservation and Development Council, photographs by Marie Constantin

Historic view of the Capitol buiding, October 1890,Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division,

September 21, 1847, was the historic day that the City of Baton Rouge donated to the state of Louisiana a $20,000 parcel of land for a state capitol building, taking the seat of the capitol away from the City of New Orleans. The land donated by the city for the capitol building stands high atop a Baton Rouge bluff facing the Mississippi River, a site that some believe was once marked by the red pole, or "le baton rouge," which French explorers claimed designated a Native American council meeting site. The state house itself is one of the most distinguished examples of Gothic Revival architecture in the United States. Designed by architect James Harrison Dakin, its floorplan, towers, exterior stained glass windows and gables give it the appearance of a 15th-century Gothic Cathedral. Dakin referred to his design as "Castellated Gothic" due to its decoration with cast-iron, which was both cheaper and more durable than other building materials used at the time. The building design was so unusual and distinctive that its romantic, medieval appearance earned the Old Statehouse ridicule from the timelessly famous author, Mark Twain.

The spiral staircase

In 1862, during the Civil War, Union Admiral David Farragut captured New Orleans and the seat of government retreated from Baton Rouge. The Union troops first used the "old gray castle," as it was once described, as a prison and then as a garrison for African-American troops under General Culver Grover. While used as a garrison the Old Louisiana State Capitol caught fire twice. This, in turn, transformed the building into an empty, gutted shell abandoned by the Union troops. By 1882 the state house was totally reconstructed by architect and engineer William A. Freret, who is credited with the installation of the spiral staircase and stained glass dome, which are the focal points of the interior. The refurbished state house remained in use until 1932, when it was abandoned for the New State Capitol building. The Old State Capitol Building has since been used to house federally chartered veteran's organizations, and the seat of the Works Progress Administration. Restored in the 1990s, the former Capitol Building is now a museum.

The Old Louisiana State Capitol, a National Historic Landmark, is located in downtown Baton Rouge, next to the Mississippi River at 100 North Blvd. and currently houses the Old State Capitol Center for Political and Governamental History, which contains several state of the art exhibits. The Center is open Monday-Saturday, 10:00am to 4:00pm, Sunday 12:00pm to 4:00pm, but closed on Mondays from June until March. There is a fee for admission. Call 1-800-488-2968 for further information.

Heidelberg Hotel,Courtesy of Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center

Heidelberg Hotel,Courtesy of Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center

The storied Heidelberg Hotel was once the favorite haunt of legendary politician Huey Long, “the Kingfish.” Construction on the Heidelberg Hotel began in 1927, with just a sketch on a napkin. Architect Edward Nield worked with his vision but without any formal plans to create a luxury hotel fit for Louisiana's capital city. In 1928, Huey P. Long was elected governor, establishing himself as one of the state's most colorful characters.

In the 1930s, Long oversaw construction of a new state capitol building, four blocks from the Heidelberg Hotel. Among its hallmarks was its rank as the tallest capitol building in the U.S. One of the unique features of the hotel is the secret underground passageway to the King Hotel across the street, which gave Huey direct access to his flamboyant mistress. In 1931, the Heidelberg itself served as the Louisiana Capitol during a dispute between Long and Lieutenant Governor Paul Cyr. Long, newly elected as senator, refused to relinquish his duties as governor and Cyr set up operations in the hotel.

Long met an untimely and suspicious death in 1935 when he was assassinated in the hall of the Capitol building. Many events surrounding his death have never been explained, and rumors persist to this day, especially about the whereabouts of Long's reputed “deduct box,” a cache of political paybacks.

The Heidelberg was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. It has received a Bricks and Mortar award from the Foundation of Historical Louisiana. After more than $70 million in renovations, the former Heidelberg Hotel has been reborn as the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center Hotel. Modern upgrades, tasteful amenities, and a full-service spa and exercise facility have brought new life to the hotel. Guests can even dine in Long's infamous secret tunnel.

The Heidelberg Hotel, now the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center Hotel, is located in downtown Baton Rouge at 201 Lafayette Street adjacent to the Shaw Center and River Center Convention Center, less than five minutes from the Louisiana State Capitol and three miles from Louisiana State University. For further information, please contact the hotel directly at 225-3-Hilton or visit their website at: The hotel is a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Historic Hotels of America.

Old Lousiana Governor's Mansion, Courtesy of the Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation

Additional views of the Old Lousiana Governor's Mansion,Photographs by Susan Moreau, courtesy of the Foundation For Historical Louisiana

The Louisiana Old Governor's Mansion was built in 1930 under the governorship of Huey P. Long, its first resident. The building, of stucco Georgian construction, is reported to be a copy of the White House as it was originally designed by James Hoban. It is said that Governor Long wanted to be familiar with the White House in Washington when he became president, so he had the White House duplicated in Baton Rouge. Some dispute this legend and simply say that the mansion is merely a fine example of a Georgian mansion. This is the second governor's mansion to occupy the site. The first governor's mansion, a large frame house built for Baton Rouge businessman Nathan King Knox, served as the official residence of Louisiana governors from 1887 until 1929, when it was razed. The architects for the neoclassical mansion were Weiss, Dreyfous, and Seiferth of New Orleans. The building has two floors, a full basement, and an attic. The slate mansard roof has open balustrades and 14 windows set in a small gable projecting from a single roof. Four large 30-foot Corinthian columns support a pediment adorned with carvings depicting a pelican feeding her young framed by ornate scrollwork, a design based on the Great Seal of the State of Louisiana.

Governor Long's plan to destroy the previous antebellum mansion met with opposition. Despite great public disapproval he had the old mansion raised by convicts from the State Penitentiary. When impeachment proceedings began against the Governor in March 1929, one of the 19 articles of impeachment was that he destroyed the old mansion and another accused Long of destroying and disposing of property and furniture from the Governor's mansion, the capitol, and State offices. Huey Long failed to be impeached, and the new mansion was completed in 1930 and members of the State legislature attended the official housewarming party on June 27, 1930. In 1961 Governor Jimmy Davis moved into the present Governor's Mansion, thus ending this mansion's 32 years as the official residence of the Governors of Louisiana.

The Old Louisiana Governor's Mansion is located 502 North Blvd. between Royal and St. Charles Sts. in Baton Rouge. The mansion is open for tours 10:00am to 4:00pm Tuesday-Friday. There is a fee. Call 225-387-2464 for further information

Aerial view of the Pentagon Barracks,Courtesy of the Louisiana Office of Tourism

Additional views of the Pentagon Barracks,

The Pentagon Barracks of East Baton Rouge Parish has been won and lost by the Spanish, French, and the British, and even has the distinction of being the site of the birth of a nation - the short-lived Republic of West Florida. During it's use as a military post, many famous men and public figures served or visited, including Lafayette, Robert E. Lee, George Custer, Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln. The British erected a dirt fort on the site of the barracks in 1779, which was soon captured by the Spanish Governor of Louisiana, Bernardo de Galvez. Not wanting to be under the rule of Spain, the citizens of the West Florida Territory revolted and in September of 1810 raised the flag over the fort declaring their independence and announcing the birth of the Republic of West Florida. The citizens then turned the area over to the United States on December 10, 1810. The fort served as the assembly point for American troops going to the Creek War in 1813-1814 and to the Battle of New Orleans in 1814-15. A major expansion of the post was made in 1819-1823 when new barracks were built and a large Arsenal Depot was established to serve the southwestern United States. The four, two-story brick buildings were built in 1825 after six years of planning. Captain James Gadsden of the U.S. Army, who prepared the schematics for the barracks, headed the construction. Originally, there were five buildings, Gadsden having intended for a group of buildings arranged in a pentagon-shaped configuration to be erected for the boarding of enlisted soldiers.

Barracks when they were used by Louisiana State University cadets as dormitories, c.1904 Courtesy of the Louisiana Division of Historic

The fort remained an U.S. military post until 1861 when it was seized and captured by the State of Louisiana, who turned the operation of the arsenal over to the Confederacy. However, in 1862 during the Battle of Baton Rouge, Federal troops reclaimed the garrison and renamed it Fort Williams for the late commander who died in the battle. After the Civil War, in 1884, the General Assembly of Louisiana passed a resolution allocating the full usage of the buildings and grounds of the Pentagon Barracks to Louisiana State University. The University gained full possession of the grounds in 1886. Today the Pentagon Barracks houses the offices of the lieutenant governor, the Pentagon Barracks Museum and Visitors Center, and private apartments for state legislators.

Barracks when they were used by Louisiana State University cadets as dormitories, c.1904 Courtesy of the Louisiana Division of Historic

The Pentagon Barracks are located at State Capitol Dr. at River Rd. in Baton Rouge. The museum is open Monday-Saturday 10:00am to 4:00pm, Sunday 12:00pm to 4:00pm. Call 225-342-1866 for further information.

Lousiana State Captiol Building, Courtesy of the Capital Resource Conservation and Development Council

Sketch of Huey P. Long (1893-1935),

And two historic images of the State Capitol (color postcard image from the 1940's and night time image from 1932),Photographs courtesy of the Library of Congress and Harris News Agency

The present state capitol building of Louisiana, located in Baton Rouge, will forever be entwined with the political career of Huey Pierce Long. It was Long's idea for the state to construct a new building for the statehouse in 1928 when he was running for Governor of the State of Louisiana. The construction of the building was part of his political platform, as well as the notion to place the state capitol on the site, which was once Louisiana State University and formerly a military post known as the Pentagon Barracks. Included was a strip of land on which the Arsenal Museum was located. Long had contracted with a New Orleans architectural firm, Weiss, Dreyfous and Seiferth, to design the building. Next, Governor Long had pushed through an amendment which financed the new capitol by the end of the 1930 Legislative Section. Within 36 days of the completion of the final design, actual construction by the George A. Fuller Company of Washington, D.C. had begun. The construction work took 29 months to complete and the dedication was coordinated with the inauguration of Oscar K. Allen as Governor on May 16, 1932. Ironically, Long was not present because he had been elected to the U.S. Senate and was in Washington, D.C.

The Louisiana Capitol, a 34-story, 450-foot Alabama limestone-clad skyscraper, is an excellent example of a greatly simplified classicism with Art Deco details that were in vogue for monumental buildings in the late 1920s. Only two other state capitols had been built with this design and its 34-story frame is to date unrivaled by any other building in Louisiana. The tower is decorated with important groups of sculpture representing the history of the State. Long was assassinated in the Capitol Building, the building for which he fought to be constructed and used as the state's government seat, and died on September 10, 1935. However, he was fittingly buried in the center of the public Capitol Gardens on the State Capitol's grounds. His memorial, a statue showing him holding a model of his monument, stands proudly in the English Garden in the shadow of the skyscraper that was part of his political platform for governor.

The Louisiana State Capitol, a National Historic Landmark, is located at N. 3rd St. on State Capitol Dr., Baton Rouge. It is open from 8:00am to 4:30pm, daily, except on major holidays. There is no fee for admission. For further information, please call 225-342-7317.

Exxon Facility north of Baton Rouge


Baton Rouge is the farthest inland port that can process deep ocean tankers and cargo carriers. As such, those ships transfer their load (grain, crude, cars, containers) at Baton Rouge onto rails and pipelines (to travel east-west) or barges (to travel north-south). Deep draft vessels cannot pass the old Huey Long Bridge because it is too low, and the river gets shallow near Port Hudson.

Baton Rouge's biggest industry is in petrochemicals. ExxonMobil has the second largest refinery in the country here and among the top 10 in the world. It also has rail, highway, pipeline, and deep water access. Dow Chemical has a large plant in Iberville Parish near Plaquemine. NanYa Plastics has a large facility in North Baton Rouge that makes PVC and CPVC pipes. Shaw Construction, Turner, and Harmony all got started by working construction projects at these plants.

The Shaw Group Headquarters on Essen Lane, a commercial office corridor

Being the state capitol and the parish seat, the largest employer in Baton Rouge is the government, which recently consolidated all branches of the state government downtown in a complex called "Capitol Park".

The research hospitals of Our Lady of the Lake, Earl K. Long, as well as an emerging medical corridor at Essen Lane/Summa Avenue/Bluebonnet Boulevard are poised to become an area similar to that of the Texas Medical Center.

Baton Rouge Governmental Building

Due to state and local tax credits for the film industry, Baton Rouge is positioning itself as "Hollywood South" along with other Louisiana cities. The new Celtic Media Centre, which is Louisiana's first and only full service studio/sound stage, along with two other planned studios are being built to meet the needs of this growing industry.


The City of Baton Rouge & The Mississippi River

Tallest Buildings

Baton Rouge currently has several towers in the works. One project includes a 12 story office, another a 30+ story condominium tower to be the first towers built downtown in two decades.

RiverPlace Condominiums

JP Morgan Chase Building and Riverside Tower

One American Place is a skyscraper in Downtown Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Its exterior surface is clad entirely in mirrored glass. Completed in 1974, with 24 floors, it stands 94 meters (308 ft) tall. It is currently the second-tallest building in Downtown Baton Rouge.


Baton Rouge has many historic neighborhoods, dating back as far as the early 1800's.

Downtown - Baton Rouge's central business district.

Spanish Town - Located between the Mississippi River and I-110, it is one of the city's more diverse neighborhoods and home to the State Capitol Building and the city's largest Mardi Gras Parade.

Lakeland Drive in Spanish Town, with the Louisiana State Capitol

Spanish Town is a historic district anchored by Spanish Town Road in Baton Rouge, the capital city of the U.S. state of Louisiana.

Spanish Town was commissioned in 1805 when Baton Rouge was under the control of the Spanish government. Spanish Town holds the title of the oldest neighborhood in Baton Rouge and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. The community has gone through many developmental changes since its inception, and serves as a "living history" by hosting an assemblage of surviving structures ranging in date from 1823 to 1975. The oldest structure is the Pino House (built 1823).

Home to a virtual hodgepodge of people hailing from many different social classes, this diverse community is home to artists, writers, musicians, actors, students, teachers, physicians, politicians, and attorneys. Spanish Town was at one time particularly renowned for possessing a higher-than-average proportion of gay residents, though this has waned over the years with urban gentrification. However, despite all of these differences, the neighborhood somehow manages to maintain a unique sense of community.

As part of its heritage, Spanish Town annually holds the largest Mardi Gras parade in Baton Rouge.

Beauregard Town - A historic district between the downtown area and Old South Baton Rouge. Many of the homes have been renovated and are used as law offices.

Beauregard Town, Baton Rouge, Louisiana is a historic district in downtown Baton Rouge, anchored by Government Street.

Beauregard Town was commissioned in 1806 by Elias Beauregard. Beauregard Town is the second oldest neighborhood in Baton Rouge and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Beauregard Town is the area bounded by North Blvd., South Blvd, East Blvd., and on the west by St. Louis St. Government Street (or the "Grand Rue" as Beauregard wanted it) runs through the middle of Beauregard Town, with four streets - Beauregard, Grandpre, Penalvert, and Somerulos - approaching it on diagonal angles in the form of an "X," typical of the European manner of town design of the time. These streets are named for Beauregard himself, for Don Carlos Louis Boucher de Grand Pré (the Spanish administrator in 1806), for Roman Catholic Bishop Luis de Penalver (the bishop in 1806), and for the Marquis de Someruelos, Captain-General of Cuba. Beauregard named other streets after rulers: Philip, Louis, Ferdinand, Charles, Napoleon, and Maximilian (several of these namesakes became saints through later translation error). Other streets Beauregard named after countries and continents: Spain, France, America, and Europe.

Historic homes in Beauregard Town include the Governor Henry L. Fuqua House (circa 1834) and the Williams House (circa 1890), both on Napoleon Street, as well as the Judge Robert D. Beale House (circa 1840) on the corner of St. Louis and Government streets.

Garden District - The Garden District is located in Baton Rouge's Mid-City area where Park Boulevard intersects Government Street. The Garden District is an established historic area with many upscale homes.

The Garden District is a residential neighborhood located in Baton Rouge's Mid-City area where Park Boulevard intersects Government Street. The Garden District is an established historic area with many upscale homes and an active civic association.

The Garden District is actually a conglomerate of three historic districts as defined by the Louisiana National Register of Historic Places. They are Roseland Terrace, Drehr Place, and Kleinert Terrace.

Roseland Terrace Historic District

Roseland Terrace is bounded by Government, 18th, Myrtle, and 22nd Streets. Placed on the National Register in 1982, it dates from between 1911 and 1930.


Baton Rouge's first subdivision, Roseland Terrace, was "staked out" in 1911 by the Zadok Realty Company, which had bought the land in 1910 for the sum of $50,000. Prior to this time, the area had been a racetrack and had a decidedly rural character. The fence surrounding the track was covered with wild Cherokee roses. Stories are told that people warned Zadok Realty that the lots would never sell because they were too far out in the country.

A citywide contest was held to name the development, and the winning entry was Roseland Terrace, in honor of the Cherokee roses in the area. To continue this theme, the streets were given flower names. The Zadok Realty Company made a deliberate effort to preserve and enhance the bucolic nature of the area by, for example, planting trees and hiding the telephone poles in the back alleyways. The company's ads boasted that there would be no telephone poles in the streets, but instead that they would be placed in the alleyways behind the residences so that everyone would be spared from "an unsightly conglomeration of poles and wires." Another ad guaranteed prospective buyers freedom from "a century's haphazard, careless growth."

Zadok Realty Company's promotional campaign was obviously successful because after two years they had sold 408 lots at prices ranging from $150 to $500. As can be seen in the extant houses in the district, Roseland Terrace hit its peak of popularity in the late teens and the 1920s. By around 1930 development was virtually complete.

Architecture and planning,

The earliest houses reflect the Queen Anne Colonial Revival influence of the late nineteenth century. These houses have features such as small fluted columns, curved galleries, semioctagonal bays, and relatively elaborate rooflines.

Building in Roseland Terrace underwent a boom between about 1917 and 1930. During this period large numbers of bungalows were constructed. The basic bungalow is a raised, pitched roof, frame structure, 2 rooms wide and 3 rooms deep. The plan is hall less and has wide openings between the public rooms. In all but a few cases there is some sort of front porch. Some have half porches and some have full porches.

The Roseland Terrace Historic District is significant in the area of architecture as an example of an early twentieth century residential neighborhood. It retains 88% of its pre-1930 housing stock. Moreover, with close to 300 well developed bungalows in a concentrated area, Roseland Terrace is one of the best preserved early-twentieth century neighborhoods in Louisiana.The overwhelming majority of the structures in the district exemplify the classic bungalow style. These houses are characterized by broad openness, elaborate transfer of weight, massing that hugs the ground, and the bold expression of structural members. Because of this, Roseland Terrace is an excellent representation of the bungalow period, which is an important chapter in the history of American domestic architecture.

Roseland Terrace is also significant in the area of community planning. It was Baton Rouge's first subdivision, and as such it began a trend in suburban growth which has come to characterize the sprawling city. It is also a fine representative example of the type of early twentieth century bedroom suburb which sprang up around major eastern cities in the early twentieth century. These were designed to give working men in the cities a more rural domestic life. Roseland Terrace exemplifies the early twentieth century "garden suburb" with its small lots, liberal planting of trees along streets, and rear alleyways. In addition, it is finer than most because utility poles were deliberately placed (and are still located) along the rear alleyways. Thus, the bucolic atmosphere is preserved and enhanced. Roseland Terrace was Baton Rouge's first planned subdivision as well as its most significant reflection of the ideas and concepts which ultimately led to the Garden City Movement.

History of Baton Rouge's Garden District

Roseland Terrace Historic District

Roseland Terrace is bounded by Government, 18th, Myrtle, and 22nd Streets. Placed on the National Register in 1982, it dates from between 1911 and 1930.

Baton Rouge's first subdivision, Roseland Terrace, was "staked out" in 1911 by the Zadok Realty Company, which had bought the land in 1910 for the sum of $50,000. Prior to this time, the area had been a racetrack and had a decidedly rural character. The fence surrounding the track was covered with wild Cherokee roses. Stories are told that people warned Zadok Realty that the lots would never sell because they were too far out in the country.

A citywide contest was held to name the development, and the winning entry was Roseland Terrace, in honor of the Cherokee roses in the area. To continue this theme, the streets were given flower names. The Zadok Realty Company made a deliberate effort to preserve and enhance the bucolic nature of the area by, for example, planting trees and hiding the telephone poles in the back alleyways. The company's ads boasted that there would be no telephone poles in the streets, but instead that they would be placed in the alleyways behind the residences so that everyone would be spared from "an unsightly conglomeration of poles and wires." Another ad guaranteed prospective buyers freedom from "a century's haphazard, careless growth."

Zadok Realty Company's promotional campaign was obviously successful because after two years they had sold 408 lots at prices ranging from $150 to $500. As can be seen in the extant houses in the district, Roseland Terrace hit its peak of popularity in the late teens and the 1920s. By around 1930 development was virtually complete.

Architecture and planning

The earliest houses reflect the Queen Anne Colonial Revival influence of the late nineteenth century. These houses have features such as small fluted columns, curved galleries, semioctagonal bays, and relatively elaborate rooflines.

Building in Roseland Terrace underwent a boom between about 1917 and 1930. During this period large numbers of bungalows were constructed. The basic bungalow is a raised, pitched roof, frame structure, 2 rooms wide and 3 rooms deep. The plan is hall less and has wide openings between the public rooms. In all but a few cases there is some sort of front porch. Some have half porches and some have full porches.

The Roseland Terrace Historic District is significant in the area of architecture as an example of an early twentieth century residential neighborhood. It retains 88% of its pre-1930 housing stock. Moreover, with close to 300 well developed bungalows in a concentrated area, Roseland Terrace is one of the best preserved early-twentieth century neighborhoods in Louisiana.The overwhelming majority of the structures in the district exemplify the classic bungalow style. These houses are characterized by broad openness, elaborate transfer of weight, massing that hugs the ground, and the bold expression of structural members. Because of this, Roseland Terrace is an excellent representation of the bungalow period, which is an important chapter in the history of American domestic architecture.

Roseland Terrace is also significant in the area of community planning. It was Baton Rouge's first subdivision, and as such it began a trend in suburban growth which has come to characterize the sprawling city. It is also a fine representative example of the type of early twentieth century bedroom suburb which sprang up around major eastern cities in the early twentieth century. These were designed to give working men in the cities a more rural domestic life. Roseland Terrace exemplifies the early twentieth century "garden suburb" with its small lots, liberal planting of trees along streets, and rear alleyways. In addition, it is finer than most because utility poles were deliberately placed (and are still located) along the rear alleyways. Thus, the bucolic atmosphere is preserved and enhanced. Roseland Terrace was Baton Rouge's first planned subdivision as well as its most significant reflection of the ideas and concepts which ultimately led to the Garden City Movement.

Drehr Place Historic District

Drehr Place is roughly bounded by Government, 22nd, Myrtle and St. Rose Streets. Placed on the National Register in 1997, it dates from 1921. The East Baton Rouge Parish Historic Preservation Commission declared Drehr Place a local historic district in October 2005. The Drehr Place Historic Building Survey contains photographs of Drehr Place homes

Kleinert Terrace Historic District

Kleinert Terrace is roughly bounded by Myrtle Avenue, Perkins Road, Broussard Avenue, and Eugene Street. Placed on the National Register in 1998, it dates from 1927.

Old South Baton Rouge - An old section of the city directly south of downtown and Beauregard Town, it stretches south from I-10 and along the river to Brightside Lane. After years of neglect and a crumbling infrastructure, the city is targeting the neighborhood in the city's largest ever revitalization project.

Old South Baton Rouge ("OSBR") is a project aimed to help revitalize the area between Louisiana State University and Downtown Baton Rouge. The area encompasses about three square miles. The project/initiative was launched by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation with a goal to form a long-term strategic plan and help the neighborhood eventually establish its own 501(c)3 non-profit status to continue the project. The project is currently being overseen by employees of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation and the Center for Planning Excellence, as well as, a Partnership Board that was elected by residents of the Old South Baton Rouge community. It is estimated that the poverty level in the area is around 50% which is considered by the United States as a High Poverty Area. One of the main obstacles is to overturn the "culture of poverty" that the area has become accustomed in the past decades.


The OSBR area was once a prominent part of the Baton Rouge Community that was racially integrated. It was the home of many of the best restaurants in the Baton Rouge area. During the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s many of the middle class residents fled the area for better housing as better jobs were made available to all races. After many of the wealthier residents left, many of the businesses that stayed were forced to eventually close due to bankruptcy, and many businesses that are currently in the area face similar issues. As the businesses closed their doors, many of the buildings were left abandoned and a "culture of poverty" began to take over the entire area. Realizing the importance of the area to Baton Rouge, many people have begun trying to change this culture and improve the overall looks and quality of life in the area. Residents are hesitant to accept or help with any of these changes unless they provide instant changes.

LSU/Lakeshore - Home to LSU's main campus, the University Lakes and the City Park lake. It includes neighborhoods like University Hills, University Gardens, College Town, State Street, Carlotta Street, and Arlington. Homes directly on the lakeshore are some of the most expensive within the city limits, and the lakeshore itself is a popular place for jogging, walking and bicycling.

Mid-City - Bound by I-110 on the west, College and N. Foster on the east, Choctaw to the north and I-10 to the south. It includes several neighborhoods like Ogden Park,
Bernard Terrace, and Capital Heights. Always a socially and economically diverse area, Mid City is quickly regaining popularity due to urban renewal and gentrification. Includes historic Baton Rouge Magnet High School.

Brookstown - Is bordered by Airline Highway to the east, Hollywood St to the north,
McClelland St to the west and Evangeline St to the south.

Melrose Place - Melrose Place is home to BRCC and is between N. Ardenwood and N. Foster Rd.

Melrose Place East/Mall City - Is bordered by Florida Blvd (US 190) to the south, Greenwell Springs Rd to the north, Airline Highway to the east, and N. Ardenwood Dr to the west. However the border is traditionally between Mall at Cortana and the old Bon Marche Mall.

Inniswold - Area around Bluebonnet Rd between Jefferson Hwy and I-10.
Goodwood - an older subdivision located between Government Street, Jefferson Highway, Airline Highway, and Old Hammond Highway.

Inniswold is a census-designated place (CDP) in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 4,944 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Southdowns - an older subdivision located between Perkins Road and Bayou Duplantier, also between the University Lake and Pollard Estates. Hosts one of Baton Rouge's Mardi Gras parades, on the Friday night before Mardi Gras.

Gardere - an area using Gardere Lane (LA Highway 327 Spur) as its main artery. Found between Nicholson Drive and Highland Road, located near St. Jude the Apostle Church. Dominated by low-rent housing prior to Hurricane Katrina.

Gardere is a census-designated place (CDP) in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 8,992 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Westminster - Between Essen and Bluebonnet off Jefferson Highway, around the Baton Rouge Country Club.

Oak Hills Place -Bordered by Bluebonnet Boulevard to the west, Perkins Road to the north, and Highland Road to the south. South of the Mall of Louisiana.

Oak Hills Place is a census-designated place (CDP) in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 7,996 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Broadmoor - A mostly mid-century neighborhood founded in 1950

Scotlandville - The largest section of north Baton Rouge. The area is bounded by Plank Road to the east, Thomas Road to the north, the Mississippi river to the west, and Airline Hwy to the south, and surrounds the Southern University campus and the Exxon chemical plants.

Shenandoah - A very large subdivision built in the 1970s and 1980's, located between South Harrell's Ferry and Tiger Bend Roads with its westernmost boundary Jones Creek Road. All streets in this neighborhood are named after key figures and battles in the Civil War (e.g. Harper's Ferry, Chadsford, etc.). Schools in this subdivision include: Shenandoah Elementary and St. Michael the Archangel.

Shenandoah is a census-designated place (CDP) in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, United States. It is part of the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 17,070 at the 2000 census. Shenandoah consists of the neighborhoods Shenandoah Estates, Shenandoah Park, White Oak Landing, White Oak Estates, The Woods and The Lake at White Oak amongst others.

Shenandoah North - A small subdivision, built in the late 1980s, located off the north end of Jones Creek Road.

Sherwood Forest - A large, established neighborhood with large, older homes. Located just east of "Broadmoor." Sherwood Forest Blvd. is to the south, Flannery Rd. is to the east, Florida Blvd. is to the north, and Sharp Rd. is to the west.

Village St. George - located off Siegen Lane near the Mall of Louisiana. Named after nearby St. George Catholic Church.

Village St. George is a census-designated place (CDP) in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 6,993 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Brownfields - located near Baker off Committee Drive and bounded between Foster Road and Plank Road.

Brownfields is a census-designated place (CDP) in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 5,222 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Zion City - Between Hooper Road and Airline Highway.

Monticello - located off Greenwell Springs Road between the Baton Rouge City Limits and Central City, site of Greenbriar Elementary School.

Monticello is a census-designated place (CDP) in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 4,763 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Park Forest - located across from Monticello on North Sherwood Forest Blvd and Greenwell Springs. All streets are named after natural wonders. site of which once was the largest and most popular group of friends in city history.

Glen Oaks - located in northern Baton Rouge between Mickens Road and Airline Highway, site of Glen Oaks High School.

Glen Oaks is a neighborhood in the easternmost portion of the New York City Borough of Queens. The neighborhood is part of Queens Community Board 13.

The postal ZIP code for the area, which is referred to as Glen Oaks, is 11004, but also includes the Queens neighborhood of North Floral Park. In general, the boundary between Glen Oaks and North Floral Park is Union Turnpike, which serves as the main commercial road in the neighborhood (along with Hillside Avenue to the south which runs though Floral Park and Bellerose). The neighborhood extends from the Nassau border (Lakeville Road and Langdale Street) westwards to Alley Pond Park and north to the Grand Central Parkway.

The Glen Oaks Village apartment complex has two major sections. One extends from Little Neck Parkway eastwards to 263rd Street, and south to Union Turnpike. The other section extends from Commonwealth Boulevard to 249th Street. Glen Oaks also includes the North Shore Towers apartment complex and country club and the nearby Royal Ranch community on the same hill.

There are several public elementary schools in the area and one middle school. A new high school, known as the Glen Oaks Campus, was recently opened on a section of land previously part of the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center. Typically the district 26 schools have been ranked among the best in the NYC public school system. Tenney Park, (more commonly referred to as "the Oval") is located on 260th street and serves as the home of Glen Oaks Little League as well as having basketball courts and playground equipment. Long Island Jewish Medical Center is located in Glen Oaks and is one of the largest medical facilities in the area.

Old Jefferson - located off Jefferson Highway near Antioch and Tiger Bend Roads.
Site of Most Blessed Sacrament School and Woodlawn High School.

Old Jefferson is a census-designated place (CDP) in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, USA. The population was 5,631 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical Area.

University Club - A newer neighborhood built inside the University Club Golf course located off Nicholson Drive on the south edge of Baton Rouge.

Houses in the University Lakes neighborhood

Centurion Place - A neighborhood off O'neal Lane that has many upscale homes.

Northdale - One of Baton Rouge oldest neighborhood est. in 1956 extends from N.15 St. to Scenic HWY, left to right is Foss St. to Choctaw St.


Baton Rouge is the middle ground of South Louisiana cultures, having a mix of Cajun and Creole Catholics and Baptists of the Florida Parishes and South Mississippi. Baton Rouge is a college city with college students from Baton Rouge Community College, Louisiana State University, and Southern University who make up approximately 20% of the city population. In addition, there's a sizable international population of about 11,300, the largest of which are people of Hispanic or Vietnamese descent. Due to this, Baton Rouge has come to have its own unique culture as well as be a representation of many different heritages.

Arts and Theater

Baton Rouge River Center in Downtown

Baton Rouge has an expanding visual arts scene, which is centered downtown. This increasing collection of venues is anchored by the Shaw Center for the Arts. Opened in 2005, this award winning facility houses the Brunner Gallery, LSU Museum of Art, the Manship Theatre, a contemporary art gallery, traveling exhibits, and several eateries. Another prominent facility is the Louisiana Art and Science Museum. Also known as LASM, it contains Irene W. Pennington Planetarium, traveling art exhibits, space displays, and an ancient Egyptian section. Several smaller art galleries offering a range of local art are scattered throughout the city.

The Shaw Center at night, with the Old Louisiana State Capitol in the background

The Shaw Center for the Arts is a 125,000 square foot (12,000 m²) performing art venue and fine arts museum located at 100 Lafayette Street in downtown Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It opened in 2005. The Center includes the Louisiana State University Museum of Art, the LSU School of Art Gallery, the 325-seat Manship Theatre, classrooms, a rooftop sushi restaurant, and a park. Among other collections, the museum includes the largest assemblage of Newcomb Pottery in the United States.

The skin of the Shaw Center for the Arts is made of translucent channel glass manufactured in Germany by Glasfabrik Lamberts. The Shaw Center received the American Instutute of Architects Gulf States Honor Award in 2005 for its “aggressive concept with a good contrast of materials” and “effective mapping of façade upon the plaza”.

The center was built with both public and private funding. The Shaw Group was a major donor to Shaw Center for the Arts, and received the naming rights to the building, however the Shaw Center is neither owned by The Shaw Group nor do they share employees. Other major donors were the Manship families, the Pennington families and Lamar Advertising, which is based in Baton Rouge (Lamar and Reilly families).

The Shaw Center has won several awards for design excellence including:

2008 American Institute of Architects (AIA) National Honor Award
2005 AIA Gulf States Region Honor Award
2005 AIA New England Region Honor Award
2005 Boston Society of Architects Award for Design
2005 Boston Society of Architects Higher Education Award Citation
The architects are

Design Architect: Schwartz/Silver Architects, Boston, MA
Executive Architect: Eskew + Dumez + Ripple, New Orleans, LA
Associated Architect: Jerry M. Campbell & Associates, Baton Rouge, LA

There is also an emerging performance arts scene. The Baton Rouge Little Theater, Baton Rouge River Center, and Manship Theatre mostly host traveling shows, including broadways, musical artists, and plays. Other venues include Reilly Theater which is home to Swine Palace, a non-profit professional theater company associated with the Louisiana State University Department of Theatre.


Many events take place throughout the year, the biggest of which is Mardi Gras. Every year in either February or March(whenever Mardi Gras falls that year) Baton Rouge hosts many Mardi Gras parades, the largest one being held in historic Spanish Town. Other festivals include FestforAll, Louisiana Earth Day, Mardi Gras season, Pennington Balloon Festival, the St. Patrick's Day Parade, and Red Stick International Animation Festival.

Pennington Balloon Festival

The Red Stick International Animation Festival is an annual event is hosted by the Lab for Creative Arts & Technologies (LCAT), a research group within the Louisiana State University's Center for Computation and Technology. The first festival took place from April 21 until April 23, 2005, and has occurred annually since in the Downtown Arts District in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The 2005 festival drew over 1200 attendees. In 2006, just over 2000 people attended, and in 2007, over 4000 people attended festival events.


The festival was founded by Stephen David Beck and Stacey Simmons, bringing an idea from the Animex festival in England, as a way to demonstrate the linkage between creativity and technology, their focus at LCAT, and to bring awareness to the opportunities in both creative and technical disciplines for jobs, careers and economic development that are available through entertainment technologies. Planning for the first festival began in the fall of 2003, with the event taking place in April 2005. Since then, the festival has occurred annually in the third week of April.

Speakers and workshop leaders at past festivals have included representatives from Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks, Digital Domain, Sony Imageworks and other companies. They include Ed Hooks, Stuart Sumida, Mark Walsh, Walt Hyneman, David Bolinsky, Karen deJong, Gary Schwartz, and Rachelle Lewis.

The Red Stick Festival takes place at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum, Old State Capitol, and the LSU Museum of Art and Manship Theatre, part of the Shaw Center for the Arts.


The major daily newspaper is The Advocate, publishing since 1925. Prior to October 1991, Baton Rouge also had an evening newspaper, The State-Times -- at that time, the morning paper was known as "The Morning Advocate." Other publications include: 225, LSU Daily Reveille, Tiger Weekly, Southern University Digest, Greater Baton Rouge Business Report, and the South Baton Rouge Journal. Other newspapers in East Baton Rouge Parish include the Central City News and the Zachary Post.

Greater Baton Rouge area is well served by television and radio. The market is the 94th largest Designated Market Area (DMA) in the U.S., serving 317,550 homes and 0.282%of the U.S.[18] Major television network affiliates serving the area include:

11 KPBN (America One)
21 WBRL (The CW)
39 WBXH (My Network TV)

Tiger Stadium at Louisiana State UniversityBaton Rouge also offer local cable only channels on Cox Cable. Metro 21 on channel 21, Cox 4 on channel 4, and Catholic Life on channel 15.


Tiger Stadium at Louisiana State University

Baton Rouge is a city that is heavily into college sports. The LSU Tigers and the Southern University Jaguars are the two most popular teams and provide the city's biggest entertainment each football season. The teams' dominance of the city's sports scene is distinguished by the numerous shops and restaurants around town that sell and display memorabilia. College baseball, basketball, and gymnastics are also popular.

Baton Rouge has a very successful rugby team, the Baton Rouge Redfish. The team began in 1977 and has won numerous conference championships. Currently, the team competes the Deep South Rugby Union as a Division II team. .

The city also has a minor league soccer team, the Capitals, who play in the PDL (Premier Development League). Currently, the team plays their home games in Olympia Stadium.

Tourism and Recreation

Nottoway Plantation Located near White Castle, Louisiana

There are many architectural points of interest in Baton Rouge, ranging from antebellum to modern. The neo-gothic Old Louisiana State Capitol was originally built in the 1890's as the first state house in Baton Rouge and was latter replaced by the 450 feet (137 m) tall, art-deco New Louisiana State Capitol which finished was the tallest building in the South. Several plantation homes in the area such as Magnolia Mound Plantation House, Myrtles Plantation, and Nottoway Plantation showcase architecture during the antebellum era. Located near White Castle, Louisiana]]The Louisiana State University has over 250 buildings done in the style of Italian Renaissance, one of the nation's largest college stadiums, and is endowed with many live oaks. Several up and coming examples of modern and contemporary buildings are located downtown and include the Louisiana State Museum. A number of structures, including the Baton Rouge River Center, Louisiana State Library, LSU Student Union, Louisiana Naval Museum, Bluebonnet Swamp Interpretive Center, Louisiana Arts and Sciences Center, Louisiana State Archives, and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, were designed by the Baton Rouge architect John Desmond. Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad Company Depot, currently houses Louisiana Arts and Science Museum.

USS Kidd Located downtown on the river.

Part of the Louisiana Naval MuseumMuseum around town offer a variety of genres. The Louisiana State Museum and the Old Louisiana State Capitol Museum display information on state history and have any interactive exhibits. The Shaw Center for the Arts showcase art exhibits along with Louisiana Art and Science Museum. LASM also includes science exhibits and a planetarium. Other museums include LSU Museum of Natural Science and USS Kidd.

Baton Rouge has an extensive park collection run through BREC. The largest park is City Park near LSU and is current undergoing a complete remodeling. The Baton Rouge Zoo is run through BREC and includes 1800+ species.

Other things to include shopping at the Mall at Cortana and the Mall of Louisiana (Louisiana's two largest malls), a trip to the local amusement parks of Dixie Landin'/ Blue Bayou, or dining at any number of the revered Louisiana cuisine restaurants.

The Myrtles Plantation is an antebellum plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana, near Baton Rouge. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the plantation is a bed and breakfast, and it offers historical and mystery tours.

The Myrtles Plantation was built in 1794 by General David Bradford and called Laurel Grove. He lived there alone for several years, until being pardoned for his role in the Whiskey Rebellion in 1799. He then moved his wife Elizabeth and their five children to the plantation from Pennsylvania. One of Bradford's law students, Clark Woodruff (or Woodrooff) eventually married Bradford's daughter, Sara Mathilda, in 1817. After the death of David Bradford in 1808, Clark and Sara Woodruff managed the plantation for Elizabeth Bradford. They had three children: Cornelia Gale, James, and Mary Octavia.

In July 1823, Sara Woodruff died from yellow fever. Clark Woodruff continued to manage the plantation with his mother-in-law. In July 1824, James died of yellow fever as well, and his sister Cornelia Gale succumbed to the disease in August of that year.

When Elizabeth Bradford died in 1830, Clark Woodruff and his daughter Mary Octavia moved to Covington, Louisiana, and left a caretaker to manage the plantation. In 1834, Woodruffe sold the plantation, the land, and its slaves to Ruffin Gray Stirling. Woodruff eventually died in New Orleans in 1851.

Stirling and his wife, Mary Catherine Cobb, undertook an extensive remodeling of the house. When completed, the new house was nearly double the size of the former building, and its name was changed to The Myrtles.They imported fancy furniture from europe. The Stirlings had 9 children, but five of them died young. Stirling died in 1854 and left the plantation to his wife.

In 1865, Mary Cobb hired William Drew Winter to help manage the plantation and as her lawyer and agent. Winter was married to Mary Cobb's daughter, Sarah Stirling. Sarah and William Winter lived at the Myrtles and had six children, one of whom (Kate Winter) died from typhoid at the age of three. Although the Winters were forced to sell the plantation in 1868, they were able to buy it back two years later.

In 1871, William Winter was shot by an unknown man on the porch of the house and died. Sarah remained at the Myrtles with her mother and siblings until 1878, when she died. Mary Cobb died in 1880, and the plantation passed to Stephen, one of her sons. The plantation was heavily in debt, however, and Stephen sold it in 1886 to Oran D. Brooks. Brooks sold it in 1889, and the house changed hands several times until 1891, when it was purchased by Harrison Milton Williams.

Over the next several decades, the land was split up and owned by various Williams heirs. In the 1950s, Marjorie Munson owned the house itself. Munson apparently noticed odd things happening around the house and began to question neighbors about its history. This is possibly the beginning of some of the legends surrounding the Myrtles. The plantation changed hands several more times and was restored in the 1970s by owners Arlin Dease and Mr. & Mrs. Robert Ward. At some point the house changed hands again, being bought by James and Frances Kermeen Myers. The Myerses apparently believed the house was haunted, and it began to be featured in books and magazines about haunted houses. Frances, publishing as Francis Kermeen has written a book about the Myrtles and its supposed haunting. The house is now a bed & breakfast and offers historical and mystery tours, and is owned by John & Teeta Moss. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Legends and ghost stories

Touted as "one of America's most haunted homes", the plantation is supposedly home of at least 12 ghosts. It is often reported that 10 murders occurred in the house, but historical records only indicate the murder of William Winter.

The legend of Chloe

Possibly the most well known of the Myrtles supposed ghosts, Derrick (often confused with Denver, another slave apparently at the myrtles) was reportedly a slave owned by Clark and Sara Woodruff. According to one story, Clark Woodruff had pressured or forced Derrick into being his mistress. Derrick and Jace were caught by Danielle and Denver began to listen at, trying to learn what would happen to her. Other versions of the legend have Chloe listening in at keyholes to learn news of Clark Woodruff's business dealings or for other purposes. After being caught, either by Clark or Sara Woodruff, one of her ears was cut off, and she wore a green turban to hide it.

Chloe supposedly baked a birthday cake containing extract of boiled and reduced oleander leaves, which are extremely poisonous. The various legends diverge as to why she did this, with some saying she was getting revenge on the Woodruffs and some saying she was attempting to redeem her position by curing the family of the poisoning. According to the legends, her plan backfired. Only Sara and her two daughters ate the cake, and all died from the poison. Chloe was then supposedly hanged by the other slaves, either as punishment or to escape punishment by Clark Woodruff for harboring her.

The historical record does not support this legend. There is no record of the Woodruffs owning a slave named Chloe,Cleo or any slaves. The legends usually claim that Sara and her two daughters were poisoned, but Mary Octavia survived well into adulthood. Finally, Sara, James, and Cornelia Woodruff were not killed by poisoning, but instead succumbed to yellow fever. Regardless of the factual accuracy of the Chloe story, some believe a woman wearing a green turban haunts the plantation.

Other legends

Reportedly haunted mirror within Myrtles Plantation

There are a variety of other legends surrounding the Myrtles. The house is reputedly built over an Indian burial ground, and the ghost of a young Indian woman has been reported. During the Civil War, the house was ransacked by Union soldiers, and legend claims that three were killed in the house. Supposedly, there is (or was) a blood stain in a doorway, roughly the size of a human body, that will not (or would not) come clean. Other legends say that cleaners have been unable to push their mop or broom into that space. However, there is no record of any Union soldiers having been shot on the Myrtles property.

A mirror located in the house supposedly holds the spirits of Sara Woodruff and two of her children. According to custom, mirrors are covered after a death, but legend says that after the poisoning of some of the Woodruffs, this particular mirror was overlooked. The uncovered mirror reportedly trapped the spirits of Sara and her children, who are occasionally seen or leave handprints in the mirror. These handprints may have been left by workers replacing the glass or resilvering the mirror.

The plantation is also reportedly haunted by a young girl who died in 1868, despite being treated by a local voodoo practitioner. She supposedly appears in the room in which she died, and has been reported to practice voodoo on people sleeping in the room. There is also a ghost who reportedly walks, staggers, or crawls up the stairs and stops on the 17th step. Some have said that this is William Winter, the victim of the only reported murder in the house. Alternate versions of his murder claim he managed to walk or crawl up the stairs, and collapsed in his wife's arms on the 17th step. However, this version of the story is contested. There have been other reports of odd sounds, but they generally do not have legends attached to them.

There is also a legend involving the mirror of a young girl with blond hair who was skipping down the stairs to the house singing a song. She looked in the mirror and was shot by an unknown someone and her spirit stayed within the mirror to this day in hopes of seeing the face of her killer again and taking revenge. There have been sightings in the mirror of a young girls about nine years of age crawling or slowly walking up and down the stairs humming a tune. There have even been sightings in the mirror of the same girl kneeling on the stairs and crying. These sightings have only been made in the mirror. Whenever someone turns around to look at the stairwell, all is normal. Someone even caught a picture with a cell phone of the girl. Though, very few people got to see it before it was mysteriously erased.

The Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad Company Depot

The Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad Company Depot is located at 100 South River Road. in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It was also know as the Illinois Central Railroad Station. The building currently serves as the Louisiana Arts and Science Museum.

The architectural style of the building is considered Classical Revival. Tt was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994 (Building - #94000463)

IC-333, a 0-6-0 steam engine, and several passenger cars are on display just outside the building.


Memorial Tower at LSU

The Baton Rouge area contains 12 public school districts -- Ascension, Baker, Central Community, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, West Baton Rouge, West Feliciana, and Zachary. School districts in the region provide opportunities for advanced learning through Gifted and Academic Magnet programs and tailored programs in music, visual arts, and dramatic arts. Additionally, the Capital Region is home to four of the top ten performing districts (Ascension, Livington, West Feliciana, Zachary) in the state.

Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, generally known as Louisiana State University or LSU, is a public, coeducational university that is the main campus of the Louisiana State University System. LSU includes nine senior colleges and three schools, in addition to specialized centers, divisions, institutes, and offices. Enrollment stands at more than 32,000 students, and there are 25,000full-time faculty members. LSU is also one of twenty-one American universities designated as a land-grant, sea-grant and space-grant research center. In order to reverse decades of underfunding, the university recently launched an ambitious fundraising drive, called the "Forever LSU" campaign.

Southern University and A&M College is a comprehensive institution offering two associate degree programs, 42 bachelor degree programs, 19 master's degree programs, and five doctoral programs. The university is part of the only historically black land grant university system in the United States. Southern became a land-grant school in 1890, and an Agricultural and Mechanical department was established. The University offers programs of study ranging from associate degree to doctoral and professional degrees. Southern University also provides opportunities for students to participate in internships and summer assignments in industry and with the federal government.

Baton Rouge Community College Library

Baton Rouge Community College is an open-admissions, two-year post-secondary public community college, established on June 28, 1995. The college settled into a permanent location in 1998. The 60-acre (240,000 m2) campus consists of five main buildings: Governors Building, Louisiana Building, Cypress Building, Bienvenue Building (student center), and the Magnolia Library Building. The college's current enrollment is more than 6,000 students. The curricular offerings include courses and programs leading to transfer credits, certificates and associate degrees.


Huey Long Bridge

Baton Rouge is connected by the following major routes: I-10 (Capital City Expressway via the Horace Wilkinson Bridge), I-12 (Republic of West Florida Parkway), I-110 (Martin Luther King Jr. Freeway), Airline Highway (US 61), Florida Boulevard (US 190) (via the Huey P. Long Bridge), Greenwell Springs Road (LA 37), Plank Road/22nd Street (LA 67), Burbank Dr. & Highland Rd.(LA 42), Nicholson Drive (LA 30), Jefferson Highway (LA 73), Louisiana Highway 1 (LA 1) and Scotland/Baker/Zachary Highway (LA 19). The business routes of US 61/190 run west along Florida Blvd. from Airline Hwy. to River Road downtown. The routes also run along River Rd., Chippewa Street and Scenic Highway from Chippewa to Airline. US 190 joins US 61 on Airline Hwy from Florida Blvd. to Scenic Hwy, where the two highways split. US 190 continues westward on Airline to the Huey P. Long Bridge while US 61 heads north on Scenic Highway.

To accommodate the rapid growth of Baton Rouge, sections of its freeways have been upgraded in recent decades. However, traffic jams remain commonplace. A wellspring of problems, for instance, is created by the old-style full cloverleaf interchange at I-12 and Airline Highway (US 61). The interchange provides no C/D lanes and weaving is thus a constant and serious hazard for motorists.

I-12 East is also plagued with serious congestion. The Interstate essentially goes from 3 to 2 lanes, creating a bottle-neck around the Denham Springs area.

A circumferential loop freeway has been proposed for the greater Baton Rouge metro area to help alleviate congestion on the existing through-town routes. The proposed loop would pass through the outlying parishes of Livingston, Ascension, West Baton Rouge, and Iberville, as well as northern East Baton Rouge Parish.


Health and Medicine

Baton Rouge is served by a number of hospitals and clinics:

Baton Rouge Clinic - 7373 Perkins Road

Baton Rouge General Medical Center Mid-City - 3600 Florida Boulevard

Baton Rouge General Medical Center Bluebonnet - 8585 Picardy Avenue

Benton Rehabilitation Hospital - 7660 Convention Street

Earl K. Long Medical Center (LSUMC) - 5825 Airline Highway

HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital - 8595 United Plaza Boulevard

HealthSouth Surgi-Center - 5222 Brittany Drive

Lane Memorial Hospital – Zachary, Louisiana.

Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Treatment Center - 4950 Essen Lane

Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center - 5000 Hennessy Boulevard

Ochsner Medical Center - 1700 Medical Center Drive

Sage Integra Hospital Baton Rouge, a rehabilitation hospital - 8225 Summa Avenue

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital - 7777 Hennessy Boulevard

Surgical Specialty Centre 8080 Bluebonnet Blvd

Vista Surgical Hospital(LSU Health System Surgical Facility) - 9032 Perkins Road

Womans Hospital - 9050 Airline Highway


The metropolitan area is served by the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport, located in north area of Baton Rouge, between city and the suburb of Baker. The airport is currently going through an expansion to improve its facilities and better compete with other markets.


Public transit by bus is provided by the Capitol Area Transit System. CATS offer 17 routes that provide transportation to various parts of the city. CATS operates a special trolley that runs for free in the downtown area.


Baton Rouge Zoo

The Baton Rouge Zoo is located 15 minutes North of downtown Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The Zoo is operated by BREC, the Recreation and Park Commission of East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo is home to over 1,800 animals from around the world. The Baton Rouge Zoo was the first zoo in Louisiana to achieve the distinguished honor of being accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.


The zoo is open between 9:30 5 p.m. daily and until 6:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday during daylight saving time. The zoo is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year's Day.


The admission price for adults is $6.00, senior citizens, $5.00, ages 2 to 12 $3.00, and children under age 1 are free. Membership packages for free admission and other exciting benefits are available.

Celebrating 38 Wild Years!

BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo was a dream of the Recreation and Parks Commission as early as 1960. In 1965, the taxpayers passed a millage election that provided over three-quarters of a million dollars with which to build the facility. At that time a Zoo Director was employed to help design and implement the plans for the Zoo. Matching funds were obtained from the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation.

Construction began in 1966 and BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo first opened to the public on Easter Sunday, 1970. The residents of East Baton Rouge fully embraced the concept of the new Zoo, and a sense of ownership was instilled in the community, aided by the urging of television personality, Buckskin Bill. The words of Buckskin Bill, “Baton Rouge needs a Zoo” at the end of his television program rallied the residents of East Baton Rouge Parish.

Entertainment and Culture

Over the past almost thirty-eight years, the Zoo has grown to become the #1 year around family attraction in Baton Rouge. With nearly a quarter million guests each year, the Zoo attracts visitors of all ages and backgrounds. The Zoo is a favorite place for families and groups to discover the animal kingdom.


Today, BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo is home to over 1,800 animals from around the world. The Baton Rouge Zoo was the first zoo in Louisiana to achieve the distinguished honor of being accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association. As a leader in the zoo field, BREC’s Zoo was accredited in 1977, four years before any other zoo in the state and eight years before such accreditation was mandatory for membership in this prestigious professional association.


The Zoo is very active in conservation programs and fully participates with other zoos around the world in nearly 30 international Species Survival Plans (SSP) for critically endangered species. Three of these SSP animals, the Guam Rail, Arabian Oryx, and Golden Lion Tamarin, have been successfully reintroduced into the wild and represent living proof of our long-term commitment of reintroduction to strengthen and supplement wild populations of endangered and threatened wildlife.

Education and Research

The Zoo conducts active outreach and in-house educational programs. These programs are aimed at making the public aware of the problems confronting the wildlife of the world. Our educational programs reach over 45,000 children in school groups each year. Educational programming has expanded to include activities such as community outreach programs, reading programs, day camps, weekend classes, teacher workshops, on-site live animal and artifacts encounters and demonstrations. The demand for our educational programs increases every year.

We also work very closely with the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine conducting research on several species. Behavioral studies are also conducted through other departments at Louisiana State University as well as other colleges throughout our region.

A facility of BREC

BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo is owned and operated by the Recreation and Park Commission for the Parish of East Baton Rouge (BREC), a public government agency. BREC was created by an act of the Louisiana State Legislature in 1946 and is governed by a nine member appointed Commission. BREC is funded by Ad Valorem taxes, fees and charges and grants, gifts and donations. The BREC system is accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies. BREC has won the prestigious National Gold Medal Award for excellence in Recreation and Park Administration in 1975 and 1991. BREC was a finalist for the award in 1998.

Community Support Organization

BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo is supported by the Friends of the Baton Rouge Zoo organization. The Friends’ mission is to support the zoo and its programs. The Friends work closely with BREC to raise funds for the capital projects, increase attendance through events, and to promote community involvement. The Friends of the Zoo has a Federal Internal Revenue Service 501(c)(3) status.

VooDoo -The World's Largest Dark Behemoth BOWL.

Azuka - The World's Largest Tornado Slide.

Racers - The World's Largest Water Racer.

Flying Pirogues - The World's Largest Sled Slide.

Conja - The Worlds Largest In-Line Water Slide.

Along with 10 other amazing water rides!

Xtreme - Our spinning roller coaster gives you a different ride every time.

Hot Shot - 200 Foot Combo Drop Tower Ride.

Ragin Cajun - Our steel looping roller coaster.

Splinter - Our log ride has drops of 26 and 50 feet.

Along with 23 other great theme park rides!

Located on 80 acres at I-10 and Highland Road in Baton Rouge, LA right next to Blue Bayou Water Park, Dixie Landin' is an Amusement Park designed for the entire family!

Dixie Landin' contains 26 rides, 10 games and much, much more. We have retail shops for you to pick up souvenir t-shirts, hats, cups and many more items to bring home. Dixie also has a large variety of food items.

One of the feature attractions is the "Ragin Cajun." A giant steel looping roller coaster that drops from 14 stories up. Or maybe you are interested in the "Splinter," our log flume ride with drops of 26 and 50 feet. Our Giant Wheel stands 90 feet tall and gives you a birds eye view of the entire park.

Our Kiddie Section features small rides for the young ones. This section features "The Delta Crop Dusters" a bi-plane ride that allows the kids to move the plane up and down. "Gasoline Alley" gives the kids a chance to drive mom and dad around in a Model T. And everyone's favorite, The spectacular "Grand Carousel."

Dixie Landin' Amusement Park offers fun and excitement for the entire family. Many of our rides can be enjoyed as a family. The Iron Horse Train travels over 1/2 mile around the perimeter of the park. "Gilbeau's Galaxi" is our family roller coaster. The "Giant Wheel" and The "Grand Carousel" can both be enjoyed as a family. There is something for everyone at Dixie Landin'.

"Sweet Magnolia" offers items such as ice cream, cotton candy, popcorn, funnel cakes, nachos, cookies and of course all of your favorite Coke products. "Dixie Dilly" offers a selection of items such as hamburgers, hotdogs, pizza, chicken sandwiches and much more. We also offer items such as Frozen Coke, Dippin Dots and Fresh Lemonade on carts throughout the park. You won't go home hungry!!!

Blue Bayou Water Park has over 20 water attractions like the High Water Slide, a triple 7 story serpentine slide. And there's nothing like the twin 8 story speed slide, the Ragin' Cajun! See our 6 story Mad Moccasin water slide which twists and turns in complete darkness. Come out and ride CONJA', the world's largest in-line water slide; and our newest water slide, Racers. This is the tallest and fastest water racer in the world! If you like action-packed water slides, we've got 'em!