We drove down to the old capitol building, which looks (as Bob remarked) like a castle. It was closed when we were there.
Even from the outside it was an interesting building to photograph. It is Christian Gothic Revival and it has Medieval features, such as twin crenelated, octagonal towers. Mark Twain called this Capitol a "sham castle" and laid the blame for such architecture at the feet of Sir Walter Scott who had "run the people mad" with his "medieval romances."
The original state capitol was in New Orleans until about 1847. The state house was designed by James Harrison Dakin. Dakin referred to his design as "Castellated Gothic" because the decoration was cast-iron - both cheaper and more durable than other building materials used at the time.
In 1862, when Union Admiral David Farragut captured New Orleans, Baton Rouge was occupied by the Union troops and the Old Louisiana State Capitol caught fire twice. The empty, gutted shell was abandoned. But by 1882 the state house was totally reconstructed by architect and engineer William A. Freret, who installed the spiral staircase and stained glass dome. The refurbished state house remained in use until 1932, when Huey Long convinced the legislature to build him a new capitol building.
Today the old Capitol is a museum of political and governmental history. I understand that you can stand at an old podium and push a button to see a video and follow the teleprompter of famous speeches from any number of 20th century Louisiana governors, including Huey Long and his even more infamous brother, Earl Long. It is open Monday-Saturday, 10:00am to 4:00pm, Sunday 12:00pm to 4:00pm. There is a fee for admission
On the lawn outside there is a pink obelisk to Henry Watkins Allen (third photo) who was a Civil War Confederate Brigadier General, and who served as Governor of Louisiana in 1864. After the war, he was unwilling to live in the United States so he went to Mexico with other exiles and died there. His body was brought back and buried here in 1885
the louisiana state capitol is the most prominent landmark in the city of baton rouge. the new capitol was created by governor huey p. long in the early 1930's. this interesting simplified classical building was designed by architects weiss, drefous, and seiferth. the capitol was completed in 1932 and was constructed out of alabama limestone. huey p. long was assassinated at the capitol in 1935. you can take an elevator to the top of this 34 story building for an excellent view of the city.
the old state capitol is a very interesting building to visit in downtown baton rouge. in 1847 the louisiana state capitol was moved from new orleans to baton rouge. the new state capital was built on the site of the "red pole" (baton rouge) which was once a native american settlement. this "castellated gothic" building was designed by james harrison dalkin. in 1862 union admiral david farragut captured new orleans and returned the capital to that city. during the union occupation of baton rouge the old capitol was used as a prison and barracks for coloured troops. later the capitol building was gutted by fire. in 1882 the capital of louisiana was returned to baton rouge and architect william a freret completely remodeled the interior of the building. this building served as louisiana's capitol until 1932. this interesting building is listed on the national register of historic places and is open to the public. see the attached web site for times.
If you are in Baton Rouge take a tour of the Louisiana state capitol building. At 450 ft. and 34 stories it is the nation's tallest. There is an observation deck on the 27th floor providing sweeping 360 degree views of the city. The tour is free and there are knowledgeable guides to assist or to guide groups. The building itself is really beautiful made of pale limestone and adorned with art deco symbolism.
The old State Capital is now the centre for Political and Governmental History. The Gothic styled building was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1975. You can see a multimedia presentation, interactive exhibits, political research library, political memorabilia and film and videotapes of state leaders.
"Sir Walter Scott is probably responsible for the Capitol building; for it is not inconceivable that this little sham castle would ever have been built if he had not run the people mad, a couple of generations ago, with his medieval romances."
-Mark Twain - expressing his dislike of the Old State Capitol, in his 1883 book, "Life on the Mississippi."
This is the tallest capitol in the nation at a height of 450 ft with 34 floors. Designed in an Art Deco-style, the building was completed in 1932. The Observation deck is on the 27th floor (closes at 4pm) and you can get panoramic views of the city and the Mississippi. Senator Huey Long's was assassinated here in 1935. Twenty-five hundred rail cars were needed to bring in the limestone that was used on the exterior. The marble for the interior came from distant places, including Vermont and Italy. The cost to complete the building was only $5 million. Louisiana's state symbol, the pelican, decorates the side of the steps and is used extensively elsewhere in the building.
Daily 8am-4:30pm. No Admission
Its the tallest building in Baton Rouge and the tallest state capitol building in the United States.
The view from the top is very nice, and you can see up and down the Mississippi River for miles.
Touring the inside of the building is highly recommended. Very interesting indeed!
Old State Capitol - Center for Political and Governmental History
Located high on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River, the Old State Capitol stands today as a monument ot the past. Completed in 1849, the building housed the Louisiana Legislature until Union forces captured the city in 1862. That winter a fire gutted the interior of the structure. In 1879, the capitol was returned to Baton Rouge and reconstruction of the building was begun. The Legislature returned in 1882 and remained until 1932 when the new capitol was completed. Now restored to its original grandeur, the Old State Capitol is the state's archives for film and video. It houses both traditional and state-of-the-art interactive exhibts and a multi-media film presentation.
The best thing to see in Baton Rouge. Architecture, Art, History, Murder Mystery, Bombings, Altitude…if you like any of these you will like the state capitol. And it’s FREE!
Take the elevator to the top and soak in the view from the balcony. Not quite the Empire State Building, but you can see downtown, the Mississippi River, the town of Port Allen on the other side of the river, Capitol gardens, and of course the oil refineries which underlie Louisiana in many ways. Tallest state capitol building in the US!
Inside you can get a lot of history as well as see the House and Senate chambers, the bullet holes from Huey P. Long’s assassination, and a pencil stuck in the ceiling from a bombing in the 70's!
Sugar Cane, Indians, Many symbols of the state can be found all over the interior and exterior.
The New State Capitol is an interesting place to visit. It was built by former governor Huey P Long, and some say he built it for himself rather than for the state. He was shot and killed in this building and the bullet holes in the marble walls have been left for posterity.
The building is art deco and, I think, gorgeous on the inside. It's pretty cool on the outside too, with two huge sculptures flanking the steps up to the doors. You can take an elevator to the top and get a great view of downtown and the Mississippi River. It's fun to watch the river barges going up and down the river.
The grounds are lovely, and the new State Museum is just across the street. Haven't been there yet, but it's supposed to be very cool.
Take the elevators up to the top of the tallest State Capitol in the Country and get a good view of the City of Baton Rouge and the Mississippi River.
This view (looking West) was taken on a Spring day when the River was high.
The Casino Rouge riverboat is in the foreground. It is easily accesible from River Road.
an article desribing the history of this landmark can be found here: