Saturday, April 11, 2009

Downtown Baton Rouge

Today we decided to explore downtown Baton Rouge before Linda had to leave for work. We drove straight down Florida Blvd.,which is right out our front door, and it took us all the way down to the edge of the Mississippi River. We saw the Capitol Building off on a side street so we decided to go check it out. What an impressive building !

It is the tallest capitol building in the country. The building was the dream of Huey P. Long who convinced the public and legislature that a new State Capitol would eventually save the state money because of its efficient modern structure. It also became the site of Huey Long's assassination in 1935 and he is buried out in the middle of the garden and a statue was erected to honor him.

The building is so ornate....a 50' entrance into the building with carvings all around it. The interior is no less impressive.Two large wall murals, huge chandeliers, lots of marble, bronze and exotic woods. The senate chambers are located on the west side of the hall and the house chamber is on the east side. The doors into these areas weigh one ton each but move effortlessly on their hinges.
After exploring the first floor we took the elevators (had to take two different ones)to the 27th floor, where the observation level is. There 350 feet above Baton Rouge we got a wonderful view of the nearby area. The mighty Mississippi on one side...

Chemical corridor on another side and downtown Baton Rouge on the other.

It was wonderful to get this bird's eye view of the area but we did find ourselves holding on to each other as our stomach's got a bit queasy when we got near the railing.

Here are the gardens, just outside the capitol building. If you look in the center of the circle, you'll see a statue. That is where Huey Long is buried and his statue faces towards the capitol.

We went back home, glad for our little adventure out and about in the city. You can tell that the city is still trying to recover from past hurricanes as some buildings are torn up, signs mangled and shingles missing. The downtown area isn't as pretty as some others we've seen but there are some historical landmarks that we want to check out before we leave the area.

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