A brand-new Statehouse

In 1845 Louisiana lawmakers authorized a brand-new state constitution requiring them to pick a place for a brand-new state capitol “not less than sixty miles from the city of new Orleans.” Baton Rouge, located about 100 mile north of new Orleans, was selected as the ar for the brand-new state capitol. Baton Rouge officials started searching because that land to construct the brand-new capitol. They want a clues that would certainly be convenient for travelers, near the facility of the city but also complimentary from the seasonal flooding that the Mississippi River. Judge cutting board Gibbs Morgan available his land that sat on a high point out of a natural levee. With public donations totaling $20,000, the city that Baton Rouge donated this plot the land come the state because that the brand-new capitol building in 1847.

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Architect James Dakin’s plans because that the brand-new statehouse were conveniently selected through the Legislature. Dakin envisioned a unique and also awe-inspiring structure with significant gothic layout architecture. “In making this design, I have endeavored…to adopt such a taste and style of architecture as would certainly at once offer the edifice a made decision distinctive, classic and also commanding character…” wrote Dakin. Workmen began clearing the floor in July 1847 and also the official groundbreaking was held in October. In January of 1850 the legislative branch met for the an initial time in the new statehouse under Gov. Isaac Johnson.


Secession and also relocationBy the 1860s with a feasible Civil war on the horizon, legislatures met in the home Chamber to discuss the state’s place on secession under Gov. Thomas Overton Moore. Top top January 26, 1861 the legislative voted come secede from the united State of America. The scene from within the statehouse was described by the Weekly Gazette & Comet as “a shout as never before went increase from the old Gothic Building.” Louisiana ended up being The Sovereign and also Independent republic of Louisiana for 2 months before joining the Confederate says of America. In 1862, the state federal government left the capitol and also fled Baton Rouge in breakthrough of Union troops. The capitol was relocated to Opelousas and also then to Shreveport. Union troops easily took end the capitol building and used it as a command post, prison and garrison. Union troops occupying the building permitted a fire in the northwest turret to rage eventually causing a catastrophic fire that gutted the building. The exterior wall surfaces were the just things that remained.


A new Castle

In 1866, v the civil War currently over, the state capitol was re-established in new Orleans and also the structure remained vacant.The state constitutional convention the 1879 stated that Baton Rouge was once again to become the chair of government in Louisiana. The legislative allocated $153,000 to fix the statehouse and appointed william A. Freret as architect. Freret’s vision that a fourth floor, cast iron spiral staircase, stained glass dome and also exterior towers to be approved and also reconstruction of the building began. The freshly reconstructed capitol building was complete in 1884. In the adhering to years fiery debates and fist fights broke out throughout the building, namely over the very first Louisiana Lottery. In 1906, a fire in the Senate chamber caused extensive damage to the east wall surface of the building and also water damages throughout. The legislature provided funds for repairs. Component of those repairs included removing the stole turrets atop the the key towers.


The fight with Huey P. Long

Notorious Gov. Huey P. Long was chosen governor that Louisiana in 1928. He would be the last governor sworn in on the grounds until Mike Foster in 1996. In April of 1929 the residence of to represent voted come impeach Gov. Long on many charges consisting of bribery and the misuse that state funds. The “round robin” agreement was submitted and included the signature that twelve senators, just sufficient to block the essential two thirds vote for impeachment. Adhering to this Gov. Long convinced the legislature to erect a new state capitol. Building and construction on the new state capitol was complete in 1932.


With the old statehouse no much longer used by the legislature, the functions Progress administration of Louisiana moved right into the building in 1936 and also extensive renovations and also repairs to be done with the assist of a WPA grant. Complying with the end of world War II the building was specialized to Louisiana’s veterans in 1948. Veteran’s organizations moved into the building and occupied it until it to be closed for the 1991 restoration. With the structure falling in disarray it earned the designation as a National historic Landmark in 1976. The building was placed under the Louisiana State Museum system and the legislature appropriated $2.5 million because that a significant restoration in 1976.

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New BeginningsIn 1990, for the first time in 58 years, the Louisiana legislative convened in the Old State Capitol and also the structure was moved to the Office that Secretary that State. The most extensive and comprehensive restoration began in 1991. Under the direction the Secretary that State W. Fox McKeithen the Old State Capitol reopened in 1994 together Louisiana’s facility for Political and Governmental History, one educational background museum. Throughout the 2000s assorted exterior restorations to be completed consisting of a historically exactly plaster and also the instead of of the stole fence.


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