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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For the restaurant, see Baton Rouge
City of Baton Rouge
Ville de Bâton Rouge
—  City  —
Downtown Baton Rouge (viewed from Port Allen across the Mississippi River)


Nickname(s): Red Stick
Motto: Authentic Louisiana at every turn
Location of Baton Rouge in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana
Coordinates: 30°27′29″N 91°8′25″W / 30.45806°N 91.14028°W / 30.45806; -91.14028
Country  United States
State  Louisiana
Parish East Baton Rouge Parish
Founded 1699
Incorporated 16 January 1817
 - Mayor Melvin "Kip" Holden (D)
 - City 79.1 sq mi (204.8 km2)
 - Land 76.8 sq mi (198.9 km2)
 - Water 2.2 sq mi (5.7 km2)  2.81%
Elevation 46 ft (14 m)
Population (2007)
 - City 227,017
 Density 2,964.7/sq mi (1,144.7/km2)
 Metro 774,327
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Area code(s) 225

Baton Rouge (pronounced /ˌbætən ˈruːʒ/; French: Bâton-Rouge [bɑtɔ̃ ʀuʒ]  ( listen)) is the capital and second-largest city of Louisiana. It is located in East Baton Rouge Parish and has an estimated population of 227,017. The metropolitan area, known as Greater Baton Rouge, has an estimated population of 774,327. The Baton Rouge-Pierre Part Combined Statistical Area, consisting of the Baton Rouge metropolitan area and Pierre Part micropolitan area, has a population of 797,208, making it the 64th-largest urban area in the United States.

Baton Rouge is located in the southeast portion of the state along the Mississippi River. It owes its historical importance to its site upon Istrouma Bluff, the first bluff upriver from the Mississippi River Delta, which protects the city’s residents from flooding and other natural disasters. In addition to this natural barrier, the city has built a levee system stretching from the bluff southward to protect the riverfront and low-lying agricultural areas.

Baton Rouge is a major industrial and petrochemical center of the American South. The Port of Baton Rouge is the ninth largest in the United States in terms of tonnage shipped.[1]

The Baton Rouge region is called the "Capital Area."



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


Baton Rouge dates from 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 pole and its location "le bâton rouge", or red stick. The local Native American name for the site had been "Istrouma". From evidence found along the Mississippi, Comite, and Amite rivers, and in three Native American mounds remaining in the city, archaeologists have been able to date habitation of the Baton Rouge area to 8000 BC.[2]

Old Louisiana State Capitol

Since European settlement, Baton Rouge has been governed by France, Britain, Spain, Louisiana, the Florida Republic, the Confederate States, and the United States. In 1755, when French-speaking settlers of Acadia in Canada's Maritime were driven into exile by British forces, many took up residence in rural Louisiana. Popularly known as Cajuns, the descendants of the Acadians 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 Capital building in Baton Rouge, and rather than mimic the federal Capitol Building in Washington, as many other states had done, he conceived a Neo-Gothic medieval castle overlooking the Mississippi, complete with turrets and crenelations. 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 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 Opelousas and later Shreveport. After the war's end, New Orleans served as the seat of the Reconstruction-era state government; but once Bourbon Democrat rule was restored in 1882, the state government returned to Baton Rouge where it has remained since.

Map of Baton Rouge in 1863


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. 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. Despite claims from mayor-president Kip Holden of permanent growth in the region, however, the growth proved to be temporary as displaced citizens returned to their home regions. Due to the hurricane victims returning home and native Baton Rouge residents moving to outlying parishes, such as Ascension Parish and Livingston Parish, the U.S. Census Bureau has designated Baton Rouge the second fastest declining city in its 2007–2008 estimate. The US Census Bureau released its estimate for July 2008 on 19 March 2009, which reported that East Baton Rouge Parish's population had declined for the second consecutive year. However, Metropolitan Baton Rouge is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the U.S. (under 1 million), with 600,000 in 2000 and an estimate of 770,000 in 2008. There is a vibrant mix of cultures found throughout Louisiana, thus forming the basis of the city motto: "Authentic Louisiana at every turn".[3]

Geography and climate

A satellite image of Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge is located at 30°27′29″N 91°8′25″W / 30.45806°N 91.14028°W / 30.45806; -91.14028 (30.458090, -91.140229).[4]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 79.1 square miles (204.8 km²), of which, 76.8 square miles (199.0 km²) of it is land and 2.2 square miles (5.7 km²) of it (2.81%) is water.

Baton Rouge is the third southmost capital city in the continental United States, after Austin, Texas and Tallahassee, Florida.


Baton Rouge is humid-subtropical, with mild winters, hot and humid summers, moderate to heavy rainfall, and the possibility of damaging winds and tornadoes yearlong. Baton Rouge's proximity to the coastline exposes the metropolitan region to hurricanes. Snow is fairly rare, although it has snowed for three consecutive years, on 11 December 2008, on 4 December 2009, and again on 12 February 2010.

Climate data for Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 60.0
Average low °F (°C) 40.2
Precipitation inches (mm) 6.19
Avg. precipitation days 10.6 8.3 9.3 7.9 8.0 10.9 12.7 12.3 9.2 5.9 8.9 9.4 113.4
Source: NCDC [5] February 2010
Exxon Facility north of Baton Rouge


Baton Rouge is the farthest inland port on the Mississippi River that can accommodate ocean-going tankers and cargo carriers. As such, those ships transfer their cargo (grain, crude, cars, containers) at Baton Rouge onto rails and pipelines (to travel east-west) or barges (to travel north). Deep-draft vessels cannot pass the old Huey Long Bridge because the clearance is insufficient, and the river depth decreases significantly just to the north, near Port Hudson.[6]

Baton Rouge's biggest industry is petrochemical production. ExxonMobil has the second-largest oil refinery in the country here; it is among the world's 10 largest refineries. Baton Rouge also has rail, highway, pipeline, and deep water access.[7] Dow Chemical Company has a large plant in Iberville Parish near Plaquemine.[8] NanYa Technology Corporation has a large facility in North Baton Rouge that makes PVC and CPVC pipes. Shaw Construction, Turner, and Harmony all started with performing construction work at these plants.

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

As well as being the state capital and parish seat, the city is also the home of Louisiana State University. The largest employer in Baton Rouge is government, which recently consolidated all branches of state government downtown the "Capitol Park" complex.[9]

The research hospitals Our Lady of the Lake and Earl K. Long, helped by an emerging medical corridor at Essen Lane/Summa Avenue/Bluebonnet Boulevard, are positioning Baton Rouge to eventually support a medical district similar to the Texas Medical Center.

Thanks to generous state and local tax credits for the film industry, Baton Rouge has followed other Louisiana cities in developing into an important part of the "Hollywood South" initiative. The new Celtic Media Centre is Louisiana's first and so far the only full-service studio/sound stage, and two other studios are being built to meet the needs of this growing industry.[10]


Baton Rouge Governmental Building
Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1850 3,905
1900 11,269
1940 49,654
1950 125,629 153.0%
1960 152,419 21.3%
1970 165,963 8.9%
1980 219,419 32.2%
1990 219,531 0.1%
2000 227,818 3.8%
Est. 2006 229,553 0.8%
U.S. Census Bureau[11]

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 227,818 people, 88,973 households, and 52,672 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,964.7 people per square mile (1,144.7/km²). There were 97,388 housing units at an average density of 1,267.3/sq mi (489.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 50.02% African American, 45.70% White, 0.18% Native American, 2.62% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.49% from other races, and 0.96% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.72% of the population.

Of all households, 28.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.8% were married couples living together, 19.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.8% were non-families. 31.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.12.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.4% under the age of 18, 17.5% from 18 to 24, 27.2% from 25 to 44, 19.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 90.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,368, and the median income for a family was $40,266. Males had a median income of $34,893 versus $23,115 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,512. About 18.0% of families and 24.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.4% of those under age 18 and 13.8% of those ages 65 or over.


Baton Rouge and the Mississippi River

Tallest buildings

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

3D Render of RiverPlace Condominiums
JP Morgan Chase Building and Riverside Tower
Name Stories Height
Louisiana State Capitol (tallest state capitol building in the U.S.) 34 460 ft (140 m)
RiverPlace Condominiums (on hold due to financing problems) 30+
One American Place 24 310 ft (94 m)
JPMorgan Chase Tower 21 277 ft (84 m)
Riverside Tower North 20 229 ft (70 m)
Marriott Hotel Baton Rouge 22 224 ft (68 m)
Catholic-Presbyterian Apartments 14
Dean Tower 14
Two City Plaza 12
Galvez Office Building 12
Kirby Smith Hall (LSU) 13
Memorial Tower (LSU) 175 ft (52m)
Saint Joseph's Cathedral 165 ft (50m)
Louisiana State Office Building 12 160 ft (49 m)
Jacobs Plaza 13 144 ft (44 m)
Bluebonnet Towers (2 residential towers and one to be renovated into a Renaissance Hotel) 12
LaSalle Office Building 12
Shaw Plaza 12
Wooddale State Office Building 12
Hilton Capitol Center 11 132 ft (40 m)
19th Judicial District Court Building(under construction) 12
Sheraton Baton Rouge Convention Center Hotel 10 125 ft (38 m)


Baton Rouge has many neighborhoods both inside and outside the city limits:

Houses in the University Lakes neighborhood
  • Banks
  • Beauregard Town
  • Bird Station (Old)
  • Bird Station (New)
  • Bocage
  • Broadmoor
  • Brookstown
  • Brownfields
  • Camelot
  • Capitol Heights
  • Cedarcrest
  • Centurion Place
  • Concord
  • Country Club of Louisiana
  • Dixie
  • Eden Park
  • Easytown
  • Fairfields
  • Belfair
  • Gardere
  • Garden District
  • Goodwood
  • Glen Oaks
  • Greendale
  • Inniswold
  • Jefferson Terrace
  • Kenilworth
  • Lake Beau Pré
  • Lake Side
  • Mall City
  • Magnolia Woods
  • Melrose Place
  • Mid-City
  • Millerville
  • Monticello
  • Northdale
  • Oak Hills Place
  • Old Hermitage
  • Old Jefferson
  • Parkview Oaks
  • Pollard Estates
  • Riverbend
  • Santa Maria
  • Scotlandville
  • Shenandoah
  • Sherwood Forest
  • South Baton Rouge
  • Southdowns
  • Southern Heights
  • Spanish Town
  • Stratford Place
  • Tara
  • Tigerland
  • University Acres
  • University Club
  • University Gardens
  • University Hills
  • University Lakes
  • Wedgewood
  • Westminster
  • Woodgate
  • Woodlawn Estates
  • Woodstone
  • Village St. George
  • Zion City


Federal representation

The United States Postal Service operates post offices in Baton Rouge. The Baton Rouge Central Post Office is located at 750 Florida Street in Downtown Baton Rouge.[13]


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 Baton Rouge Community College, Louisiana State University, Our Lady of the Lake College, and Southern University whose students make up some 20% of the city population. There is 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 a unique culture as well as be a representation of many different heritages.[14]

Arts and theater

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.[15] 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 (LASM),[16] which contains Irene W. Pennington Planetarium, traveling art exhibits, space displays, and an ancient Egyptian section. Several smaller art galleries, including the Baton Rouge Gallery, offering a range of local art are scattered throughout the city.

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. Opera Louisiane is Baton Rouge's newest and only professional opera company.[17][18] 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 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.[19]

Pennington Balloon Festival


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: 225Alive 225batonrouge, LSU Daily Reveille, Tiger Weekly, Healthcare Journal of Baton Rouge, 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 95th largest Designated Market Area (DMA) in the U.S. Major television network affiliates serving the area include:

Tiger Stadium at Louisiana State University

Baton 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.

See also: List of radio stations in Louisiana (Baton Rouge area)


Baton Rouge 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 during football season. The teams' dominance of the city's sports scene is evidenced by the numerous shops and restaurants around town that sell and display memorabilia. College baseball, basketball and gymnastics are also popular.[20][21]

Baton Rouge has a successful rugby team, the Baton Rouge Redfishes, which began playing in 1977 and has won numerous conference championships. Currently, the team competes in the Deep South Rugby Union as a Division II team.[22]

The city also has a minor-league soccer team, the Capitals, who play in the PDL[23] (Premier Development League). Currently, the team plays home games in Olympia Stadium.[24]

Nottoway Plantation Located near White Castle, Louisiana

Tourism and recreation

There are many architectural points of interest in Baton Rouge, ranging from antebellum to modern. The neo-gothic Old Louisiana State Capitol was built in the 1890s as the first state house in Baton Rouge and was later replaced by the 450 feet (137 m) tall, art-deco New Louisiana State Capitol which was the tallest building in the South when it was completed. Several plantation homes in the area such as Magnolia Mound Plantation House, Myrtles Plantation, and Nottoway Plantation showcase antebellum-era architecture. Louisiana State University has over 250 buildings in Italian Renaissance style, one of the nation's largest college stadiums, and is endowed with many live oaks. Several examples of modern and contemporary buildings are downtown, including the Louisiana State Museum.[25][26] 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 Archive and Research Library, and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, were designed by local architect John Desmond.[27] Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad Company Depot, currently houses the Louisiana Arts and Science Museum.[28]

USS Kidd Located downtown on the river. Part of the Louisiana Naval Museum

Museums 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 many interactive exhibits. The Shaw Center for the Arts showcases and the Louisiana Art and Science Museum showcase varied arts. LASM also includes science exhibits and a planetarium. Other museums include the LSU Museum of Natural Science and the USS Kidd.

Baton Rouge has an extensive park collection run through BREC (The Recreation & Park Commission for the Parish of East Baton Rouge). The largest park is City Park near LSU and is currently undergoing a complete remodeling. The Baton Rouge Zoo is run through BREC and includes 1800+ species.[29]

Other attractions include the Mall at Cortana and the Mall of Louisiana (Louisiana's two largest malls) and Perkins Rowe, amusement parks of Dixie Landin'/ Blue Bayou, and dining at the Louisiana-cuisine restaurants.


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 over 32,000 students, with 1,300 full-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's degree programs, 42 bachelor's 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. It 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 28 June 1995. The college settled into a permanent location in 1998. The 60-acre (240,000 m2) campus consists of five main buildings: Governor's Building, Louisiana Building, Cypress Building, Bienvenue Building (student center), and the Magnolia Library Building. The college's current enrollment is more than 8,000 students. The curricular offerings include courses and programs leading to transfer credits, certificates and associate degrees.[30]


Health and medicine

Baton Rouge is served by several hospitals and clinics:


  • Electric: Cajun Electric Power Cooperative, DEMCO, Entergy
  • Natural Gas: Entergy, Louisiana Gas Service Company, Mid-Louisiana Gas Company
  • Telephone: AT&T Inc.
  • Water: Baton Rouge Water Company, City of Baker, City of Zachary
  • Sewer: City of Baker, City of Zachary, East Baton Rouge Parish
  • Trash: Allied Waste


Baton Rouge is home station to the Army National Guard 769th Engineer Battalion, which recently had units deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. The armory located near the Baton Rouge Airport houses three company-sized units: 769th HSC (headquarters support company); 769th FSC (forward support company); and the 927th Sapper Company. Other units of the battalion are located at Napoleonville (928th Sapper Company); Baker, Louisiana (926th MAC mobility augmentation company); and Gonzales, Louisiana (922nd Horizontal Construction Company).

The 769th Engineer Battalion is part of the 225th Engineer Brigade which is headquartered in Pineville, Louisiana at Camp Beauregard. There are four engineer battalions and an independent bridging company in the 225th Engineer Brigade which makes it the largest engineer group in the US Army Engineer Corps.


Highways and roads

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 Drive & Highland Road(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 Highway 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 Hwy.

To accommodate the rapid growth of Baton Rouge, sections of its freeways have been upgraded in recent decades and there are currently plans to create a tolled freeway loop around the metropolitan area. According to the 2008 INRIX National Traffic Scorecard, which ranks the top 100 congested metropolitan areas in the U.S., Baton Rouge is the 33rd-most-congested metro area in the country. However, at a population rank of 67 out of 100, it has the second-highest ratio of population rank to congestion rank, higher than even the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana metropolitan area, indicating a remarkably high level of congestion for the comparatively low population. According to the Scorecard, Baton Rouge was the only area out of all 100 to show an increase in congestion from 2007 to 2008 (+6%). The city also tied for the highest jump in congestion rank over the same period (14 places).[31]

Specific problem areas include a stretch of I-12E between the Airline Highway and O'Neal Lane exits, which extends even further to the Denham Springs exit in Livingston Parish. The S. Sherwood Forest Blvd., Millerville Road, and O'Neal Lane exits all made the list of the nation's top 1000 bottlenecks in the aforementioned INRIX study.[32] Three lanes wide until the O'Neal Lane exit, the interstate abruptly becomes two lanes thereafter. This stretch of road, called "a deathtrap"[33] by one lawmaker, has become notorious for traffic accidents, many with fatalities. In 2007, ten people died in traffic accidents within a three-month period on this section of road.[34] Plans are in the works to widen the two-lane portions of this segment to three lanes, eastbound and westbound, by November 2011 at a cost of $100 million.[35]

I-10W at Bluebonnet Road also ranks within the top 1000 bottlenecks for 2008, and I-10E at Essen Lane and at Nicholson Drive rank not far out of the top 1000. Though significant improvements to I-10 were made to allow for easier access to the Mall of Louisiana, the stretch of I-10 from the I-10/I-12 split to Siegen Lane, which includes the Bluebonnet exit, was not part of these improvements and remains heavily congested during peak hours. Initial work in the 87-million-dollar project to widen this segment to three lanes in both directions has begun and may take up to three years to complete.[36]

Surface streets in Baton Rouge are no stranger to severe congestion, either. However, relief is starting to be felt after years of stagnation in road upgrades. Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden has instituted an extensive upgrade of East Baton Rouge Parish roads known as the Green Light Plan, geared toward improving areas of congestion on the city's surface streets. With its first project completed in October 2008, it has seen numerous others reach completion as of mid-2009, with several more under construction and still others yet to break ground.[37]

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 (running alongside property owned and marketed as an industrial development by Al Coburn, a member of President Mike Grimmer's staff), Ascension, West Baton Rouge, and Iberville, as well as northern East Baton Rouge Parish. This proposal has been subject to much contention, particularly by residents living in the outer parishes through which the loop would pass. If made a reality, the project would cost approximately $4 billion and would not be completed until 2016 at the earliest.[38]


The average one-way commute time in Baton Rouge is 22 minutes, 13% shorter than the US average. Interstates 10 and 12, the two interstates that feed into the city, are highly traveled and connected by highways and four-lane roads that connect the downtown business area to surrounding parishes. 99% of the Baton Rouge workforce drives a personal vehicle to work.


Located 10 minutes north of downtown near Baker, the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport connects the area with the four major airline hubs serving the southern United States. Commercial carriers include American Eagle, Continental Airlines, and Delta Airlines. Nonstop service is available to Atlanta, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston, and Memphis.


Capital Area Transit System (CATS) provides modern urban transportation throughout Baton Rouge, including service to Southern University, Baton Rouge Community College, and Louisiana State University, with affordable fares and an updated fleet of buses. Many CATS buses are equipped with bike racks for commuters to easily combine biking with bus transit.

Greyhound Bus Lines, offering passenger and cargo service throughout the United States, has a downtown terminal on Florida Boulevard.

Sister cities

After a visit to the Republic of China (Taiwan), Mayor-President Kip Holden unveiled plans to pursue a sister city agreement with a second Taiwanese city, Taipei.

See also


  1. ^ "Top 25 Water Ports by Weight: 2004 (Million short tons)". Freight Facts and Figures 2006. Federal Highway Administration. November 2006. Retrieved 18 August 2007. 
  2. ^ Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. "Baton Rouge Historical Marker". 
  3. ^ "Baton Rouge: History". Retrieved 14 April 2008. 
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ "NCDC: U.S. Climate Normals". 
  6. ^ "Port of Greater Baton Rouge". Retrieved 26 April 2008. 
  7. ^ "Exxon Mobil Refinery". Retrieved 26 April 2008. 
  8. ^ "DowChemicals". Retrieved 26 April 2008. 
  9. ^ "Capitol Park". Retrieved 26 April 2008. 
  10. ^ "Celtic Media Centre". Retrieved 26 April 2008. 
  11. ^ "Baton Rouge (city) QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2009-12-21. 
  12. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  13. ^ "Post Office Location - MAIN OFFICE DOWNTOWN UNIT." United States Postal Service. Accessed 5 May 2009.
  14. ^ "Races in Baton Rouge on". Retrieved 13 April 2008. 
  15. ^ "Shaw Center for the Arts". Retrieved 12 April 2008. 
  16. ^ "Louisiana Arts and Science Museum". Retrieved 12 April 2008. 
  17. ^ "Baton Rouge River Center". Retrieved 12 April 2008. 
  18. ^ "Baton Rouge Little Theater". Retrieved 12 April 2008. 
  19. ^ "Forum with list of events". Retrieved 12 April 2008. 
  20. ^ "Louisiana State University Sports". Retrieved 13 April 2008. 
  21. ^ "Southern Jaguars". Retrieved 13 April 2008. 
  22. ^ Baton Rouge
  23. ^ Premier Development League
  24. ^ BR
  25. ^ "Louisiana State University". Retrieved 14 April 2008. 
  26. ^ "Louisiana State Museum". Retrieved 14 April 2008. 
  27. ^ | News | Architect Desmond dies — Baton Rouge, LA
  28. ^ "LOUISIANA ART AND SCIENCE MUSEUM". Retrieved 29 May 2008. 
  29. ^ "The Recreation and Park Commission for the Parish of East Baton Rouge". Retrieved 14 April 2008. 
  30. ^ "Baton Rouge Area Education". Retrieved 5 June 2008. 
  31. ^ INRIX National Traffic Scorecard
  32. ^ INRIX National Traffic Scorecard
  33. ^ I-12 accidents piling up
  34. ^ More funds sought for I-12 widening project
  35. ^ I-12 work to begin
  36. ^ Project on I-10 to begin
  37. ^ The Green Light Plan
  38. ^ Poll shows public support for loop

External links

Geology and Geological Hazards


News sources

Coordinates: 30°27′29″N 91°08′25″W / 30.45809°N 91.140229°W / 30.45809; -91.140229

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Baton Rouge [[1]] is the capital of the State of Louisiana, USA.

State Capitol Building
State Capitol Building

The city of Baton Rouge was named over 300 years ago when on March 17, 1699, Pierre Le Moyne, Sieur d'Iberville, led an expedition along the Mississippi River.

The city's earliest written records are found in the diaries of these explorers which tell the tale of a pole stained with blood of fish and animals that served as the dividing line between the Bayougoula and Houmas Indians. It is from this "red stick" that Iberville christened our city "le Baton Rouge."


The city's earliest written records are found in the diaries of these explorers which tell the tale of a pole stained with blood of fish and animals that served as the dividing line between the Bayougoula and Houmas Indians. It is from this "red stick" that Iberville christened our city "le Baton Rouge."


Baton Rouge has a semi-tropical climate, perfect for outdoor activities.

The weather is consistently warm from May to September. Winter is usually mild and short-lived. Spring is glorious with cool nights and warm, sunny days. A light jacket is all that is needed.

Fall is mild and only a light sweater is needed in the evenings Precipitation is reasonably well-distributed and ample throughout the year with an average annual precipitation of 55 inches Average summer temperature: 81.3 Average winter temperature: 52.5 Average annual temperature: 67.5

Baton Rouge, like many Gulf States, has 5 seasons!

Get in

By plane

The city's primary airport is Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport [2], located in north Baton Rouge, near Southern University. It is served by Delta, Continental, Northwest and American Airlines. The number and availability of non-stop flights increased after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in August 2005 but have now gone down to pre-Katrina flight levels.

By car

From New Orleans Baton Rouge is an 80 mile northwest drive on Interstate 10, which drives into the heart of downtown Baton Rouge. The distance between the two Louisiana cities is an easy 90 minute drive if you avoid weekday rush hours; if you catch the traffic of commuter rush hours at either end it can take a lot longer.

If you're driving in from anywhere east of Louisiana, come into Baton Rouge I-12, which will take you north of Lake Ponchartrain and bypasses New Orleans. From the west I-10 connects Lafayette, Houston, and Los Angeles with Baton Rouge. From the East I-10 connects Baton Rouge with Mobile, Pensacola, and Jacksonville. If you're coming from Chicago, St. Louis, or Memphis follow I-55 South and merge onto I-12 West and continue driving for roughly 45 miles.

  • African American Museum, 406 Charles Street (Located in Donaldsonville), +1-(225)-474-5553, [3].  edit
  • Louisiana Art and Science Museum, 100 South River Road, +1-(225)-344-5272 (), [4].  edit
  • Baton Rouge Zoo, 3601 Thomas Road, +1-(225)-775-3877 (, fax: +1-(225)-775-3931), [5]. Hours: Mon. - Fri.: 9:30 - 17:00, Sat. and Sun.: 9:30 - 18:00. Admission: Adults: $5.50, Seniors: $4.50, Children (Aged 2 - 12): $2.50.  edit
  • Louisiana State Capitol, State Capitol Drive, +1-(225)-342-7317, [6].  edit
  • Louisiana State Museum [7] 660 N. 4th St, near the State Capitol. New State Museum features two floors of exibits related to Louisiana culture, with such curiosities as Louis Armstrong's first bugle, Huey P. Long's tombstone, and a Civil War Confederate submarine with hand-cranked propeller. tel 342-5428
  • Old State Capitol [9] 100 North Blvd. This 19th century castle formerly serving as the State Capitol before Governor Huey P. Long built the new skyscraper is now a museum.
  • Swine Palace Productions. Located in LSU's "theater-in-the-round" Reilly Theatre, originally a livestock-judging pavilion, Swine Palace are Baton Rouge's premier professional theater company.
  • Shaw Center for the Arts. Located downtown, this is the city's newest major performing arts complex. It features the Manship Theatre and a rooftop sushi restaurant.
  • Blue Bayou Water Park/Dixie Landin' . Located on the outskirts of town at the intersection of Interstate 10 and Highland Road, This is the largest amusement park in the Baton Rouge Area. The main attraction is the enormous waterslide "Conja".
Mall of Louisiana
Mall of Louisiana
  • Mall of Louisiana [10] Large shopping mall in the south part of town, just off the Bluebonnett exit of I-10.
  • Perkins Rowe, [11]. A new mixed-use development at the corner of Perkins Road and Bluebonnet Blvd. Has many retail shops and restaurants, along with a movie theater.  edit
  • Chelseas. Under the Perkins Road Overpass.
  • The Chimes. An LSU staple for generations, at the North Gates of campus on Highland. Predominantly frequented by students and faculty, The Chimes serves a mix of standards with Louisiana Cajun/Creole fare, and has one of the best beer selections in town.
  • Fleur de Lis, 5655 Government Street, +1-(225)-924-2904, [12]. Hours: Tuesday - Saturday: 10:00 - 22:00. Baton Rouge's other half-century old pizza parlor, originally a gas station on the outskirts of town, the Fleur de Lis is a family restaurant with a dedicated old Baton Rouge clientele. Cash or check only.  edit
  • George's On Perkins Road just south of the Overpass.
  • India's Restaurant 5230 Essen Lane. Southern part of the city, convenient just west of the Essen Lane Interstate 10 exit. Good reasonably priced Indian food; buffet or menu. tel 769-0600
  • Louie's. A traditional diner right at LSU's North Gate open 24/7.
  • Parrain's. Although it is only a recent entry to the Baton Rouge eatery scene, Parrain's has already established itself as one of the best places to experience traditional Louisiana cuisine, most notably its fried seafood.
  • The Pastime. A half-century old pizza parlor and bar serving easily the best pizza in the city. Also the home of "Boudin Pizza", a unique South Louisiana concoction representing the collision of Acadian and Italian cultures.
  • Piccadilly Restaurants. Headquartered in Baton Rouge, Piccadilly has been serving traditional, home-style meals since 1944 at affordable prices. Southern favorites include: Fried Chicken, Crawfish Etouffee, Carrot Souffle and Pecan Pie. Meals include entree, two sides and bread. $5 - $10.  edit
  • Raising Cane's, 14929 Market Street, +1-(225)-408-1658, [13]. Baton Rouge's home-grown chain of fast-food restaurants that serve only chicken finger meals, and have proven so adept at doing it that they have successfully expanded to other markets in the Gulf Coast region. Side items available include crinkle-cut fries, Texas Toast, cole slaw, and the mysterious-yet-addictive special dipping sauce.  edit
  • Sporting News Grill, 4848 Constitution Avenue, +1-(225)-636-5347, [14]. Sporting News Grill's casual upscale atmosphere encourages everyone to relax and have a great time while catching sports action on high definition flat screen TVs placed strategically throughout the restaurant.  edit
  • TJ Ribs, 2324 S. Acadian Thrwy, +1-(225)-383-7427. Mon. - Sat. 11 - 23, Sun. 11- 22:00. The de facto standard for barbecue by which all other local BBQ restaurants are judged. Famous for pork and beef ribs, but also accommodates diners with other eating habits. LSU legend Billy Cannon's Heisman Trophy is on display here, as he exchanged it for lifetime eating privileges. $10 - $15.  edit
  • Tsunami. A sushi restaurant perched high above the city on the roof of the Shaw Center. The establishment has one of the best views in the entire city.
  • Zeeland Street Market. Located in the Garden District just North of the LSU Campus, it is one of the best places in town to get soul food. Locally famous for their delicious heaping plate lunches,Zeeland Street Market is a favorite for college students with a hankering for a home cooked meal. The plate lunch menu rotates daily and all of the ingredients are fresh from local markets. Take special note that Zeeland's is only open for breakfast and dinner.


The Baton Rouge Metro Council recently outlawed many drink specials in establishments classifed as bars, so if you're looking to save a buck, you should stick with drinking in restaurants. However, if you're looking for that bar atmosphere, there are several places to choose from. Baton Rouge's blue laws were repealed in October 2007, but restrictions on drink specials are still in effect.

  • Port Royal, 2363 College Dr., 225-201-9900. The best pirate-themed bar located next to a Waffle House in all of Baton Rouge. A service industry hangout with an alt-rock leaning clientele.  edit
  • Chimes Restaurant and Oyster Bar, 3357 Highland Rd. (AKA The OC), 225-383-1754 (fax: 225-387-5413), [15]. 11:00-02:00 Mo-Sa, 11:00-23:30 Su. The largest selection of beer, both bottled and on tap, in the Capitol City area and maybe the entire state. They serve practically anything you can think of. If they don't have it, you probably don't need to be drinking it. Be sure to ask about "Drinking around the world". There are several reports of bottled beer being served past its prime, but anything on draft seems fine.  edit
  • The Chimes East, 10870 Coursey Blvd. (''between Airline Highway and Sherwood Forest Boulevard''), 225-296-4981, [16]. 11:00-02:00 Mo-Sa, 11:00-23:30 Su. A newer sister store of the Chimes Restaurant (above).  edit
  • Mellow Mushroom, 4250 Burbank Dr., 225-490-6355, [17]. A pizza place with a very funky, hippie-influenced decor.  edit
  • Churchill's, 7949 Jefferson Hwy. Suite C, 225-927-4211, [18]. "Premium Cigars & Elixirs", also frequently has live music and tastings.  edit
  • Happy's Irish Pub, 136 Third St. A low-key downtown bar with an eclectic mix of college kids, professionals and everyone in between.  edit
  • Tigerland, Bob Pettit Blvd. A group of bars just south of LSU for those really into the college bar scene; with student favorites such as Freds, Tiger Bar, JL's Place, etc.  edit
  • Red Star - indie bar downtown, on Laurel near Third
  • Best Western Chateau Louisianne Suite Hotel, 710 N Lobdell Ave., +1 225 924-5000 (toll free: +1 800-256-6263, fax: +1 225-924-3074), [19].  edit
  • Cambria Suites Baton Rouge, 4964 Constitution Avenue, +1 225 925-1005, [20]. Non-smoking only.  edit
  • Comfort Suites University, 3045 Valley Creek Road, [21]. checkin: 3 PM; checkout: Noon.  edit
  • Courtyard Baton Rouge Siegen Lane, 10307 N Mall Drive, +1 225-293-7200 (fax: +1 225-293-0323), [22].  edit
  • Crowne Plaza Baton Rouge, 4728 Constitution Avenue, 225.925.2244, [23].  edit
  • Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center, 201 Lafayette Street., +1 225-344-5866, [24].  edit
  • Holiday Inn, 10455 Reiger Rd, +1 225-293-6880, [25].  edit
  • Holiday Inn College Drive, 4848 Constitution Avenue, 225.448.2030, [26].  edit
  • Motel 6 Baton Rouge East, 9901 Gwen Adele Ave., +1 225-924-2130 (fax: +1 225-929-7150), [27].  edit
  • Quality Inn Bluebonnet Center, 9138 Bluebonnet Centre Blvd., [28]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 11AM.  edit
  • Ramada Inn Baton Rouge, 10045 Gwenadele Drive, +1 225-706-5500, [29].
  • Red Lion Baton Rouge, 2445 S. Acadian Thruway, +1 800-733-5466, [30].
  • SpringHill Suites Baton Rouge South, 7979 Essen Park Ave., +1 225-766-5252 (fax: +1 225-766-0797), [31].  edit
  • Sheraton Baton Rouge Convention Center, 102 France Street, +1 225-242-2600 (fax: +1 225-242-2627).  edit
  • TownePlace Suites Baton Rouge South, 8735 Summa Blvd., +1 225 819-2112 (toll free: +1 800-257-3000, fax: +1 225-819-2117), [32].  edit
Routes through Baton Rouge
Lafayette  W noframe E  KennerNew Orleans
END  W Image:I-12.png E  CovingtonSlidell
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

BATON ROUGE, the capital of Louisiana, U.S.A., and of East Baton Rouge parish, on the E. bank of the Mississippi river, about 70 m. N.W. of New Orleans. Pop. (1890) 10,478; (1900) 11,269, of whom 6596 were of negro descent; (1906 estimate), 11 ,743. It is served by the Yazoo & Mississippi Valley railway and by the Louisiana Railway & Navigation Company; and the Texas & Pacific enters Port Allen, just across the river. The city lies on the river bluff, secure against the highest floods. Old houses in the Spanish style give quaintness to its appearance. The state capitol was built in 1880-1882, replacing another burned in 1862. At Baton Rouge is the State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College (1860), of which the Audubon Sugar School, "for the highest scientific training in the growing of sugar cane and in the technology of sugar manufacture," is an important and 'distinctive feature. The university grew out of the Louisiana State Seminary of Learning and Military Academy, founded in 1855 near Alexandria and opened in 1860 under the charge of W. T. Sherman. In 1869 the institution was removed to Baton Rouge, and in 1877 it was united with the Agricultural and Mechanical College, established in 1873 and in 1874 opened at New Orleans. The campus of the university is the former barracks of the Baton Rouge garrison, occupied by the college since 1886 and transferred to it by the Federal government in 1902. The enrolment of the university in 1907-1908 was 636. Other important institutions at Baton Rouge are a State Agricultural Experiment Station, asylums and schools for the deaf and dumb, for the blind, and for orphans, and the state penitentiary. The surrounding bluff and alluvial country is very rich. Sugar and cotton plantations and subtropic fruit orchards occupy the front-lands on the river. The manufactures include lumber and cotton seed products, and sugar. The value of the city's factory products increased from $7 1 7,3 68 in 1900 to $1,383,061 in 1905 or 92.8%. The city is governed under a charter granted by the legislature in 1898. This charter is peculiar in that it gives to the city council the power to elect various administrative boards - of police, finance, &c. - from which the legislative council of most cities is separated.

Baton Rouge was one of the earliest French settlements in the state. As a part of West Florida, it passed into the hands of the British in 1763, and in 1779 was captured by Bernardo Galvez, the Spanish governor of Louisiana. The town was incorporated in 1817. In 1849 it was made the state capital, remaining so until 1862, when Shreveport became the Confederate state capital. In 1864 the Unionists made New Orleans the seat of government. The Secession Ordinance of Louisiana was passed on the 26th of January 1861 by a convention that met at Baton Rouge. On the 2nd of May 1862 the city was captured by the forces of the United States under Col. Benjamin H. Grierson (b. 1826), who had led raiders thither from Tennessee; on the 12th of May it was formally occupied by troops from New Orleans, and was successfully defended by Brig.-Gen. Thomas Williams (1815-1862) against an attack by Confederate forces under General John C. Breckinridge on the 5th of August 1862; Gen. Williams, however, was killed during the attack. Baton Rouge was soon abandoned for a month, was then reoccupied, and was held throughout the rest of the war. It became the state capital again in 1882, in accordance with the state constitution of 1879. For several years after 1840 Zachary Taylor made his home on a plantation near Baton Rouge.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Wikipedia has an article on:


From the French red stick. Baton Rouge Louisiana in the United States is so named because there was a red painted pole placed by the native Americans.

Proper noun

Baton Rouge

  1. A city that is the capital of the state of Louisiana in the United States.

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