NCB

Baton Rouge City Profile

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Many people dont know much about Baton Rouge, as it is often overshadowed by New Orleans, so I thought I would make a profle of the city..I might make profiles for Shreveport and Lafayette as well.

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Baton Rouge,Louisiana

Founded-1699

POPULATION

City Population(2002 estimate)- 225,702

Metropolitan Area Population-728,731

CMSA Population-751,965

PORT of GREATER BATON ROUGE

The Port of Greater Baton Rouge is 80 miles upriver from the Port of New Orleans and is part of the Gulf Intercoastal Waterway. The port is growing in terms of tonnage, and now it ranks 10th in the country in total tonnage. It is well known for its productivity and the handling of cargo. It is also one of the busiest inland-ports in the country. The port's growth plays a MAJOR role in the growth of the Baton Rouge area.

HISTORY

Baton Rouge, meaning "red stick" in French, was named after French-Canadians saw the sticks marking the land of local Houma Indian tribes when the city was founded. The sticks were bloody and had been used for hunting. And so, "Baton Rouge" was born. Baton Rouge was a small town through the Spanish and French colonial periods, but after the Louisiana Purchase it started to grow rapidly. The state capital was moved from New Orleans to Baton Rouge in 1849. Then it was moved back to New Orleans during the Civil War, and then returned to Baton Rouge in 1882.

The old state capital building(you could call it a castle really) was used as the capital building up until 1932 when the new state capital building was completed.It is still referred to as the "new state capital building" today by many people, even though it is over 73 years old.

Old State Capital Building/Castle

olcap15zb.jpg

it originally had structures similar to turrets on top of the towers, but they were removed

"New" State Capital Building

capital7fw.gif

BATON ROUGE TODAY

Today Baton Rouge is growing, and is seeing new high-rise developments. Just like New Orleans, there are new plans for condos to go up in the city. And as the port continues to grow, so will Baton Rouge, or at least it is projected to.

This is a picture of "RiverPlace Condominiums" it will be 36 stories tall and will overlook the Mississippi River from downtown Baton Rouge. It has already been approved and construction should start even sooner then originally planned, due to the high demand for many of the condos.

riverroadarielsm12kf.jpg

Edited by NCB
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You know, I lived in NO for years, and many people sorta looked down their noses at Baton Rouge, figuring it was a big Jackson MS. For me, it was always a waystation on the road to Houston or cajun country. For that reason, I never really spent much time there exploring the place.

That was always one of the downsides to living in NO: when you live in New Orleans long enough, your horizons narrow a bit maybe extending to Acadiana and the MS Coast, and New Orleans becomes the center of that little universe. I was aware of that when I lived there, yet still fell prey to that mindset. Everything else is viewed through the prism of "It's Not Like New Orleans", meaning not as good.

Good to see BR is doing well. That tower looks cool.

Edited by sleepy

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That new tower certianly will be a huge addition to the skyline. Its a pretty neat tower, I hope when its built its fits in. BR skyline and architecture is not nearly that flashy IMO.

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That new tower certianly will be a huge addition to the skyline. Its a pretty neat tower, I hope when its built its fits in. BR skyline and architecture is not nearly that flashy IMO.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I think it will stand out, in a good way. If you took away the LA state capital from B.R. it would just have two "high-rise" buildings. Im glad they have a new real high-rise building approved for construction.

Edited by NCB

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From the map in the welcome section this isn't in the 'cajun' area. What type of city is it? Has it outgrown it's French name or is there a cajun presence also there? Are there any cajun cities for that matter or are most of them in more rural areas of the state for that matter?

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I'm suprised by the condo development. I didn't think any building could be taller than the state capitol. Guess I was wrong.

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From the map in the welcome section this isn't in the 'cajun' area.  What type of city is it?  Has it outgrown it's French name or is there a cajun presence also there?  Are there any cajun cities for that matter or are most of them in more rural areas of the state for that matter?

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Baton Rouge still has a small cajun side to it, there is some cajun food there and some cajun people living there, but there is not much cajun to it at all. It has always been that way, most people seem to associate Baton Rouge with "Cajun Country"...but it has never been that way.

There isnt much french in Baton Rouge anymore. New Orleans has moved away from french architecture and style in most of its buildings, but there is still the French Quarter and some of the older buildings in the city. Baton Rouge doesnt have a French Quarter, or anything like that. They have old plantation houses that have french/southern architecture to them, but that is about it.

There are still cities in LA that have a cajun flavor to them. Most of them are in Cajun Country. Lafayette(population 111,000, and most of them are cajun or have a cajun heritage) Lafayette still has a considerable amount of french architecture and french heritage to it.

New Iberia, many people consider New Iberia to be the heart of cajun country, that is where most of the cajun festivals are held.

Breaux Bridge...it only has about 8,000 people, but it is definitely a cajun city, there are many cajun festivals here as well.

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Baton Rouge still has a small cajun side to it, there is some cajun food there and some cajun people living there, but there is not much cajun to it at all.  It has always been that way, most people seem to associate Baton Rouge with "Cajun Country"...but it has never been that way.

There isnt much french in Baton Rouge anymore. New Orleans has moved away from french architecture and style in most of its buildings, but there is still the French Quarter and some of the older buildings in the city. Baton Rouge doesnt have a French Quarter, or anything like that. They have old plantation houses that have french/southern architecture to them, but that is about it.

There are still cities in LA that have a cajun flavor to them. Most of them are in Cajun Country. Lafayette(population 111,000, and most of them are cajun or have a cajun heritage) Lafayette still has a considerable amount of french architecture and french heritage to it.

New Iberia, many people consider New Iberia to be the heart of cajun country, that is where most of the cajun festivals are held.

Breaux Bridge...it only has about 8,000 people, but it is definitely a cajun city, there are many cajun festivals here as well.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I hadn't thought much about it until recently but it makes sense. Just the same as parts of Arkansas still having French names but there isn't any lingering French culture. The French might have named many features in Arkansas but I wouldn't exactly say that the French ever had that big of an influence here in Arkansas. It makes sense that much of Lousiana can be the same way.

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Baton Rouge still has a small cajun side to it, there is some cajun food there and some cajun people living there, but there is not much cajun to it at all.  It has always been that way, most people seem to associate Baton Rouge with "Cajun Country"...but it has never been that way.

There isnt much french in Baton Rouge anymore. New Orleans has moved away from french architecture and style in most of its buildings, but there is still the French Quarter and some of the older buildings in the city. Baton Rouge doesnt have a French Quarter, or anything like that. They have old plantation houses that have french/southern architecture to them, but that is about it.

There are still cities in LA that have a cajun flavor to them. Most of them are in Cajun Country. Lafayette(population 111,000, and most of them are cajun or have a cajun heritage) Lafayette still has a considerable amount of french architecture and french heritage to it.

New Iberia, many people consider New Iberia to be the heart of cajun country, that is where most of the cajun festivals are held.

Breaux Bridge...it only has about 8,000 people, but it is definitely a cajun city, there are many cajun festivals here as well.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I'd add Morgan City to that list, along with probably Houma from my understanding, although I've never been to Houma personally.

New Iberia was very Cajun. Out by Avery Island is very picturesque and lives up to alot of the imagery you associate with Louisiana. Found my thickest accent there, literally could not understand the person without serious thinking.

Morgan City though was a stereotype in many ways, it was a really awesome place. Great food there. Its not someplace you hear about alot. Lots of shrimp boats and oil rig construction firms.

Cajun Country is one of my favorite places, I felt right at home there, literally as if I was in West TN. It was very relaxing area to travel and explore for me.

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I'd add Morgan City to that list, along with probably Houma from my understanding, although I've never been to Houma personally.

New Iberia was very Cajun. Out by Avery Island is very picturesque and lives up to alot of the imagery you associate with Louisiana. Found my thickest accent there, literally could not understand the person without serious thinking.

Morgan City though was a stereotype in many ways, it was a really awesome place. Great food there. Its not someplace you hear about alot. Lots of shrimp boats and oil rig construction firms.

Cajun Country is one of my favorite places, I felt right at home there, literally as if I was in West TN. It was very relaxing area to travel and explore for me.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Great point Rural King, I dont know why I forgot Morgan City. It is truly a great place. Like you said the heavy accent it there and the cajun food is GREAT, and VERY spicy. Avery Island is where Tobasco Sauce is made, and the cajuns love to add that in with all their spices and peppers when they are making their food.

I suggest that anyone planning to take a trip through Louisiana or anyone who will be taking I-10 through Louisiana, to stop in any of the cities in cajun country, get something to eat, talk to the people, and see how rich that area is in history and culture.

Believe me....You wont regret it!

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^ I agree with NCB making frequent stops on I-10 at points west of Baton Rouge towards Lafayette would offer alot of interesting opportunities. Anything Cajun related IMO is well worth a stop. The food cannot be beat in these Cajun regions, that is if you like that type of food of course.

I would also recommend US 90 south from New Orleans, which takes you through the heart of rural Cajun country while giving you access to- Houma, Morgan City, New Iberia/Avery Island, and Lafayette.

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I thought that Riverplace was to have begun construction months ago.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It was just approved a few weeks ago, construction is supposed to start very soon though.

Official Site

Edited by NCB

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Good news then ! Is it in the CBD, or somewhat removed ?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It is supposed to be in the CBD overlooking the Mississippi River on River Road.

Right inbetween the State Capital building and the rest of the downtown area.

Im sure it will look great!

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^That will definately be an interresting project to watch. It seems that the downtown living/condo market boom is also starting to work its way into Baton Rouge.

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I always thought that downtown Baton Rouge was underused. There is enormous potential there- particularly with the riverfront ready for exploitation. While I was at LSU, they were in the process of building Catfish Town. While that was an admirable effort, it was doomed to fail for the lack of useful shops, restaurantrs and theaters. I think they have caught on to the basic truth that a mall full of yogurt places isn't going to get people to visit downtown. With the opening of the Heidelberg/Capitol House, the new riverfront condos and the concert hall, downtown Baton Rouge should be well on the road to realizing its considerable potential.

Edited by tombarnes

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^Baton Rouge has just started to get some downtown nightlife as well. There are some new clubs, restaurants, bars, and many other things that have been drawing greater numbers of people into downtown during the night.

I am still looking forward to seeing the Riverplace Condominiums getting built along River Road in downtown. It will be nearly the same height as the capitol building.

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I always thought that downtown Baton Rouge was underused. There is enormous potential there- particularly with the riverfront ready for exploitation. While I was at LSU, they were in the process of building Catfish Town. While that was an admirable effort, it was doomed to fail for the lack of useful shops, restaurantrs and theaters. I think they have caught on to the basic truth that a mall full of yogurt places isn't going to get people to visit downtown. With the opening of the Heidelberg/Capitol House, the new riverfront condos and the concert hall, downtown Baton Rouge should be well on the road to realizing its considerable potential.

What was Catfish Town? Or what was it supposed to be?

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Sorry about the unexplained reference there. Catfish Town was a mall, or really a group of stores built around a plaza or park. The idea was a good one, even if the execution was not successful. What doomed Catfish Town was the complete lack of an anchor, like a theater or major store to attract business. Actually, had the stores been better and more useful, the anchor stores may not have been needed. As built, however, Catfish Town was never successful. The stores were mostly inconsequential places catering to a nopnexistant tourist trade. After its nearly complete failure, the mall was redeveloped as part of the Argosy Casino/Sheraton Hotel project. This has been more of a success. Shopping in downtown Baton Rouge CAN work, but the stores must be chosen more carefully.

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Sorry about the unexplained reference there. Catfish Town was a mall, or really a group of stores built around a plaza or park. The idea was a good one, even if the execution was not successful. What doomed Catfish Town was the complete lack of an anchor, like a theater or major store to attract business. Actually, had the stores been better and more useful, the anchor stores may not have been needed. As built, however, Catfish Town was never successful. The stores were mostly inconsequential places catering to a nopnexistant tourist trade. After its nearly complete failure, the mall was redeveloped as part of the Argosy Casino/Sheraton Hotel project. This has been more of a success. Shopping in downtown Baton Rouge CAN work, but the stores must be chosen more carefully.

Yeah I've seen things like that before in other areas too. Good ideas but if you don't have an anchor or the right shops it ends up being a failure.

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It is supposed to be in the CBD overlooking the Mississippi River on River Road.

Right inbetween the State Capital building and the rest of the downtown area.

Im sure it will look great!

If its going to be between the state capital and "the rest" of downtown that is great, there is a gap there, thats needs to be filled!

So it really did get approved? i was wondering what the hold up was. i hope it breaksground soon.

How long does it take to complete such a tower?

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If its going to be between the state capital and "the rest" of downtown that is great, there is a gap there, thats needs to be filled!

So it really did get approved? i was wondering what the hold up was. i hope it breaksground soon.

How long does it take to complete such a tower?

Yes, this will definately be a fantastic addition to Baton Rouge's skyline! :thumbsup:

It will be great to see a tower nearly the same height as the capitol building, rather than the smaller skyscrapers in downtown.

It got approved a couple of months ago, and construction is slated to start in early January.

I haven't seen any official numbers as to when the building is expected to be completed, but my guess on construction time would be around two years, maybe less.

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