Interior and Exterior Restoration of Louisiana's Historic Statehouse
In 1991, after decades of neglect, a group of dedicated, concerned citizens and politicians saved the Old State Capitol from demolition and began a massive reconstruction to restore the historic building. Since then, the historic statehouse has undergone many changes.
In April of 1994, Louisiana's Old State Capitol completed Phase I of a multimillion dollar preservation and renovation project and once again opened its doors to serve the people of Louisiana.
During Phase II, completed in 2006, the exterior of the building was restored. Workmen used hammers and chisels to remove a damaging layer of cement that covered the original brick. Restoration architects and engineers replaced the cement with a fresh coat of traditional plaster.
Phase III involved the renovation of the Old State Capitol's 160-year old cast-iron fence, one of the most architecturally significant in the nation, surrounds the five-acre tract of land on which the former State House was built. The 1,575-foot fence is a rare artifact of antebellum Baton Rouge's historic past and dominates the landscape surrounding the Old State Capitol.
The cast-iron fence was originally cast and erected in 1855 by the John Hill Foundry and subsequent posts by the Pierce Foundry. The design is unique, as the fence is constructed entirely of interlocking parts; the only bolts that are used secure the posts to the iron base plates.
The 2007-2008 extensive preservation and repair program was developed by architect Jerry Campbell and implemented by general contractor Cangelosi/ Ward. The renovation project required each section of the fence to be removed from the grounds and transported to Robinson Iron Inc. in Alexander City, Alabama for restoration.