Louisiana's Old State Capitol educates the public on Louisiana's rich history and the democratic process through exhibits, programming and the arts. The museum is dedicated to inspiring engaged citizenship, advancing the collection and preserving this National Historic Landmark.
Louisiana's Old State Capitol, a Gothic architectural treasure, stands high on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. The 165-year-old statehouse has withstood war, fire, scandal, bitter debate, abandonment and an occasional fistfight. Today, the building stands as a testament to bold, inspired leadership and active citizenship.
The building welcomed its first Legislature in 1852. It was the seat of government until January 1861 when legislators voted to secede from the Union in the House Chamber. Union forces captured Baton Rouge in 1862 and camped on the capitol grounds and in the building. While the building was occupied, a fire broke out destroying the interior, but the walls stood.
In 1880, the state decided to re-establish the capitol in Baton Rouge. The architect added a fourth floor and the spectacular stained glass dome for which the building is known.
The museum features engaging exhibits and the award-winning Ghost of the Castle show, an immersive production about the history of the building.
The Old State Capitol is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, received the National Honor Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Award for Excellence in Architectural Design from the American Institute for Architects. The museum also received the Themed Entertainment Association Award in 2012 for the Ghost of the Castle show for Cultural Heritage Attractions.
If you are interested in donating artifacts to the museum's collection, please contact the Curator, Lauren Davis.