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The Old State Capitol Center
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Louisiana's Old State Capitol Center for Political and Governmental History is the state's official repository of film and video archives and houses several interactive state-of-the-art exhibits

Louisiana's Old State Capitol Center

The Old State Capital Time Line of Important Events

  • Designed and constructed by architect James Harrison Dakin, 1847-1850.
  • In 1861, the Louisiana Legislature convened a convention which voted to secede from the Union.
  • Seized by Union soldiers in 1862, during the Civil War; accidentially burned while occupied.
  • Abandoned for 20 years while the Louisiana seat of government moved to Opelousas, Shreveport and then New Orleans.
  • Restored in 1882, and the seat of government is returned to Baton Rouge.
  • Impeachment proceedings were brought against Gov. Huey P. Long, the fabled "Kingfish", in its House Chamber, 1929.
  • Vacated as the State Capitol in 1932 with the completion of the city's new 34-story Art Deco Capitol Building.
  • Designated a National Historic Landmark, 1977.
  • Major restoration and rebirth as the Center for Political and Governmental History, 1994.


Louisiana's Old State Capitol Center for Political and Governmental History is the state's official repository of film and video archives and houses several interactive state-of-the-art exhibits including "We The People" — our multimedia citizenship and voting experience, The Governor Huey P. Long Assassination Exhibit, The Governors' Exhibit, The Campaign and Elections Exhibit, and The Louisiana Purchase Exhibit. Also, the multi-media presentation entitled "Louisiana: The Story is Here" offers visitors of all ages an exciting journey through our state's past.

On February 19, 2001 a new exhibition at the Old State Capitol was introduced to the public. "We the People" occupies all of the exhibit rooms on the second floor of our historic building. This one of a kind exhibit engages the visitor in the political process through voting, identifying party platforms and personalizing legislative activities. "We the People" seeks to emphasize the importance and privilege of taking an active role in democracy as the introductory panel states, "We the people means you."

"We the People" is designed to inspire visitors to realize they control their government through active participation in the democratic process. The exhibit is also intended to answer the most common questions asked by citizens: can you alone stand up for an issue and make a difference in your state? If you controlled the state budget, how would you allocate your tax dollars? Are you an informed voter? Do you vote in every election?

The exhibition can answer these questions in many exhibits throughout its rooms. A computer interactive kiosk allows visitors to make a Louisiana budget. A Hall of Fame highlights Louisianians with intriguing stories of political participation. An evaluation of the key national and state issues ends with the identification of party platforms. In the exhibit's final room, visitors listen to stories of groups who fought to acquire suffrage, and the visitors are guided through a process of making an informed voting decision.

Special Events

The magnificent Rotunda and Senate Chambers are available for after hours rentals, receptions and special events. Elegant conference/public meeting rooms may be used for smaller meetings and gatherings during the day, as well as for lectures and conferences. The beautiful five-acre grounds are ideal for outdoor functions such as concerts and picnics. Please call us at (225) 342-0500 for more information.

Museum Shop
The store specializing in political memorabilia, reproductions, maps and artifacts, as well as a variety of Louisiana books and gifts.

The museum is located in the downtown section next to the Mississippi river at 100 North Boulevard. Metered on-street and private parking lots are located nearby. Tour buses are welcomed. Visit the Baton Rouge Downtown Development District web site for a downtown parking map.

Hours of Operation
Visit the museum Monday through Saturday from 10 AM until 4 PM, and on Sunday from noon until 4 PM. Closed on Mondays from June until March; open Mondays in April and May. Adult admission is $4; seniors and veterans $3; students $2; children under 6 are admitted free. Adult groups of 20 or more are $2 each. Organized, scheduled student groups are admitted free. Handicapped accessible.

Information from The Louisiana Secretary of State