|Official Name:||City of Baton Rouge|
Ville de Bâton Rouge
|Motto:||Authentic Louisiana at every turn|
|Subdivision Name:||United States|
|Subdivision Name2:||East Baton Rouge Parish|
|Leader Name:||Melvin "Kip" Holden (D)|
|Established Date2:||16 January 1817|
|Area Magnitude:||1 E7|
|Area Total Sq Mi:||79.1|
|Area Total Km2:||204.8|
|Area Land Sq Mi:||76.8|
|Area Water Sq Mi:||2.2|
|Area Water Km2:||5.7|
|Area Water Percent:||2.81|
|Population As Of:||2006|
|Population Density Km2:||1144.7|
|Population Density Sq Mi:||2964.7|
|Utc Offset Dst:||-5|
Baton Rouge (French: Bâton-Rouge in English, and in French) is the capital city and the second largest city of Louisiana. It is located in East Baton Rouge Parish which contains 430,812 residents. The Greater Baton Rouge population is approximately 770,037.
Baton Rouge is located in the southeast portion of the state along the Mississippi River. It owes its location and its historical importance to its site upon Istrouma Bluff, the first bluff upriver from the Mississippi delta, which protects the city’s 229,661 residents from flooding and other natural disasters. In addition to the natural protection, the city sports a levee system stretching from the bluff southward to protect the riverfront and the southern agricultural areas.
The Baton Rouge region, like that of other capital cities in the United States, is called the "Capital Area."
See main article: History of Baton Rouge.
Baton Rouge dates back to 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 tree "le bâton rouge," or red stick. The native name for the site had been Istrouma. From evidence found along the Mississippi, Comite, and Amite rivers, and in three native mounds remaining in the city, archaeologists have been able to date habitation of the Baton Rouge area to 8000 B.C. The French city of Baton Rouge became one of the more prominent settlements of New France, but never surpassed the importance of nearby New Orleans.
In the Great Expulsion of 1755, around 11,000 Acadians were deported from Acadia under the direction of British colonial officers and New England legislators and militia; many settled in an area near Baton Rouge that would come to be known as Louisiana. Eventually these settlers began calling themselves Cajuns, a name descending from a mis-pronunciation of the original name Acadians. (French: Acadiens) maintained a separate culture, encompassing distinct clothing, music, food, and dedication to catholic faith, that has since immeasurably enriched the Baton Rouge area.
On Feb. 10, 1763, the Treaty of Paris was signed, whereby France gave all its territory in North America to Britain and Spain. Spain ended up with New Orleans and all land west of the Mississippi. Britain ended up with all land east of the Mississippi, except for New Orleans. Baton Rouge, now part of the newly-created British colony of West Florida, suddenly had strategic significance as the southwest-most corner of British North America.
The British built Fort New Richmond just south of the eventual site of the LSU campus Pentagon Barracks (in downtown Baton Rouge), and began plans for the development of a town. Land grants were given, resulting in an influx of the first settlers.
When the older British colonies on the Atlantic coast of North America rebelled in 1776, the newer colony of West Florida, lacking a history of local government and distrustful of the potentially hostile Spanish nearby, remained loyal to the British crown.
In 1778, France declared war on Britain, and in 1779, Spain followed suit. That same year, Spanish Governor Don Bernardo de Galvez led a militia of nearly 1,400 spanish soldiers and a small contingent of rebellious British colonials from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, capturing Fort New Richmond. The Battle of Baton Rouge would stand as the only land-based military battle of the American Revolution to be fought outside of the original thirteen colonies. The fort was renamed Fort San Carlos, and the Spanish gained control of Baton Rouge. Galvez subsequently captured Mobile in 1780 and Pensacola in 1781, thus ending the British presence on the Gulf Coast.
See also: Battle of Baton Rouge (1779).
A colony of Pennsylvania German farmers settled to the south of town, having moved north to high ground from their original settlement on Bayou Manchac after a series of floods in the 1780s. Known locally as "Dutch Highlanders" ("Dutch" being a corruption of the German "Deutsch"), they settled along a line of bluffs that served as barrier to the Mississippi River flood plain. Historic Highland Road, located in the heart of present day Baton Rouge, was originally established as a supply road for the indigo and cotton plantations of these early settlers. Two major roads in the area Essen Lane and Siegen Lane were both named after cities in Germany. The Kleinpeter and Staring families were amongst the most prominent of the early German families in the area, and have remained active in local business affairs ever since.
In 1800, the Tessier-Lafayette buildings were built on what is now Lafayette Street. The buildings are still standing today.
In 1805, the Spanish administrator, Don Carlos Louis Boucher de Grand Pré, commissioned a layout for what is today know as Spanish Town.
In 1806, Elias Beauregard led a planning commission for what is today known as Beauregard Town.
As a result of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, Spanish West Florida found itself almost entirely surrounded by the United States and its possessions. The Spanish Fort at Baton Rouge became the only non-American post on the Mississippi River.
Several of the inhabitants of West Florida began to have conventions to plan a rebellion, among them Fulwar Skipwith, a Baton Rouge native. At least one of these conventions was held in a house on a street in the city that has since been renamed Convention St. (in honor of the rebel conventions). On September 23, 1810, the rebels overcame the Spanish garrison at Baton Rouge, and unfurled the flag of the new Republic of West Florida, known as the Bonnie Blue Flag. The flag had a single white star on a blue field. The Bonnie Blue Flag also inspired the Lone Star flag of Texas.
The West Florida Republic existed for only ninety days, during which St. Francisville served as its capital.
Seizing upon the opportunity, President James Madison ordered W.C.C. Claiborne to move north and seize the fledgling republic for incorporation into the Territory of Orleans. Madison used the premise that the territory had always been a part of the U.S., citing the terms of the Louisiana Purchase, an explanation largely believed to be a deliberate error. The rebels were largely composed of American settlers, and they provided no resistance. With minor resentment, the stars and stripes were raised on December 10, 1810.
For the first time, all of the land that would become the State of Louisiana now lay within U.S. borders.
In 1812, Louisiana was admitted to the Union as a State. Baton Rouge's location continued to be a strategic military outpost. Between 1819 and 1822, the U.S. Army built the Pentagon Barracks, which became a major command post up through the Mexican-American War (1846-1848). Lieutenant Colonel Zachary Taylor, supervised construction of the Pentagon Barracks and served as its commander. In the 1830s, what is known today as the "Old Arsenal" was built. The unique structure originally served as a powder magazine for the U.S. Army Post.
In 1825, Baton Rouge was visited by the Marquis de Lafayette as part of his triumphal tour of the United States, and he was the guest of honor at a town ball and banquet. To celebrate the occasion, the city changed the name of second Second Street to Lafayette Street.
In 1846, the Louisiana state legislature in New Orleans decided to move the seat of government to Baton Rouge. As in many states, representatives from other parts of Louisiana feared a concentration of power in the state's largest city. In 1840, New Orleans' population was around 102,000, fourth largest in the U.S. The 1840 population of Baton Rouge, on the other hand, was only 2,269.
New York architect James Dakin was hired to design the new Capitol building in Baton Rouge, and rather than mimic the federal Capitol Building in Washington, as so many other states had done, he conceived a Neo-Gothic medieval castle overlooking the Mississippi, complete with turrets and crenelations. In 1859, the Capitol was featured and favorably described in DeBow's Review, the most prestigious periodical in the antebellum South. Mark Twain, however, as a steamboat pilot in the 1850s, loathed the sight of it, "It is pathetic ... that a whitewashed castle, with turrets and things ... should ever have been built in this otherwise honorable place." (Life on the Mississippi, Chapter 40)
Despite his view of the Capitol, Twain was fond of Baton Rouge, "Baton Rouge was clothed in flowers, like a bride — no, much more so; like a greenhouse. For we were in the absolute South now — no modifications, no compromises, no half-way measures. The magnolia trees in the Capitol grounds were lovely and fragrant, with their dense rich foliage and huge snowball blossoms....We were certainly in the South at last; for here the sugar region begins, and the plantations — vast green levels, with sugar-mill and negro quarters clustered together in the middle distance — were in view." (Life on the Mississippi, Chapter 40) 
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 American Civil War the population was 5,500 people. The Civil War halted economic progress, but did not physically impact the city until it was occupied by Union forces in 1862.
See also: Louisiana in the American Civil War and Battle of Baton Rouge (1862). Southern secession was triggered by the 1860 election of Republican Abraham Lincoln because slave states feared that he would make good on his promise to stop the expansion of slavery and would thus put it on a course toward extinction. Many Southerners thought that even if Lincoln did not abolish slavery, sooner or later another Northerner would do so, and that it was thus time to leave the Union. In January 1861, Louisiana elected delegates to a state convention to decide the state's course of action. The convention voted for secession 112 to 17. Baton Rouge raised a number of volunteer companies for Confederate service, including the Pelican Rifles, the Delta Rifles, the Creole Guards, and the Baton Rouge Fencibles (about one-third of the town's male population) eventually volunteered.
The Confederates gave up Baton Rouge (which only had a population of 5,429 in 1860) without a fight, deciding to consolidate their forces elsewhere. In May 1862, Union troops entered the city and began the occupation of Baton Rouge. The Confederates only made one attempt to retake Baton Rouge. The Confederates lost the battle and the town was severely damaged. However, Baton Rouge escaped the level of devastation faced by cities that were major conflict points during the Civil War, and the city still has many structures that predate it.
In 1986, a statue of a Confederate soldier was dedicated to the memory of those who fought in the Civil War on the corner of Third Street and North Blvd.
The mass migration of ex-slaves into urban areas in the South also affected Baton Rouge. It has been estimated that in 1860, blacks made up just under one-third of the town's population. By the 1880 U.S. census, however, Baton Rouge was 60 percent black. Not until the 1920 census would the white population of Baton Rouge again exceed 50 percent. After the end of Reconstruction the white population regained control of the state's and the city's institutions, and segregation and "Jim Crow" laws were enforced, though leavened with a dose of paternalism (Radical Republican control in Louisiana had never been strong outside of New Orleans in any case).
By 1880, Baton Rouge was recovering economically and psychologically, though the population that year still was only 7,197 and its boundaries had remained the same. The carpetbaggers and scalawags of Reconstruction politics were replaced by middle-class white Democrats who loathed the Republicans, eulogized the Confederacy, and preached white supremacy. This "Bourbon" era was short-lived in Baton Rouge, however, replaced by a more management-oriented local style of conservatism in the 1890s and on into the early 20th century. Increased civic-mindedness and the arrival of the Louisville, New Orleans and Texas Railway led to the development of more forward-looking leadership, which included the construction of a new waterworks, widespread electrification of homes and businesses, and the passage of several large bond issues for the construction of public buildings, new schools, paving of streets, drainage and sewer improvements, and the establishment of a scientific municipal public health department.
Increased civic-mindedness and the arrival of a north-south railroad led to the development of more forward-looking leadership, which included the construction of a new waterworks, widespread electrification of homes and businesses, and the passage of several large bond issues for the construction of public buildings, new schools, paving of streets, drainage and sewer improvements, and the establishment of a scientific municipal public health department.By the beginning of the twentieth century, the town had undergone significant industrial development as a result of its strategic location for the production of petroleum, natural gas, and salt. In 1909 the Standard Oil Company (predecessor of present-day ExxonMobil) built a facility that proved to be a lure for other petrochemical firms. The New Louisiana State Capitol, built in 1932 under the leadership of Governer Huey P. Long, signaled the beginning of a period of modernization and eventual growth for the city.Near the same time, Baton Rouge saw the construction of both the Louisiana Institute for the Blind and the School for the Deaf and Dumb. Throughout World War II, military demand for increased production efforts at local chemical plants contributed to the growth of the city.In the late 1940s, Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish became a consolidated city/parish with a mayor/president in its government. It was also one of the first cities in the nation to consolidate, and the parish surrounds three incorporated cities: Baker, Zachary, and Central.
Baton Rouge was the site of the first bus boycott of the civil rights movement. On June 20, 1953 black citizens of Baton Rouge began an organized boycott of the municipal bus system that would last for eight days, and serve as the model for the more famous Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955-1956. .
The boycott was led by the newly formed United Defense League (UDL), under the direction of Reverend T. J. Jemison and Raymond Scott. A volunteer "free ride" system, coordinated through churches, supported the efforts. In response to the boycott, the Baton Rouge city council adopted an ordinance that changed segregated seating so that blacks patron would be enabled to fill up seats from the rear forward and whites would fill seats from front to back, both on a first-come-first-served basis. Counter protests would eventually lead to an overturning of the new ordinance by the Louisiana Attorney General, but in the view of many historians the success it represented led the way for larger organized efforts within the civil rights movement. .
The wave of student sit-ins that started in Greensboro NC on February 1st, 1960 reached Baton Rouge on March 28 when seven Southern University (SU) students were arrested for sitting-in at a Kress lunch counter. The following day, nine more students were arrested for sitting-in at the Greyhound bus terminal, and the day after that SU student and CORE member Major Johns led more than 3,000 students on a march to the state capitol to protest segregation and the arrests. Major Johns and the 16 students arrested for sitting-in were expelled from SU and barred from all public colleges and universities in the state. SU students organized a class boycott to win reinstatement of the expelled students. Fearing for the safety of their children, many parents withdrew their sons and daughters from the school. Eventually, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the convictions of the arrested students, and in 2004 they were awarded honorary degrees by S.U. and the state legislature passed a resolution in their honor.
In October 1961, SU students Ronnie Moore, Weldon Rougeau and Patricia Tate revived the Baton Rouge CORE chapter. After negotiations with downtown merchants failed to end segregation, they called for a consumer boycott in early December at the start of the busy holiday shopping season. Fourteen CORE pickets supporting the boycott were arrested in mid-December and held in jail for a month. More than a thousand SU students marched to the state capitol on December 15th to protest. Police attacked them with dogs and tear-gas, and arrested more than 50 of them. Thousands rallied on the SU campus against segregation and in support of all the arrested students. To prevent further disturbances, SU closed for Christmas vacation four days early.
In January of 1962, U.S. Federal Judge Gordon West issued an injunction against CORE that banned all forms of protest of any kind at SU. Many students were expelled and state police troopers occupied the campus to quell further protests. Judge West's order was overturned by a higher court in 1964, but during the intervening years civil rights activity was effectively suppressed.
In February 1962, Freedom Rider and SNCC field secretary Dion Diamond was arrested for entering the SU campus to meet with students. He is charged with "Criminal Anarchy" — attempting to overthrow the government of the State of Louisiana. SNCC Chairman Chuck McDew and white field secretary Bob Zellner are also arrested and charged with "Criminal Anarchy" when they visit Diamond in jail. Zellner was put in a cell with white prisoners who attacked him as a "race-mixer" while the guards look on. Eventually, after years of legal proceedings, the "Criminal Anarchy" charges were dropped, but Diamond was forced to serve 60 days for other charges.
In the 1970s, Baton Rouge experienced a boom in the petrochemical industry, causing the city to expand away from the original center, resulting in the modern suburban sprawl. 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. At the turn of the 21st century, Baton Rouge maintained steady population growth, as well as becoming a technological leader amongst cities in the South.Earning a rank of #19 on the list of America's most wired cities (more wired than New Orleans, and most of the 25 largest cities in the United States), Baton Rouge integrated advanced traffic camera systems, an extensive municipal broadband wireless network, and an advanced cellular telecommunications network into the city infrastructure. Increasing at a steady pace, Baton Rouge's 2000 Census population surpassed 225,000, exceeding that of regionally comparable cities including Mobile, Alabama, Montgomery, Alabama, and Corpus Christi, Texas.
On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast with failed levees flooding much of New Orleans and areas of Mississippi. Although the damage was relatively minor compared to New Orleans (generally light to moderate except for fallen trees), Baton Rouge experienced power outages and service disruptions due to the hurricane. In addition, the city provided refuge for residents from New Orleans. Baton Rouge served as a headquarters for Federal (on site) and State emergency coordination and disaster relief in Louisiana.
The city executed massive rescue efforts, as residents from the New Orleans metropolitan area moved northward following the devastation. LSU's basketball arena, the Pete Maravich Assembly Center, and the adjacent LSU Field House were converted into emergency hospitals. Victims were flown in by helicopter (landing in the LSU Track Stadium) and brought by the hundreds in buses to be treated. Here patients were triaged and, depending on their status, were either treated immediately or transported further west to Lafayette, Louisiana. Estimates in late 2005 put the number of displaced evacuees having relocated to Baton Rouge at about 200,000.
As a result, by August 31, TV station WAFB had reported that the city's population had more than doubled from about 228,000 to at least 450,000 and East Baton Rouge Parish's population shot up to almost 600,000 since the mandatory evacuation had been issued. In the period since, extensive city planning efforts have led to both completed and projected infrastructure improvements.
Today, Baton Rouge is one of the largest mid-sized business cities in the Unites States. It is also one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas with a population under 1 million, with 633,261 residents in 2000 and an estimated 2008 population 750,000. Baton Rouge's city 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 however despite claims from mayor-president Kip Holden of permenant growth in the region the growth proved to be only temporary as displaced citizens returned to their home regions. Due to the hurricane victims returning home and native Baton Rouge residents fleeing to outlying parishes such as Livingston Parish and Ascension Parish, the U.S. Census Bureau has designated Baton Rouge the second fastest declining city in it's 2007-2008 estimate. Like many metropolitan centers, Baton Rouge has recently created a Downtown Development District, and embarked on a process of urban growth and renewal. Aside from the presence of Louisiana State University and capital city politics, Baton Rouge is home to a vibrant mix of cultures from around Louisiana, thus forming the basis of the city motto: "Authentic Louisiana at every turn".
Baton Rouge is located at (30.458090, -91.140229).Web site: States Census Bureau] US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990]. 2011-04-23. 2011-02-12.
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 along with Tallahassee, FL, and Austin, TX, is one of the southernmost capital cities in the lower 48 United States.
Baton Rouge is humid-subtropical, with mild winters, hot and humid summers, and significant rainfall all year. Snow is rare with the most recent snowfall on 11 December 2008.
|Monthly Normal and Record High and Low Temperatures|
|Rec High °F (°C)||84 (28.8)||85 (29.4)||91 (32.7)||92 (33.3)||98 (36.6)||103 (39.4)||101 (38.3)||105 (40.5)||104 (40)||94 (34.4)||87 (30.5)||85 (29.4)|
|Norm High °F (°C)||60 (15.5)||63.9 (17.7)||71 (21.6)||77.3 (25.2)||84 (28.8)||89.2 (31.7)||90.7 (32.6)||90.9 (32.7)||87.4 (30.7)||79.7 (26.5)||70.1 (21.2)||62.8 (17.1)|
|Norm Low °F (°C)||40.2 (4.5)||43.1 (6.2)||49.6 (9.7)||55.8 (13.2)||64.1 (17.8)||70.2 (21.2)||72.7 (22.6)||71.9 (22.2)||67.5 (19.7)||56.4 (13.5)||47.9 (8.8)||42.1 (5.6)|
|Rec Low °F (°C)||9 (-12.7)||15 (-9.4)||20 (-6.6)||32 (0)||44 (6.6)||53 (11.6)||58 (14.4)||58 (14.4)||43 (6.1)||30 (-1.1)||21 (-6.1)||8 (-13.3)|
|Precip in. (mm)||6.19 (157.2)||5.1 (129.5)||5.07 (128.8)||5.56 (141.2)||5.34 (135.6)||5.33 (135.4)||5.96 (151.4)||5.86 (148.8)||4.84 (122.9)||3.81 (96.8)||4.76 (120.9)||5.26 (133.6)|
|Source: USTravelWeather.com http://www.ustravelweather.com/weather-louisiana/baton-rouge-weather.asp|
Baton Rouge is the farthest inland port that can process deep ocean tankers and cargo carriers. As such, those ships transfer their load (grain, crude, cars, containers) at Baton Rouge onto rails and pipelines (to travel east-west) or barges (to travel north-south). Deep draft vessels cannot pass the old Huey Long Bridge because it is too low, and the river gets shallow near Port Hudson.
Baton Rouge's biggest industry is in petrochemicals. ExxonMobil has the second largest refinery in the country here and among the top 10 in the world. It also has rail, highway, pipeline, and deep water access. Dow Chemical has a large plant in Iberville Parish near Plaquemine. NanYa Plastics has a large facility in North Baton Rouge that makes PVC and CPVC pipes. Shaw Construction, Turner, and Harmony all got started by working construction projects at these plants.
Being the state capitol and the parish seat, the largest employer in Baton Rouge is the government, which recently consolidated all branches of the state government downtown in a complex called "Capitol Park".
The research hospitals of Our Lady of the Lake, Earl K. Long, as well as an emerging medical corridor at Essen Lane/Summa Avenue/Bluebonnet Boulevard are poised to become an area similar to that of the Texas Medical Center.
Due to state and local tax credits for the film industry, Baton Rouge has followed other Louisiana cities in positioning itself as an important part of the "Hollywood South" initiative. The new Celtic Media Centre, which is Louisiana's first and only full service studio/sound stage, along with two other planned studios are being built to meet the needs of this growing industry.
As of the censusWeb site: States Census Bureau] American FactFinder]. 2008-01-31. 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 13.6% of those ages 65 or over.
Baton Rouge currently has several towers in the works. One project includes a 12 story office, another a 30+ story condominium tower to be the first towers built downtown in two decades.
|Louisiana State Capitol (tallest state capitol building in the U.S.)||34||460 ft (140 m)|
|RiverPlace Condominiums (groundbreaking early 2009)||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)|
|Two City Plaza (under construction)||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|
|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)|
See main article: Neighborhoods of Baton Rouge.
Baton Rouge has many neighborhoods both inside and outside the city limits:
See also: Notable inhabitants of Baton Rouge. 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 college students from Baton Rouge Community College, Louisiana State University, Our Lady of the Lake College, and Southern University who make up approximately 20% of the city population. In addition, there's 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 its own unique culture as well as be a representation of many different heritages.
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. 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. Also known as LASM, it 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.  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.
See also: List of Events in Baton Rouge.
Many events take place throughout the year, the biggest of which is Mardi Gras. Every year in either February or March(whenever Mardi Gras falls that 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.
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: 225, LSU Daily Reveille, Tiger Weekly, 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 94th largest Designated Market Area (DMA) in the U.S., serving 317,550 homes and 0.282% of the U.S. Major television network affiliates serving the area include:
See also: List of radio stations in Louisiana (Baton Rouge area)
Baton Rouge is a city that 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 each football season. The teams' dominance of the city's sports scene is distinguished by the numerous shops and restaurants around town that sell and display memorabilia. College baseball, basketball, and gymnastics are also popular. 
Baton Rouge has a very successful rugby team, the Baton Rouge Redfishes. The team began in 1977 and has won numerous conference championships. Currently, the team competes the Deep South Rugby Union as a Division II team..
See also: Points of Interest of Baton Rouge.
There are many architectural points of interest in Baton Rouge, ranging from antebellum to modern. The neo-gothic Old Louisiana State Capitol was originally built in the 1890's as the first state house in Baton Rouge and was latter replaced by the 450 feet (137 m) tall, art-deco New Louisiana State Capitol which finished was the tallest building in the South. Several plantation homes in the area such as Magnolia Mound Plantation House, Myrtles Plantation, and Nottoway Plantation showcase architecture during the antebellum era. The Louisiana State University has over 250 buildings done in the style of Italian Renaissance, one of the nation's largest college stadiums, and is endowed with many live oaks. Several up and coming examples of modern and contemporary buildings are located downtown and include the Louisiana State Museum.  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 Archives, and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, were designed by the Baton Rouge architect John Desmond. Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad Company Depot, currently houses Louisiana Arts and Science 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 any interactive exhibits. The Shaw Center for the Arts showcase art exhibits along with Louisiana Art and Science Museum. LASM also includes science exhibits and a planetarium. Other museums include LSU Museum of Natural Science and USS Kidd.
Baton Rouge has an extensive park collection run through BREC. The largest park is City Park near LSU and is current undergoing a complete remodeling. The Baton Rouge Zoo is run through BREC and includes 1800+ species.
Other things to include shopping at the Mall at Cortana and the Mall of Louisiana (Louisiana's two largest malls), a trip to the local amusement parks of Dixie Landin'/ Blue Bayou, or dining at any number of the revered Louisiana cuisine restaurants.
See main article: Education in Baton Rouge.
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 more than 32,000 students, and there are 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 degree programs, 42 bachelor 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. Southern University also provides opportunities for students to participate in internships and summer assignments in industry and with the federal government.
Baton Rouge Community College is an open-admissions, two-year post-secondary public community college, established on June 28, 1995. The college settled into a permanent location in 1998. The 60acres campus consists of five main buildings: Governors Building, Louisiana Building, Cypress Building, Bienvenue Building (student center), and the Magnolia Library Building. The college's current enrollment is more than 6,000 students. The curricular offerings include courses and programs leading to transfer credits, certificates and associate degrees.
Electricity services for Baton Rouge are provided by Entergy, and DEMCO. Waste pickup is provided by Allied Waste Services, formally BFI.
Baton Rouge is home station to the Army National Guard 769th Engineer Battalion a units that has recently had units deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. The armory located near the Baton Rouge Airport houses three company sized units. These are: 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.
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 Dr. & Highland Rd.(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 Hwy. 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 Highway.
To accommodate the rapid growth of Baton Rouge, sections of its freeways have been upgraded in recent decades. However, traffic jams remain commonplace. A wellspring of problems, for instance, is created by the old-style full cloverleaf interchange at I-12 and Airline Highway (US 61). The interchange provides no C/D lanes and weaving is thus a constant and serious hazard for motorists.
I-12 East is also plagued with serious congestion. The Interstate essentially goes from 3 to 2 lanes, creating a bottle-neck around the Denham Springs area.
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, Ascension, West Baton Rouge, and Iberville, as well as northern East Baton Rouge Parish.
The metropolitan area is served by the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport, located in north area of Baton Rouge, between city and the suburb of Baker. The airport is currently going through an expansion to improve its facilities and better compete with other markets.
Public transit by bus is provided by the Capitol Area Transit System. CATS offer 17 routes that provide transportation to various parts of the city. CATS operates a special trolley that runs for free in the downtown area.