Monday, April 30, 2007

Capitol Closeup

Here's a closeup showing office windows of the State Capitol Building, in honor of today's opening session of the Louisiana Legislature. I worked as a clerk for the House Appropriations Committee one session, and I remember how small these offices were. I also remember having to walk one flight up or down to get to the bathroom, because our floor only had a mens' room.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

I Can't Study, The Game's Too Loud

For many years, LSU's Tiger Stadium did double duty as a football stadium and as student housing. When it opened in 1924, seating was on either side of the football field, with open areas at each end zone. In the 1930's, Huey P. Long wanted to add more seats to the stadium, but the state budget had designated funds only for new dormitories at LSU, not stadium improvements. So Huey put the dormitories in the stadium, closing the north end zone to make a horseshoe, and as one commetator put it, built a roof that looked like stadium seating.

The dorm rooms were small, dark, and had no air conditioning, but they were cheap places to live. The campus radio station, KLSU, was once located in the East Stadium Dormitory. When I lived on campus in the fall of 1990, they were closing the stadium dorms. Only a few students were still living there, and many of the rooms were being used for storage.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Russell Heads To Oaktown

Congratulations to LSU football quarterback JaMarcus Russell, chosen as the overall first pick in the NFL Draft today by the Oakland Raiders!
Those windows at the bottom of the photo are the subject of tomorrow's posting...

Friday, April 27, 2007

Where's That Confounded Bridge?

If you asked me where the Horace Wilkinson Bridge was in Baton Rouge, I wouldn't be able to point you in the right direction. Not many Baton Rougeans would. But if you asked me where the New Mississippi River Bridge was, I'd say, "That's the bridge on I-10 where you cross the river".

The Horace Wilkinson Bridge and the New Mississippi River Bridge are one and the same. We call this bridge the "New Mississippi" to distinguish it from the bridge that crosses the river a few miles north, the Old Mississippi River Bridge. The Old Mississippi Bridge also has a proper name, the Huey P. Long Bridge. Although if you asked most folks where the Huey P. Long Bridge was, they'd think you were referring to the Huey P. Long Bridge that crosses the Mississippi River near New Orleans.

Confused? Me too :)

Whatever you wish to name it, it's a lovely bridge, opened for service in April 1968. It's 4,550 feet long and holds six lanes of traffic.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Levee Promenade

Glancing northward at Port Allen Landing, you find a row of benches and wastebaskets, waiting for pedestrians to stop and enjoy the view.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Grass Is Greener on the Other Side...

Here's downtown Baton Rouge from the other side of the Mississippi River, at Port Allen Landing. This is where I snapped the photo for my first entry. It's also a great site to view the July 4th fireworks.
And the only reason that the grass is greener for this post is Picasa ;)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Moon, The Stars, and Water

This water meter cover is on the Fifth Street sidewalk, between Main and Laurel Streets. I rarely see the moon-and-stars motif on covers in Baton Rouge, but it's found on water meter covers in New Orleans. The blue paint is marking the underground water utility so that contractors avoid digging there.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Independence Park

The Botanic Gardens are a small part of Independence Community Park in the middle of Baton Rouge. Independence Park was dedicated, fittingly enough, on July 4, 1976. Before that time, the site was the home of the Baton Rouge Municipal Airport.

When the 200-acre field was dedicated as an airport in 1931, it was in a rural area. Over the next 40 years, Baton Rouge expanded, with homes and businesses bordering the airfield. After a crash at the airport in 1975 that killed two people, city officials decided to relocate the facility to a former army airfield north of the city.

The runways and control tower are long gone, but the main hangar (seen above) was kept in place when the airport became a park. The hangar was renovated, and now serves as a recreation center and home of a popular summer day camp for children.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Happy Earth Day!

I hope everyone has a pleasant and enjoyable Earth Day!
The above photo is from the Rose Garden at the Botanical Gardens...

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Crepe Myrtle Garden

Crepe myrtle trees line a pathway traveling 800 feet along one edge of the Botanical Gardens. The trees are not yet in bloom, but when they are, it's an explosion of white, pink, and purple blossoms. It's several degrees cooler here than in the rose or iris gardens, thanks to the shady branches.

Friday, April 20, 2007


A small peek at the Louisiana Iris Garden at the Botanical Gardens. Some of the varieties grown in the garden are Professor Ike, Foxy Lady, and Elizabeth The Queen...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Under Construction

This is the best shot I could get of the Sensory Gardens. The perimeter is surrounded with yellow caution tape, and most of the beds are covered with plastic sheeting. If you try to slip past, then you must face the scowling maintenance workers who wonder what business you think you have back there. I'll check back in a month to see how they are progressing...

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


The Sensory Garden was "undergoing renovations" while I was at the Botanical Gardens, so I wasn't able to get any photographs. The plant beds were covered in plastic sheets, and there were piles of dirt and mulch on the sidewalks. So here's another picture of the roses...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Botanic Gardens

The Botanic Gardens are located in Independence Park and include the Rose Garden, the Crape Myrtle Garden, the Sensory Garden, and the Louisiana Iris Garden. Although the site is governed by the Baton Rouge Recreation and Park Commission (BREC), most of the planting and maintenance of the gardens is done by a team of volunteers. The gardens are free and open to the public each day from 7:00 a. m. until sundown. Above is the main gazebo in the Rose Garden, which has served as the altar for a few weddings!

Monday, April 16, 2007

From The Botanical Garden

"We've got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can't just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it's going to get on by itself. You've got to keep watering it. You've got to really look after it and nurture it." - John Lennon

For the next few days I will be featuring photos from the Botanical Garden in Baton Rouge, which is maintained chiefly by volunteer gardeners. This is a rose climbing up one of the gazebos at the garden.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

River Center

Here's another view of the Baton Rouge River Center, which hosted yesterday's X Fest. It's also the home of the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra.

The River Center, once known as the Riverside Centroplex, is owned by the city of Baton Rouge and includes an exhibition hall, a grand ballroom, a performing arts theatre, and an arena that can seat up to 12,000 people.

Next month, the River Center hosts the Baton Rouge Symphony, the children's show My Little Pony Live!, and a concert by TOOL.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

X Fest

The River Center is rockin' out this afternoon, as it hosts X Fest, an all-day concert featuring The Killers, AFI, Papa Roach, Jet, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, and Saosin. One of the DJs from X 104.9 radio, which is sponsoring the festival, calls it a step towards making Baton Rouge a cooler town (BR can be a bit provincial and conservative). Over the past several years, more musical acts have been including Baton Rouge in their tours.

Friday, April 13, 2007

What The Well-Dressed Crepe Myrtle Is Wearing This Spring

Many of the trees on Perkins Road between Dalrymple Drive and College Drive enjoy wearing necklaces made of colorful plastic beads. These accessories were caught during the annual Saint Patrick's Day parade which travels through the Hundred Oaks and Southdowns neighborhood. Beads, doubloons, plastic cups and stuffed animals are thrown out to spectators during Mardi Gras parades, but several other parades in Baton Rouge also toss out goodies.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

You're Not Going Anywhere

If it's 4:15 in the afternoon, you must be stuck in traffic on Interstate 12...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Caution - Workers Ahead

There are hundreds of orange traffic cones on the front lawn of the Department of Transportation and Development this week to mark Work Zone Awareness Week in Louisiana. It's part of a larger campaign to reduce the number of deaths due to motor vehicle accidents. Over the past 15 years, over 140 people have been killed in crashes and accidents in highway work zones across Louisiana.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The New Neighbors

Coming home this afternoon at lunch, I spotted two Canadian geese on the side of the road, enjoying the rainy day. They are probably headed to the medical complex half a mile away, which has a large lake and a small population of ducks and geese. I didn't want to disturb them by getting out of the car, but I was able to get a closer photo of one:

Monday, April 9, 2007

Capitol City

If you stand in the middle of Fourth Street in downtown Baton Rouge and look to the north, you'll see the tallest building in Baton Rouge. It's the Louisiana State Capitol Building, which is 450 feet high (about 140 meters). Construction was completed in 1932 under Governor Huey P. Long, who was assassinated in its marble hallways just three years later. Long was buried in the gardens at the front of the Capitol, where a statue marks his final resting place.

Today the body of Eddie Robinson Sr., former football coach of Grambling State University, is lying in state in the Capitol rotunda. Robinson is only the fifth person to receive this honor. During his 57 years at Grambling, Robinson won 408 games, making him at one time the winningest coach in college football history.

Sunday, April 8, 2007


Welcome to Baton Rouge Daily Photo. Baton Rouge is the state capital of Louisiana, and is about 80 miles northwest of New Orleans. This is a view of part of the Baton Rouge skyline from the west bank of the Mississippi River, which borders our fair metropolis. The light-colored building on the far left is the LaSalle Office Building, the tall building next to it is One American Place which has 24 floors, and the tan buildings are the Chase Towers. I couldn't capture the tallest building in Baton Rouge in this shot, but I'll post that tomorrow...