Introduction

Standing 34 stories tall, the Louisiana State Capitol building is the tallest state capitol in the United States, and one of only four skyscraper capitols (the others are located in Florida, Nebraska, and North Dakota.) Located in downtown Baton Rouge on 27 acres of land, it was built in the early 1930's to replace the old state capitol building, and is the current seat of the Louisiana state legislature.

History

As part of his campaign platform while running for governor of Louisiana, Huey Pierce Long proposed the idea for a new state capitol building. Elected governor in 1928, by January of 1930 Long went to the State Board of Liquidation for $5000 to procure the services of the New Orleans architectural firm of Weiss, Dreyfous, and Seiferth to design a new capitol. When the amendment to build a new capitol failed to pass during the regular session of the legislature in 1930, Long called a special session that year to force passage of the amendment. The first time the amendment was brought up for consideration during the special session, it was four votes shy of the two-thirds needed to pass. A roll call vote was ordered, which gave Long time (having attended the vote) to persuade enough legislators to pass the amendment. Agreeing with Governor Long by a ratio of 14 to 1, the voters of Louisiana also passed the amendment and on December 16, 1930 construction began.

Construction

At the suggestion of Long, the architects designed a skyscraper based on the Nebraska state capitol model. The George A. Fuller Company of Washington, D.C. was hired for the building's construction, and to facilitate the construction the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad Company laid a spur directly to the construction site. This spur eventually carried approximately 2500 railcars' worth of construction materials to the site, including Alabama limestone for the exterior, marble from Italy and Vermont, and granite from Minnesota.

Construction was completed only fourteen months after it began at a cost of approximately $5 million. The building was dedicated on May 16, 1932 to coincide with the inauguration of the new governor, Oscar K. Allen. Long was unable to attend the dedication of the capitol, as he was in Washington, D.C. having been elected to the United States Senate.

Appearance

Resources:
http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/travel/louisiana/cap.htm
http://www.crt.state.la.us/crt/tourism/capitol/capitol.htm
http://www.dnr.state.la.us/newbldg/cappark.ssi#Current
http://house.legis.state.la.us/pubinfo/virtual%20tour/lacaphistory.htm
http://glasssteelandstone.com/US/LA/BatonRougeCapitol.html
http://www.sec.state.la.us/60.htm
http://www.cupola.com/html/bldgstru/statecap/cap01.htm
http://www.50states.com/flag/laflag.htm

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