Lousiana Governor's Mansion
Courtesy of the Louisiana
Division of Historic Preservation
views of the Old Lousiana Governor's Mansion
Photographs by Susan Moreau, courtesy of the Foundation For
The Louisiana Old Governor's Mansion
was built in 1930 under the governorship of Huey P.
Long, its first resident. The building, of stucco Georgian construction,
is reported to be a copy of the White
House as it was originally designed by James Hoban. It is said
that Governor Long wanted to be familiar with the White House in Washington
when he became president, so he had the White House duplicated in Baton
Rouge. Some dispute this legend and simply say that the mansion is merely
a fine example of a Georgian mansion. This is the second governor's mansion
to occupy the site. The first governor's mansion, a large frame house
built for Baton Rouge businessman Nathan King Knox, served as the official
residence of Louisiana governors from 1887 until 1929, when it was razed.
The architects for the neoclassical mansion were Weiss, Dreyfous, and
Seiferth of New Orleans. The building has two floors, a full basement,
and an attic. The slate mansard roof has open balustrades and 14 windows
set in a small gable projecting from a single roof. Four large 30-foot
Corinthian columns support a pediment adorned with carvings depicting
a pelican feeding her young framed by ornate scrollwork, a design based
on the Great Seal of the State of Louisiana.
Governor Long's plan to destroy the previous antebellum mansion met
with opposition. Despite great public disapproval he had the old mansion
raised by convicts from the State Penitentiary. When impeachment proceedings
began against the Governor in March 1929, one of the 19 articles of
impeachment was that he destroyed the old mansion and another accused
Long of destroying and disposing of property and furniture from the
Governor's mansion, the capitol, and State offices. Huey Long failed
to be impeached, and the new mansion was completed in 1930 and members
of the State legislature attended the official housewarming party on
June 27, 1930. In 1961 Governor Jimmy Davis moved into the present Governor's
Mansion, thus ending this mansion's 32 years as the official residence
of the Governors of Louisiana.
The Old Louisiana Governor's Mansion is located 502 North Blvd.
between Royal and St. Charles Sts. in Baton Rouge. The mansion
is open for tours 10:00am to 4:00pm Tuesday-Friday. There is a fee.
Call 225-387-2464 for further information or visitor the mansion's website.