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Louisiana’s Old State Capitol

Subject: History

100 North Blvd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70801

(800) 488-2968 | General Information
(225) 342-0500 | Reservations
(225) 342-0316 | Fax

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General Public Hours and Admission Rates: Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00am – 4:00pm, Sunday, 1:00pm – 4:00pm; $4.00 Adults, $3.00 Seniors and Veterans, $2.00 Students

School Tour Hours and Admission Rates: Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00am – 4:00pm, Sunday 1:00pm – 4:00pm; March – May extended hours Monday – Friday 9:00am – 4:pm; Free

  • Student to Chaperone Ratio Requested: 7:1
  • Advance Time Needed to Make Reservations: Two days
  • Number of Students per Visit: Up to 100
  • Suggested Length of Time for Visits: One hour
  • Handicapped Accessible: Yes
  • Grade Level Appropriate: 1st – 12th
  • Lunch Facilities: There is a picnic area on-site and fast food and full service restaurants are in walking distance.
  • Gift Shop: Yes
  • Bus parking available

Tell Us About It!

Prominently towering in downtown Baton Rouge and facing River Road stands Louisiana’s Old State Capitol, Center for Political and Governmental History. Brilliant white and castle-like, this restored 1850 state-house museum preserves Louisiana’s vibrant political history and the democratic process through exhibitions, educational out-reach, and programs. This museum is as grand on the inside as it is on the outside. Gothic towers, stained glass windows, and massive front doors greet visitors. Marble floors and majestic wood details support the Grand Rotunda which is graced by a spiral staircase. Exhibits on the first floor are about politicians and significant political events. The Senate and House Chambers are on the second floor and function as an auditorium and special events area. Additional exhibits are on the second floor including an interactive installation about how a bill becomes a law.


What Can We See and Do There?

Louisiana’s Old State Capitol offers self-guided tours to scheduled groups. Exhibits include Governor’s Reception Room with pictures of all the governors from the colonial period to present day. Students can see and hear famous politicians delivering speeches. The animated Huey P. Long exhibit highlights the controversy surrounding his assassination. The Louisiana Purchase examines the history behind the monumental acquisition of the Louisiana Territory from France. The new Statehouses of Louisiana exhibit features the many places which served as Louisiana’s State Capitol. In this exhibit, visitors can video tape their own stories about the State Capitol. The We the People exhibit highlights the importance of voting and being personally involved in campaigns, elections, and the day-to-day activities of the legislative process. All school groups view a multimedia presentation. Teachers for older students may want to schedule the On Air program for their visit. This program provides students with a television studio to make a videotape of a political campaign commercial, an editorial on a current event, or a short speech. In-class preparation is required and students produce the tape while at Louisiana’s Old State Capitol. Teachers take the tape back to class to review and can use in class. Ask museum staff about the National Student/Parent Mock Elections held each year at this museum.


How Do We Get There?

From I-10 traveling north, enter the Business District on I-110. Exit from the left lane to Convention St. Continue for nine blocks and turn left on River Rd. Go one block and turn left on North Blvd. The Old State Capitol is on the right and bus parking is on the street in front of the North Blvd. entrance.

Louisiana State Educational Benchmarks and Standards
  • K-4th grades: C-1A-E1-2, 4-6; C-1D-E1-5; H-1A-E1-3; H-1C-E1-4; ELA-4-E1-2, 4-7; ELA-7-E1-4
  • 5th-8th grades: C-1A-M1-6; C-1D-M2-5; H-1A-M1-6; H-1D-M1-6; ELA-4-M1-6; ELA-7-M1-4
  • 9th-12th grades: C-1A-H1-2, 4; C-1D-H2-4; H-1A-H1-6; ELA-4-H1-7; ELA-7-H1-4
What Can We Do In Class Before Our Field Trip?

Teachers can request pre-visit materials that include a copy of the exhibit brochure, a list of current exhibits, and lesson plans for some of those exhibits. The museum suggests that teachers engage students in a public speaking unit. Demonstrate how to outline a speech and have students collect debate ideas from current newspapers. Explain to students how these issues are dealt with through the political process. Ask students to prepare and deliver a speech on a topic important to them. Students present their speeches at the Louisiana’s Old State Capitol. Look at this museum’s website for a preview of the field trip.

S-T-R-E-T-C-H Out Your Field Trip Benefits

Teachers may request a copy of a VHS tape with lesson plan about the Louisiana Purchase and lesson plans about the Huey Long exhibit. Check out the museum’s website for lesson plans. Discuss the impact of the students’ presentations on the views of their peers back in class. Then take a poll and vote on the issues raised. Close with a class discussion about the political process and the power of voting. Visit the current State Capitol and check out the active Senate and House Chambers there.

INSTRUCTIONAL CONCEPTS

Louisiana history, civics, politics, public speaking, primary source research, language arts, speech

 

Atchafalaya National Heritage Area


• National Park Service affiliate
• "Passport to Your National Parks" Program
• Member of Alliance of National Heritage Areas
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