Tour the Louisiana State Capitol: Baton Rouge Bucket List

Tour the Louisiana State Capitol: Baton Rouge Bucket List
Bank Image

Visiting Baton Rouge and not noticing the State Capitol is a challenge. Even so, many locals haven’t been in Huey P. Long’s tall edifice ever or since they were children. If you fall into that category, stop what you’re doing and get to the Capitol building between 8:30 and 3:30 for a tour.

The building is open from 8 till 4:30, but trust me on this — you want the tour. The visit and the tour are free. If you want to make a reservation for the tour, call 225-342-7317.

Finding a tour guide more excited about her job than the State Capitol’s guide, Tracy Tullier, might be more difficult than not noticing the Capitol on a visit to Baton Rouge. She vied for the position for five years before landing it 18 months ago. She drives over daily from her home in Breaux Bridge.

Louisiana State Capitol tour guide, Tracy Tullier, stands beside a statue of LaSalle. 

“This building has more questions than it does answers,” Tullier said before she starts listing facts and figures about the building that Long built:

  • Pelicans abound throughout the building. (A fun activity with kids would be to see how many pelicans they could count.)
  • There are 26 types of marble used throughout the building.
  • The beautiful ceilings of both the House and the Senate are made of bagasse, the dry pulpy residue left after the extraction of juice from sugar cane (which begs the question: Why aren’t we still using bagasse for the same or similar purposes?).
  • The bronze frieze that wraps its way around the uppermost walls of Memorial Hall chronicles the history of Louisiana, starting with Native Americans and ending with industry (with Long and the building’s architect thrown in for good measure).
  • The series of bronze elevator doors feature Louisiana governors. Long did not want to be in the bottom corner near the ground, according to Tullier. So he put multiple profiles of some governors so he could be in the top corner of one of the elevators. 

State Capitol elevator door

One of the elevator doors at the Louisiana State Capitol, which features former governors of the state of Louisiana. 

  • The elevator to the observation deck is open year round from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Igneous from Mt. Vesuvius lines the Rotunda or Memorial Hall.
  • A time capsule to be opened July 4, 2075, sits in a corner of Memorial Hall. Gov. Edwin Edwards was governor when the time capsule was placed there in 1976.
  • At the statue of Gov. Nicholls in Memorial Hall, he is memorialized in marble clearly without his left arm and hand. Turns out he was also missing most of his left leg, all lost to an accident in the Civil War. He had two slogans in his gubernatorial campaign: “Vote for what’s left of me.” and “Vote for the right, cause the left is gone.”
  • The chandeliers in Memorial Hall weigh two tons each. 

Flags over Louisiana

At least a dozen flags that have flown over Louisiana still fly in Memorial Hall. Currently, the flags hanging are:

Bronze relief map of Louisiana in state capitol

The three-ton relief map of the state of Louisiana in the floor of the Rotunda has the names of the 64 parishes written around it. 

In the House

  • The frieze in the House is in homage to swamps and includes turtles, palms and egrets. 
  • The House desks are the original desks, made of American walnut.
  • Eagle-eye guests can spot fossils in the igneous rocks, including a large cephalopod on one of the doorways into the House.

“We have the fossils and we have the bullet holes,” said Tullier on our tour, as we approached the spot where then Sen. Huey P. Long was shot in 1935.

Tullier approaches the telling of the shooting of Long by choosing her words carefully.

“In all, 61 shots were fired,” she said, explaining that there is speculation that bullets from Long’s security detail may have been the shot(s) that eventually led to his death.

Bullet hole in Louisiana State Capitol wall

One of the bullet holes that remains visible in the Louisiana State Capitol since the 1935 shooting of Huey Long. 

Tullier also explained that Long was taken to the local Charity Hospital, which Long had had built, but he preferred to wait for his personal physician to arrive from New Orleans. Unfortunately, according to Tullier, the physician had a car accident en route. The delay in medical care contributed to Long’s death two days later. 

Because of so many shots being fired, multiple stone panels were damaged. They remain in use, but have been moved to different places along the hallway.


The display at the site of the shooting of Huey Long at the Louisiana State Capitol. 

In the Senate, Tullier told the story of the 1970 Senate bombing and pointed out the debris still embedded in the stone and ceiling. 

From there, we headed to the gift shop and observation deck. The gift shop’s big sellers include a Christmas ornament of the building, Louisiana socks and a Huey P. Long bobble head doll. 

June Peay, the gift shop manager, has worked at the capitol for 48 years — and still loves her job. 

“What I love about this place is all the people from all over who visit,” she said as she walked to a guest sign-in book. “Look, just this morning we had guests from South Africa and here’s one from Australia — even still, you’d be surprised how many people have never been here.”

June Peay

June Peay, manager of the gift shop atop the Louisiana State Capitol, has worked at the State Capitol for 48 years. 

She explained that they also sell both U.S. and Louisiana state flags that have flown over the Capitol Building on certain days. Anyone can order one for a specific date and have it shipped. The gift shop is open from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Outside on the observation deck, Tullier and I made the full round, taking in all the sights. 

All in all, the tour of the Louisiana State Capitol was a ten out of ten experience. Highly recommend!


About Mary Weyand 11096 Articles
Mary founded Scoop Tour with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research. With ample knowledge about the Automobile industry, she also contributes her knowledge for the Automobile section of the website.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.