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Explore 5 Historic Event Venues in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Louisiana’s Old State Capitol

Capital cities have long been important gathering spots in the U.S., and consequently, pack a lot of history. This is true for Louisiana’s state capital, Baton Rouge, where 300-plus years of history can be discovered throughout many of its venues. From the political turmoil of past governors to secret passageways and the bones of old structures repurposed into something new, the “Red Stick” city can give your events many stories to tell. 
Looking to add a dose of history and intrigue to your next meeting or event in Baton Rouge? Tap one of these captivating historic venues.

Louisiana’s Old State Capitol

Louisiana's Old State Capitol Exterior
Louisiana's Old State Capitol Exterior.
Photo Credit: Jordan Hefler

Louisiana’s Old State Capitol dates back to the 1800s when it was first built as the official statehouse for Louisiana, following the capital city move from New Orleans. The building has seen it all, enduring fires and destruction throughout the years and being the site of political unrest, including the location where Louisiana’s legislature voted to secede from the U.S. in 1861 and was later occupied by Union troops, under which fires erupted and only the exterior walls remained. Following rebuilding, it would see Gov. Huey Long sworn in and then voted to be impeached (which was eventually blocked).

Following the drama with Gov. Long, Louisiana’s Old State Capitol was replaced by the new Capitol building, which was constructed in 1932 and is now the tallest in the country. 
The Old State Capitol was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976 and has gone through extensive restorations.

Today, groups can peruse exhibits documenting the state’s political history or can rent it after hours for events—the Gothic architecture and stained-glass dome provide a beautiful backdrop for gatherings. The historic venue can host a variety of events including wedding ceremonies and receptions, galas, banquets, fundraisers, meetings and corporate luncheons for up to 350 guests.

[Related: Historic Venues in Iowa for Hosting Showstopping Events]

Red Stick Social

Red Stick Social
Red Stick Social. Photo Credit: Collin Richie

Though Red Stick Social is a relatively new concept and multi-use venue in Baton Rouge, the building in which it is housed, the Electric Depot, is rooted in history. The 103-year-old historic building formerly housed the Baton Rouge Electric Co. plant.

Exposed brick revealing the old bones of the building adds charm to the five-level Red Stick Social, which comes with a full-service restaurant, two bars, a rooftop lounge, a large live music venue, state-of-the-art Brunswick bowling alleys with four lanes in the VIP/private events level and a meeting area with breakouts. Groups of more than 600 people can meet at Red Stick Social, making it one of the largest social houses, restaurant, bar and group meeting and event facilities in Baton Rouge.

[Related: Unique Offsite Venues Showcase Baton Rouge and Shreveport Culture]

Old Governor’s Mansion

Old Governors Mansion
Old Governors Mansion.
Photo Credit: Visit Baton Rouge

The Old Governor’s Manion is often referred to as “Louisiana’s White House,” and for good reason—the home is a replica of the actual White House in Washington, D.C. Former Gov. Long, who had aspirations to be president, wanted to be familiar with the White House for when he hoped it became his home, and so he confidently ordered the construction of the building in 1930. It then served as home to nine governors of Louisiana until 1963.

The mansion reopened to the public in 1999 after an extensive restoration and features furnishings and artifacts from nine Louisiana former governors, a grand ballroom, French wallpaper, crystal chandeliers and a marble staircase. Now on the National Register of Historic Places, the historic house makes for an elegant event venue.

Planners can also work with the venue to organize group tours.

The Tunnel at Hilton Capitol Center

Gov. Long has certainly left his mark on the city of Baton Rouge, also providing fame for the connecting tunnel between the King Hotel and Heidelberg Hotel in the 1930s. While the tunnel was meant to be used by hotel workers for both properties for room service, valet and laundry services, rumors circulated that Long used the tunnel not only to escape media attention, but also to meet his mistress in secret. Long often stayed at the Heidelberg Hotel and conducted business from his suite there during his looming impeachment.

Now, The Tunnel is an event space within Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center, activated as a speakeasy-style space throughout the year featuring light bites and 1920s cocktails. Groups can rent The Tunnel for intimate multi-course dinner events for up to 20, or up to 50 for a reception. 

Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center is located downtown on the banks of the Mississippi River, just two blocks from Louisiana’s Old State Capitol. Including The Tunnel, the hotel offers more than 34,000 square feet of meeting and event space and 291 guest rooms.

[Related: Past Meets Present at These Upgraded Southern Hotel Properties]

Baton Rouge Gallery

Baton Rouge Gallery (BRG) has been celebrating local and contemporary art for more than 50 years and is among the longest-standing artist cooperative organizations in the U.S. But the building in which it is housed goes back even further.

The facility BRG is located in was originally built in 1927 as a pool house for a segregated City Park Pool. The pool was closed in 1963 following historic efforts of African American activists during the Baton Rouge Swim-In, which was aimed to desegregate Baton Rouge’s public pools. 

What’s Old Is New

The Estuary at The Water Sanctuary
The Estuary at The Water Sanctuary. Photo Credit: Collin Richie

The Estuary on Water Campus in Baton Rouge may be a new structure, but it was built on the historic Baton Rouge City Dock that was completed in 1926. Water is still central to this area. The Water Campus is a $60 million urban development in downtown Baton Rouge, home of the Center for Coastal & Deltaic Solutions, the Water Institute of The Gulf, the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, and the LSU Center for River Studies. This world-class research and engineering center serves as a hub to “develop innovative solutions for challenges facing coastal communities.”

The Estuary is the development’s premier conference and event venue and offers 6,000 square feet of space with scenic views of the Mississippi River. Spaces include five conference rooms, a prefunction area, a terrace overlooking the Water Campus and the Newton B. Thomas Landing, which stretches out over the river for impressive events at sunset.

Read this next: The Latest Property Openings and Renovations in Louisiana (2023)

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About the author
Danielle LeBreck | Senior Content Director

Danielle started at Meetings Today in March 2019 after seven years of editorial experience in the travel and food industries. She oversees all of the destination content for Meetings Today and collaborates with the team on digital content strategy and content marketing initiatives.