U.S. Statehouse Series - Louisiana, The Pelican State - State and Federal Communications

January 6, 2015  •  

U.S. Statehouse Series – Louisiana, The Pelican State

Welcome back to yet another episode of the Statehouse Series. In this episode, we will journey south to Louisiana to learn about its capitol’s history.

Towering at 34 feet tall, Louisiana’s statehouse, although one of nine capitols without a dome, stands as the tallest state capitol. Recognizing this feature, architects added an observation deck on the 27th floor where one can look out over the meticulously managed, Versailles-like gardens. Along with the garden, many parts of the building symbolize Louisiana’s French roots with this style. However, the American roots can also be seen through the building’s Art Deco, a characteristic shared with the Chrysler building in New York and Cincinnati’s Union Terminal.

A grand building deserves a grand entrance, and so 49 steps lead to the main entrance of the statehouse, each step engraved with a state in the order in which they were admitted into the United States. Consequently, since there are only 49 steps, the last step features both Alaska and Hawaii. Adding to the building’s historic significance, the floor of the main hallway is made from lava from Mount Vesuvius, which buried the lost city of Pompeii in 79 AD.

Although many people worked to construct the building, it was beloved Louisiana Governor Huey P. Long who created the original ideas for the statehouse. Unfortunately, he was assassinated in 1935 during his presidential campaign. Yet his love for the statehouse was so much that his body was buried on its grounds, marked by his statue that still stands today.

We hope you enjoyed this series episode of the Louisiana statehouse. Be sure to visit again when we travel to another state capitol!

Photo of the Louisiana Statehouse by Farragutful on Wikimedia Commons.

The U.S. Statehouse Series is a project of the State and Federal Communications team of summer interns: Alessandra Dickos, Zack Koozer, Elaina Laikos, and Rachel Rodgers.

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