Louisiana State University (LSU) at Baton Rouge is the principal
campus of the State University system. The historic campus
consists of 46 buildings, with the majority of these dating
from the 1920s and 1930s.
Styled in a manner reminiscent of
the architecture of the Italian Renaissance, many of the buildings
achieve this effect with stucco over masonry construction
and similar features. The campus presently rests on its fourth
location; its first location in Pineville, Louisiana opened
in 1860 and was destroyed by a fire nine years later.
the fire, classes moved to the State School for the Deaf and
Dumb in Baton Rouge, which also no longer exists. The third
move for the University was to the Pentagon Barracks in 1886,
which were used as a stronghold by first Confederate then
Federal troops in the Civil War.
Finally in 1918 the University
purchased Gartness Plantation south of downtown Baton Rouge.
Growth of the campus was spurred by the ascension of Huey
P. Long to power in 1928. As governor and later U.S. Senator,
Long made the growth of LSU a special item of interest, launching
a major building campaign which continued through the 1930s.
The 46 historic buildings on the campus vividly reflect an
important period in American architecture. The eclectic style
they express has its roots in the French Beaux Arts system.
This architectural spirit of learnedly imitating the past
came to America in the late 19th century; LSU is by far the
largest of the dozen or so eclectic complexes in the state,
with 43 consistently styled buildings.
The Memorial Tower
on campus, built to resemble the historic clock tower at the
basilica in Vicenaza, and the Old President's Home, designed
in the Victorian Italianate Villa style, are but two examples
on campus reflecting this architectural movement The architect
who is primarily credited with the design of Louisiana State
University's campus is Theodore C. Link, a former student
of the Ecole des Beaux Arts.
Louisiana State University campus is located near the intesection
of Hwys. 30 and 42 in Baton Rouge, with the historic section
lying between Hwy. 30 and University Lake. The campus is open
to the public Monday-Friday for tours. For further information,
please call 225-388-3202.