On September 21, 1847, Baton Rouge donated a piece of land for the Louisiana State Capital which would be built to resemble a gothic style castle.
In 1862, during the Civil War, Union Admiral David Glasgow Farragut captured New Orleans, during the Battle of New Orleans, and the capital of Baton Rogue soon after.
The Union troops first used the “old gray castle,” as it was once described, as a prison for captured Confederate troops. Later in the war, the castle was used as a garrison for African-American troops under General Culver Grover.
While used as a garrison the Old Louisiana State Capitol caught fire twice. After the second fire, the structure was abandoned by Union troops. By 1882 the state house was totally reconstructed by architect and engineer William A. Freret, who is credited with the installation of the spiral staircase and stained glass dome, which are the focal points of the interior.
The refurbished state house remained in use until 1932, when it was abandoned for the New State Capitol building. The Old State Capitol Building has since been used to house federally chartered veteran’s organizations, and the seat of the Works Progress Administration. Restored in the 1990s, the former Capitol Building is now a museum.
When the French established the area of Louisiana as a colonial territory, the area of Biloxi, Mississippi served as a capital of the French settlement. In 1722, under the second administration of Bienville, the French moved the capital to New Orleans. After Louisiana became a state, the capital was later moved to Baton Rouge, where a gothic style capital Building was built in the late 1840s. However, when the Union army captured the capital building in 1862, the building caught fire twice under their command. This for a period of decades after the war the State Capital rotated between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.