Tale of the Tape:
Baton Rouge City Population 2011: 230,139 (City); 808,242 (Metro) - (incorporated in 1817)
Jacksonville Pop. 2011: 827,908 (City); 1,360,251 (Metro-2011) - (incorporated in 1832)
City population 1950: Jacksonville (204,517); Baton Rouge (125,629)
City Land Area
Baton Rouge: 76.8 square miles Jacksonville: 757.7 square miles
Metropolitan Area Growth rate (2010-2011)
Baton Rouge: +0.72% Jacksonville: +1.09%
Urban Area Population (2010 census)
Baton Rouge: 594,309 (ranked 68 nationwide) Jacksonville: 1,065,219 (ranked 40 nationwide)
Urban Area Population Density (2010 census)
Baton Rouge: 1,620.3 people per square mile Jacksonville: 2,008.5 people per square mile
City Population Growth from 2000 to 2011
Baton Rouge: +2,321 Jacksonville: +92,405
Convention Center Exhibition Space:
Baton Rouge: Baton Rouge River Center (late 1970s) - 100,000 square feet Jacksonville: Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center (1985) - 78,500 square feet
Connected to or across the street from Convention Center:
Baton Rouge: N/A Jacksonville: N/A
Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Capitol - 450 feet Jacksonville: Bank of America Tower - 617 feet
Fortune 500 companies 2012 (City limits only):
Baton Rouge: Shaw Group(412) Jacksonville: CSX (226), Winn-Dixie Stores (363), Fidelity National Information Services (425), Fidelity National Financial (472)
Urban infill obstacles:
Baton Rouge: Interstates 10 and 110 limit connectivity between downtown and adjacent urban core neighborhoods. Jacksonville: State & Union Streets cut off downtown Jacksonville from Springfield.
Baton Rouge: Jacksonville: East Bay Street
Common Downtown Albatross:
Surface parking lots.
Who's Downtown is more walkable?
Baton Rouge: N/A Jacksonville: 88 out of 100, according to walkscore.com
About Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge (pron.: /ˌb tən ˈruːʒ/; French: B ton-Rouge [bɑtɔ̃ ʁuʒ] ( listen); Choctaw: Itta Homma; "red stick") is the capital of the U.S. state of Louisiana. Located in East Baton Rouge Parish, the city is the second largest in the state, and has a population of 229,553 people as of the 2010 census. The metropolitan area surrounding the city, known as Greater Baton Rouge, has a population of 802,484 people as of 2010. Baton Rouge is a major industrial, petrochemical, medical, and research center of the American South. The Port of Baton Rouge is the ninth largest in the United States in terms of tonnage shipped, and is the farthest upstream Mississippi River port capable of handling Panamax ships. The Baton Rouge area, also known as the "Capital Area", is located in the southeast portion of the state along the Mississippi River. The area owes its historical importance to its site upon Istrouma Bluff, the first bluff upriver from the Mississippi River Delta, which protects the citys residents from flooding, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. In addition to this natural barrier, the city has built a levee system stretching from the bluff southward to protect the riverfront and low-lying agricultural areas.
Completed in 1929, the 450’ tall Louisiana State Capitol is the tallest capitol building in the United States. The tower was modeled after the Nebraska State Capitol Building, which was still under construction at the time.
The 86-year-old Heidelberg Hotel building is now the Hilton Capitol Center. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982 in a successful attempt keep it from being demolished. The building stood empty for 21 years until Hilton opened in 2006 as a part of a $60 million restoration.
A seven floor, $17 million new Hampton Inn & Suites is under construction at the intersection of Lafayette and Main Streets. With the recent openings of the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center and Hotel Indigo, Lafayette Street is transforming into an urban lodging corridor.
The Shaw Center for the Arts is home to the LSU Museum of Art, LSU School of Art Gallery, the 325-seat Manship Theatre, classrooms, a rooftop sushi restaurant, and a park. The 125,000 square foot cultural complex opened in 2005.
The Mississippi River Riverfront
USS Kidd (DD-661) is a Fletcher-class destroyer that was the first ship of the United States Navy to be named after Rear Admiral Isaac C. Kidd. Kidd died on the bridge of his flagship USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor. The USS Kidd received eight battle stars for World War II service and four battle stars for Korean War service. Kidd arrived in Baton Rouge in 1982 to serve as a museum vessel.
Catfish Town was a $28 million festival marketplace downtown on the banks of the Mississippi that opened on July 4, 1984. It started out with a bang, attracting 250,000 people, but within 18 months, it was empty. Today, the former marketplace is the atrium for the Belle of Baton Rouge Casino.
North Boulevard Town Square is a spectacular greenspace development that has transformed the disjointed area between North Boulevard and River Road into a lively downtown center where the city's cultural and civic attractions come together for all to enjoy. While this area was previously unusable with virtually no tree cover to protect visitors from the relentless Louisiana heat, it has now become the city's premier social gathering place featuring more than an acre of open green space and innovative water features that help cool the landscape and a multitude of high-tech amenities to entertain visitors.
Images by Robert Mann