Spanish Town is the Oldest Neighborhood of homes in Baton Rouge LA.
Spanish Town has a rich history. It was first established by Spanish families from the Canary Islands when the Louisiana Purchase took place. These Spanish people who were living at the time in Galvez Town in West Florida did not want to be part of the purchase, so the governor of Florida created the Spanish Town fort in the wilderness in what was to become Baton Rouge for them to live. The Civil War brought destruction to the area and many homes were destroyed and had to be rebuilt. Following the Civil War, Spanish Town became mostly populated by African Americans, many of them freed slaves looking for work in Baton Rouge.
The establishment of LSU strongly influenced the neighborhood from 1890 to 1920 when students and faculty of the University began to inhabit the area because of its closeness to campus. Then the construction of The Capitol in downtown Baton Rouge brought in congress with its lawyers and families of those working at the Capitol. You will now find artists, musicians, business men and women, politicians, lobbyists, teachers, physicians, actors, and students living in this area.
In 1978 Spanish Town area was added to the National Register of Historic Places which provided funding to preserve and restore its historic structures. If you look on a map you won’t find a subdivision called Spanish Town. Instead it is formed from a collection of small subdivisions such as Aubert Town, Lake Park, university Park North, World Place, and Old Spanish Town. Most homes are over 100 years old having been built from 1823 to 1900.
Today Spanish Town is a series of tiny, narrow streets with a quaint corner grocery store and coffee shops and bars that are within walking distance of the Louisiana State Capitol building. There is a mixture of single family, apartments, duplexes, and businesses. The construction includes many wooden buildings with pier foundations which were common to allow air flow under the floors to cool residents during the hot, humid summers.
The official mascot of Spanish Town is the pink flamingo. You will see many of the 6 foot to 8 foot wooden statues decorating yards and porches in the area. Each year these large wooden statues are made and then the “flock” arrives at night in The Capitol Lake each Mardi Gras season. You will find people in boats or swimming to capture one of the flock to bring home to their yard or porch.
The slogan in Spanish Town is ‘poor taste is better than no taste”, a phrase carrying on its sarcastic humor. The Spanish Town floats are decorated with pink flamingos as well. This parade is an adult themed parade with satirical themes poking fun at public figures, politicians, social trends, sex, and just about anything. It is not recommended for families.
If you like downtown living, find proximity to the capitol and downtown museums and lakes a nice place to call home, want to live in a diverse and eclectic community, start your home search here