Baton Rouge

Uncovering Hidden Treasures in Baton Rouge

circa1857On the way to visit my Aunt Lu’s childhood friend in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, an amazing sculpture garden appeared on what seemed to be nothing more than an ordinary salvage yard. Our curiosity got the best of us so we quickly pulled the car over and hopped out with our cameras locked and loaded.

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We later discovered that the salvage yard is actually Circa 1857, a unique collaborative co-op consisting of an antiques shop, an art shop, studios, a clothing store, and even a restaurant. The owners, Dennis Hargroder and Danny McGlynn, are Baton Rouge natives who had the vision of purchasing what was formerly the old Griffon’s Drugstore and turning it into a retail establishment. The partners gutted the old abandoned structure and remodeled the interior with salvaged pieces, including wood from barges dating back as far as the 1800s.

The artist behind the sculptures is Joseph (JoJo) Jilbert, a New Orleans transplant. You can read more about him and his mission to bring arts back into Baton Rouge schools here, here, and here.

Also housed on the lot is Yvette Marie’s Cafe, a restaurant recommended by my cousin. You can take a look inside Yvette Marie’s by visiting Fleur-de-Life’s blog.

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Photography: D. Bell 

Have you ever been to Baton Rouge, Louisiana?  What are your favorite hidden gems? Share them in the comments.

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