Shaw Center for the Arts Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Client Arts Block Development, LLC
Size 125,000 SF
Recognition: American Institute of Architects National Honor Award, AIA Gulf States Region Honor Award, AIA New England Region Honor Award, Boston Society of Architects Award for Design, Boston Society of Architects Higher Education Award Citation, ABC Chapter Award of Excellence

Contracted by The Arts Block, LLC, a not for profit corporation, The Lemoine Company began construction of the 125,000 square foot Shaw Center for the Arts on December 2, 2002. This vibrant community structure was brought together by the City of Baton Rouge, the State of Louisiana, Louisiana State University (LSU), the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, The Arts Council of Baton Rouge, and private entities as part of the revitalization of downtown Baton Rouge. Facing the Mississippi River and situated across from the historic Old State Capitol of Louisiana, The Shaw Center for the Arts is both a cultural center and landmark, housing museum and gallery spaces, performing arts theatre spaces, university-level classrooms, a community arts incubator, offices, and restaurants.

The existing site was comprised of parking lots and an old structure known as the “Auto Hotel”. Demolition of the parking lots began promptly| however, the historic 1930’s Art Deco “Auto Hotel” would fare a different destiny. In a commitment to uphold the rich history of the grounds, the north and west facades of the structure, consisting of masterfully placed brick and terra cotta, would be restored. These facades would remain the north and west limits of the new structure. Steel framing was anchored to concrete piers along the north and west elevations to preserve the three-story structure as the remaining concrete skeleton was meticulously cut away and removed from the site.

The “Auto Hotel”, now infused into the new structure, still bears its name and houses two restaurants, the LSU School of Art gallery, LSU Museum store, administrative offices for the Shaw Center, Arts Council of Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge Symphony, the LSU Museum of Art’s collection storage and administrative offices. At the roof of the Auto Hotel is a terrace and sculpture garden consisting of 1′ x 2′ Hanover architectural concrete pavers set on a screw-jack pedestal system, each meticulously adjusted to form a level paver deck over the sloped concrete roof structure. The structure also houses the 325-seat Multi-Purpose Manship Theatre.