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May 29, 2008

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The Mighty Favog

Colleen,

You might want to check this out . . . might find it verrrrrry interestink:

http://revolution-21.blogspot.com/2008/05/dear-baton-rouge-ive-been-trying-to.html

Thanks for this blog . . . no matter how ashamed it makes me as a BR native.

Gotta run. Now, as an Omaha resident, it's almost time to hide from the tornadic thunderstorms headed toward my fair city this evening.

The Mighty Favog

Colleen,

You might want to check this out . . . might find it verrrrrry interestink:

http://revolution-21.blogspot.com/2008/05/dear-baton-rouge-ive-been-trying-to.html

Thanks for this blog . . . no matter how ashamed it makes me as a BR native.

Gotta run. Now, as an Omaha resident, it's almost time to hide from the tornadic thunderstorms headed toward my fair city this evening.

Alistair

Seems like there are a lot of business owners in BR who are unaware of the fact that we have Goodwill stores. I am sure that any one of them around town would have gladly taken all that furniture and given the Bellemont's proprietor a nice little tax deduction receipt to boot.

Perhaps we should take out ads alerting these businesses to Goodwill's existence.

Oswald

Ah, the Bellemont. I remember back in the early 1980's, my grandparents' home burned and they lived in one of the Bellemont's suites while their home was being renovated. It just so happens that Richard Pryor and Jackie Gleason both lived at the Bellemont during the shooting of "The Toy", which was being filmed in Baton Rouge at the same time. I spent a few nights there with my grandparents, and I remember how nice it was. How far that place has fallen...

Anyway, keep 'em comin', Colleen!!

Leslie @ the oko box

I wonder if the mold came with the hurricane? Since Baton Rouge was without electric for days on end too - in that louisiana humidity nothing modern made with air conditioning in mind would ever survive without it, within days a clean place would turn to musty hell. Louisiana is just a f-en hot box, and anyone who disputes that has been so effected by the humid heat that they've gone completely insane.
I love this blog about all these abandoned buildings and their furnishings. The years I lived in BR i would marvel at the sprawl that had occured and how vacant it all was of life. (Anyone who wants to dispute my claim thinking I too am a northern, step off, cause I am born & bred in New Orleans) ;) While there may be alot of pazazz and culture in the area, modern life has rather sucked much of it dry. Hence the swallowing of historical buildings only to pop up the Fugly ones that end up having dang trees growing out their roof!

lucy stone

the belmont has always reminded me of the hotel where ben and mrs. robinson rendez vous in the graduate. it's also, as far as i recall, the site of my first public lsd experience. we used to have high school dances there up until the mid 90s - when the hotel became too dodgy for the br upper class to be comfortable with their children going there. this particular year (it was 94 or 95), they had a child beauty pageant going on the same night as our homecoming dance. all i remember is frantic stage mothers yelling at drunk, self entitled high school kids and little jon benet ramsey clones running around all over the place. the large pushy women, the heavily made up infants, the poofy dresses and rhinestones and boas were all too much for those of us on hallucinogenic drugs to handle. we left pretty quickly, but now that i'm a sociologist, i kind of wish i had been sober enough to really observe that collision of class and culture. because when am i ever going to witness those two groups interacting ever again?

Big Daddy

Those Chippendale chairs and armoire are kinda cool.

That's sad to know it was all hoity toity once and now is a mold farm.

Kartek

Maybe it has to do with what side the window faces on. If it's the side that gets the rain hitting on it, it may be more humid in the room. if it's the non-rain side, it's drier in the room and less mold. or it may just be busted plumbing

Michael

I remember Bush the elder, then-VP-subsequently-41 headlined a fundraiser at the Bellemont in either 1985 or '86...my first experience with the concept of "free speech zones" as the police and associated security exiled us to the right of way on the nearby overpass/cloverleaf.

In 1999 I went to a gunshow in the Great Hall, but that was more to gawk than anything else (I'd just moved back to the Gret Stet and wanted to immerse myself in SCOTS, as it were...that week I also went to the local dirt track). That said, it made for an interesting dynamic, that is, the mix and match between the vendors and consumers.

You can google around and find some wonderful postcards of an earlier era for the Bellemont, if you're interested.

Anonymous

The motel was functional during Katrina. Many stayed. I know because a friend of mine booked rooms for her 14 family members from New Orleans. He made the reservations using his credit card then drove over to check in and get keys. They had cancelled his reservation and given it to a higher bidder, leaving his family (including 80 yr old parents) with no place to stay.
That mold is the result of air conditioning being turned off. It only takes a few days of no ventilation for it to grow.

Larry Daniel

I stayed there as late as '97 when a friend whose a/c unit had gone out. He was taking care of an elderly family member and decided to hold up there for a couple of nights till the A/C unit could be fixed. I had worked there a decade earlier when the place was still owned by the builder's family, so I remember the last bits of heyday for the old establishment. I was a security guard there in '88 and some of '89 and knew the place inside and out. Some 8 years later, the place had really fallen down. Whole sections were closed when only 8 years earlier they were fully functioning. As I remember, only the two center (and newest) complexes were funtioning while the rest was falling apart.
To the best of my knowledge, The A.C.Lewis(initial builder)family had lost or sold the place to Hibernia Bank. I was present when the representative of the management company hired by Hibernia took possession and met with the then present General Manager. All was amicable and all were promised no changes in personnel or structure. A month later middle management as well as the GM were gone. A month later my company lost it's security contract and I was gone. After that, the aura of the place had changed. It was no longer the businessman's oasis and I saw this as the beginning of the end. Eventually the place was sold again, and it needed a lot of maintenance rework back then. (The roof was leaking in several places back then.)I drove through about a month ago one morning and remembered all the good stories I could share. I'm on your facebook friends list if you ever want to hear any. Cheers, Larry Daniel

Drake Adams

We used to go to the Bellmont Hotel back in the 70's. ('72-'74) They had a great dance hall with good bands playing every week-end and week-night. The place would be packed. Lots of good memories. Anybody else party at the Bellmont? Drake Adams

Everett Byrom III

Incredible stories ya'll. Thanks for sharing them. I am working on a movie which is shooting At the Bellemont now and the mystery of this place led me to research it's history. The majority of the rooms are boarded up now but our production had to gain access to run power to the generator. Two weeks ago while at lunch, I decided to explore a few of the rooms that weren't boarded up and came across a room that had an old straw cowboy hat, some boxes and a family Bible stuck between the seat cushions. I thumbed through it and there were notes, names, marraige and child birth dates. I had to know to whom it belonged so I researched the mans name but came up with nothing. I researched his sons name and found only a Nevada church membership registry. I called the church and left a voice mail regarding the matter. Two weeks later and I received a phone call from the mans son. He lives in Nevada but no longer attends that church as he lives 500 miles away. The church had contacted him with my number and today he called me. Tomorrow is our last day of shooting here so thankfully I was able to remove the boards and retrieve the Bible. I am shipping the old Bible to him tomorrow. I'll never forget this place. It's a terrific location and I hope to return some day.

www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1256443932

Didn't Bette Davis and Joan Crawford stay here during the making of the movie Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte? Crawford eventually walked off the film.

BRSam

The Great Hall and Bellemont Hotel were purchased a decade ago by a businessman from India. For years, this owner refused to maintain or sell the property. Fairly recently, he did sell the property; however, it was in such disrepair that restoring it to its previous state would be an almost herculean task. Driving down Airline, on a daily basis, I watched this beautiful place slowly deteriorate. I always hoped that he would sell to someone who wanted to see The Great Hall thrive once more...before it was too late. Unfortunately, this was not the case.

Terry Lee Ryan

Man...I sure miss the good ole days, I'm Terry Lee Ryan, I use to perform there five nights a week from 1980-1985 with my band called "Gold" or later "Foxfire"..we had some great times!!
I would love to hear some others out there that remember the good ole days...
Unfortunately, I had to relocate to Virginia about 11 hours before Katrina hit!...I'm still in Va. and performing Nightly...getting all my New Orleans stuff out there..

TerryLeeRyan.com

Jamie Gail Brookover

This breaks my heart. My mom and I stayed here in 1995. I have heard its since been torn down. What a shame.

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