Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Woman falls in love with the 'abandoned Baton Rouge'

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BATON ROUGE- One man's trash is another man's treasure, we've all heard it before, but one out of towner is proving that through art. A pet project now reminding us of what once was.

Dilapidated, rundown, blighted there are dozens of words that could be used to describe buildings like these all across Baton Rouge.

Once thriving businesses, now shuttered, and unkept. To many of us that see them every day, they might be considered eyesores for one northerner, they proved to be a source of inspiration.

“It's been unusual, but a great way to learn about the history of Baton Rouge and the people here,” said Colleen Kane author of Abandoned Baton Rouge.

New Jersey native, Colleen Kane, moved to the capital city in 2007. It wasn't long after that places like the famous Lincoln theater, and Bellemont Hotel caught her eye. Not for their lack of TLC but for their colorful pasts.

Late last year, she released a book, detailing her decade-long project exploring and highlighting spots that have seen the firsthand effects of father time.

“It just sort of stirs up a story I just don't have the parts to,” said Kane.

Those missing parts came from residents that can recall days when these buildings were vibrant parts of the city.

“A lot of people respond with their memories, their personal memories of the place,” said Kane.

Some of the places featured in the book are now things of the past, but others like the Huey P Long Fieldhouse and Government Street electric depot are in the midst of much-needed renovation and rejuvenation something Kane is glad to see

“Once I started caring about these places, I think occasionally I'd be like 'hey somebody, can somebody please buy this? And do something with this building? There probably really cheap fixer-uppers,” said Kane.

She's back living in New York City, but Colleen still makes trips to Baton Rouge and those buildings she's formed a bond with.


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