Roseland Terrace

Baton Rouge City, East Baton Rouge Parish, LA

HomeWhats NewSite IndexContactSearch

The Roseland Terrace Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. [1]

The Roseland Terrace Historic District is a 3 by 6 block area located approximately 1 mile east of the original town of Baton Rouge, which at the turn-of-the-century extended only a few blocks in from the Mississippi River levee. In fact, Roseland Terrace was considered by many at the time as being "just too far out." Although it began in 1911 as a separate entity, it is now part of a more or less continuous grid of mixed commercial/residential development which stretches from the Mississippi River to the east for approximately 5 miles. Beyond that, suburban development extends an additional 10 miles to date. At present development is continuing eastward at a rapid pace.

Roseland Terrace is relatively well-defined because it is faced on all sides by newer development. The district itself is residential in character and dates from between 1911 and 1930. To the west is an area of mixed residential and commercial development most of which is post-1930. To the east is Drehr Place, which is, generally speaking, characterized by more prestigious, largely 1930's and '40's residential development. To the south is a residential area characterized by medium sized 1930's, '40's, and '50's development. This area also contains a municipal park. To the north is an area of mixed residential/commercial development most of which is post-1930.

The Roseland Terrace Historic District is significant in the area of architecture as an example of an early-twentieth century residential neighborhood. It retains 88% of its pre-1930 housing stock. Moreover, with close to 300 well developed bungalows in a concentrated area, Roseland Terrace is one of the best preserved early-twentieth century neighborhoods in Louisiana outside of New Orleans. The overwhelming majority of the structures in the district exemplify the classic bungalow style. These houses are characterized by broad openness, elaborate transfer of weight, massing that hugs the ground, and the bold expression of structural members. Because of this, Roseland Terrace is an excellent representation of the bungalow period, which is an important chapter in the history of American domestic architecture.

Roseland Terrace is also significant in the area of community planning. It was Baton Rouge's first subdivision, and as such it began a trend in suburban growth which has come to characterize the sprawling city. It is also a fine representative example of the type of early-twentieth century bedroom suburb which sprang up around major eastern cities in the early-twentieth century. These were designed to give working men in the cities a more rural domestic life. Roseland Terrace exemplifies the early-twentieth century "garden suburb" with its small lots, liberal planting of trees along streets, and rear alleyways. In addition, it is finer than most because utility poles were deliberately placed (and are still located) along the rear alleyways. Thus the bucolic atmosphere is preserved and enhanced. Roseland Terrace was Baton Rouge's first planned subdivision as well as its most significant reflection of the ideas and concepts which ultimately led to the Garden City Movement.

Baton Rouge's first subdivision, Roseland Terrace, was "staked out" in 1911 by the Zadok Realty Company, which had bought the land in 1910 for the sum of $50,000. Extant photographs reveal that prior to this time the area had been a racetrack and had a decidedly rural character. The fence surrounding the track was covered with wild Cherokee roses. Stories are told that people warned Zadok Realty that the lots would never sell because they were too far out in the country.

A citywide contest was held to name the development, and the winning entry was Roseland Terrace, in honor of the Cherokee roses in the area. To continue this theme, the streets were given flower names. As has been mentioned elsewhere, the Zadok Realty Company made a deliberate effort to preserve and enhance the bucolic nature of the area by, for example, planting trees and hiding the telephone poles in the back alleyways. The company's ads boasted that there would be no telephone poles in the streets, but instead that they would be placed in the alleyways behind the residences so that everyone would be spared from "an unsightly conglomeration of poles and wires." Another ad guaranteed prospective buyers freedom from "a century's haphazard, careless growth."

Zadok Realty Company's promotional campaign was obviously successful because after two years they had sold 408 lots at prices ranging from $150-$500. As can be seen in the extant houses in the district, Roseland Terrace hit its peak of popularity in the late teens and the 1920's. By around 1930 development was virtually complete.

  1. National Register of Historic Places, Roseland Terrace Historic District, selections from nomination document, 1982, National Park Service, Washington, D.C.; source:

Nearby Neighborhoods

Street Names
18th Street South • 22nd Street South • Bynum Avenue • Camelia Avenue • Cherokee Street • Government Street • Myrtle Avenue • Oleander Street • Olive Street • Park Boulevard • Pruyn Street • Route 73 • Tulip Street • Wisteria Street

HomeWhats NewSite IndexContact
PrivacyDisclaimer • © 1997-2024, The Gombach Group