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Downtown Donaldsonville


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WAFB TV in BR did a nice news story on downtown Donaldsonville! I had no idea it had the states 2nd Largest Historic District!!! What is taking place in this small town is truly remarkable IMO!

Big changes underway for downtown Donaldsonville

It's the second largest historic district in Louisiana, behind the New Orleans French Quarter. Now, the city is going back to its architectural roots to attract big business and visitors to the 50 square block area. John Rodgers, Executive Director for the Downtown Development District, says the city plans to make downtown Donaldsonville the gem of the Mississippi.

"Twenty two buildings are getting ready to start renovations," Rodgers explains. The old service station is undergoing a major transformation. Its owner is getting it ready for what will become a coffee stop or gourmet pizza kitchen.

Railroad Avenue, also known as the commercial drive, is flourishing. These days you'll find people walking, shopping and eating at some of the already open venues that have already become part of Donaldsonville's deep history.

Another element to downtown Donaldsonville will be the addition of a levee trail - scheduled to be finished this September - that extends from the downtown historic district all the way to Bayou Lefourche. "It'll be brick pavers and walkways," says Rodgers, "a scenic overlook where you can look out across the Mississippi.


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More on Donaldsonville.... a small town >pop. 7,605 (2000 census) on the westbank of the Mississippi River; 25 miles south of Baton Rouge. Actually briefly served as Louisiana's Capital City in 1830-1831 after New Orleans was deemed too noisy! Donaldsonville is in the heart of Plantation Country.


Here is more...

Downtown Development hopeful in 2009

The Main Street Program is considered to be the most successful downtown revitalization program in the history of the United States, with over four billion invested back into small downtown communities since its inception in the early 1980s. The Main Street Donaldsonville program has achieved considerable success within its first year back on the program, and several of their ongoing and upcoming projects have been used as examples for other Main Street communities within the state.

The DDD has worked hard to strengthen the relationship with the film industry in the state. Their has been several movies filmed in the city in the past year, and will be a few more in 2009.


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  • 1 year later...

Tough times for one historical downtown district

DONALDSONVILLE, LA (WAFB) - Times are tough for one historical downtown district. After dropping a lot of dollars on downtown Donaldsonville, businesses just did not see the growth they hoped for. "There used to be busloads of tourists that would come into town and that kind of dropped right off after Katrina. Slowly we've been seeing that again," said Doyle.

Farrell had no choice but to close the Art Bank. The Capitol Restaurant and a couple of boutiques have folded as well. Perhaps the most shocking to the community was the museum. It served as a tourist welcome center, but it also closed.

"We were so sad to see that go," said Doyle.Doyle says an economic restructuring committee is working on finding new ways to use the empty space. In the meantime, businesses that have managed to stick around are making an extra effort to keep people coming back. "We just tried to make sure we continue having new and exciting things in the store and there again, customer service. That has to be on top," said one downtown businesswoman.


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Donaldsonville’s Crescent Park in line for upgrades.....Second phase of upgrades links Donaldsonville to river


A farmer’s market, a new festival pavilion and improved seating and lighting are part of a plan to upgrade Crescent Park, which dates back to the 1800s. The park, which sits on Mississippi Street facing the Mississippi River levee, is slated to receive upgrades that will renew its identity as a gateway into the city from the Mississippi River.



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Donaldsonville to spend $1M to put ‘rich history’, jazz music background on display in downtown's ‘economic revitalization’

The sleepy little town of Donaldsonville, with the third largest historic district in the state after New Orleans and Natchitoches, is waking up.



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