Guests who wander beyond the neon sign that reads “The Tunnel” and into the basement at the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center now find themselves face-to-face with a unique part of Louisiana history previously closed to visitors.
Though built as a practical way to connect two hotels—The Heidelberg Hotel (now the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center) and The King Hotel (now the Hotel Indigo)—located across from each other on Lafayette Street, the tunnel gained notoriety because of rumors it was used by Gov. Huey P. Long in the early 1930s to escape the media and hide his mistresses from public view.
The tunnel was recently reimagined by the Hilton Capitol Center as an elegant space for private dinner parties and other upscale events. Meant to evoke feelings of the 1920s and 30s, it features exposed brick walls and an antique bar with an absinthe fountain, along with a portrait of Long and other historic images.
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