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Bill and Nancy Jensen Collection

Identifier: brfa087


  • 1972

Biographical / Historical

Bill and Nancy Jensen owned the Pott's House and were intrinsic to the development of the Historic Spanish Town Civic Association (Friends of Historic Spanish Town). They were leaders in the preservation movement in Baton Rouge as well as the revival of Downtown. These works represent their efforts and interests surrounding these topics.

North Street in Baton Rouge Louisiana was one of the original east/west thoroughfares in the municipality. As the metropolitan center grew, the use of automobiles increased and the availability of public transportation decreased, a call to widen this egress into the business district began. In 1968, the Downtown Street Improvement Program was implemented. The plan called for the “widening and improving of 19 streets through property owner participation and public funds and removal of on street parking from these streets”. North Street was slated to grow from two lanes to four from Lafayette Street to N. 9th Street (the I-110 Expressway). Residents along the areas targeted for improvements began to challenge not only the assessments placed upon them by the City Parish government, but the need for such a project citing the adverse effects on property values as well as the unfair financial burden placed upon them. “The Battle of North Street” pitted property owners along North Street against the City Parish Government and eventually ended up in the Louisiana Supreme Court. The first suits were filed in 1968 and the issue was not resolved until sometime in 1974 or 1975. These papers reflect the efforts of property owner William Jensen (then owner of the Historic Pott’s house located at 801 North Street) to fight the widening and the assessments.


4 box

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Darryl Gissel donated the North Street widening materials to the Baton Rouge Room Archives at the East Baton Rouge Parish Library in July of 2012. This part of the collection was processed by Melissa Eastin in August of 2012. The remainder of the collection was donated in May of 2021 by Nancy Jensen and processed by Melissa Eastin in May of 2021. A portion of these materials is available on the Baton Rouge Room Digital Archive.

Existence and Location of Copies

Materials removed, duplicated in Municipal Documents:

Community Renewal Program Impact of Substantial Land Use Changes William Lee Jensen of the Community Renewal Program City-Parish Planning Commission 1972 5.6

Housing Rehabilitation in the Capital Region Socioeconomic Study 8b (SE-8b) June 1971 Capital Region Planning Commission Capital Region Planning Commission 1971 6.6

Comprehensive Plan for the State of Louisiana Introduction, Land Use: Urban, Wildlife, Agriculture, Transporation, Forests, Marshes and Waterways, Urban, Recreation, Projected Land Uses (11 Volumes) Louisiana Department of Public Works by Associated Louisiana Planning Con. State of Louisiana n.d. R5 8.4

Historic Baton Rouge: An Urban Planning Perspective for the Preservation of its Heritage Community Renewal Program March 1970 City of Baton Rouge Parish of East Baton Rouge City Parish Planning Commission 1970 6.3

Historic Preservation As Part of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan City of Baton Rouge Parish of East Baton Rouge City Parish Planning Commission 1977 6.2 2 copies

Beauregard Town In Depth Study City of Baton Rouge Parish of East Baton Rouge City Parish Planning Commission 1977 5.5 6 copies

Riverside 1950-1974 A Special Public Interest District City of Baton Rouge Parish of East Baton Rouge City Parish Planning Commission 1974 6.3

Highland Road Land Use and Image Study Louisiana State University Graduate Urban Design Studio City Parish Planning Commission 1985 6.3 2 copies

Spanish Town Report on an Older Neighborhood City of Baton Rouge Parish of East Baton Rouge City Parish Planning Commission 1973 6.3 4 copies

The Brad and Nancy Jensen Collection
Melissa Eastin
May, 2021
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the East Baton Rouge Parish Library Special Collections Repository

7711 Goodwood Blvd.
Baton Rouge La. 70806 USA