Every day is game day at this dazzling new Louisiana State Museum. More than 15,000 visitors from around the world visited the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum in Natchitoches during its inaugural year.
The building was ranked first in Azure Magazine’s 2013 Top 10 Architecture Projects list alongside projects such as the Louvre-Lens in France and The Shard in London. It’s magnificent example of contemporary architecture evoking the region’s rivers and plowed fields with sinuous molded stone interiors and earth-colored exterior sheathing.
The Sports Hall of Fame houses a collection of portraits and memorabilia celebrating the achievements of more than 300 Louisiana athletes, coaches and sports figures. Highlights include a football Grambling State University presented to Eddie Robinson, the winningest coach in college football history, a selection of baseballs signed by hall-of-fame inductee Mel Ott and Archie Manning’s number 8 New Orleans Saints jersey. Other exhibits and interactive media trace the history, variety and cultural significance of sports in Louisiana at all levels of play—amateur, scholastic and professional.
Also housed in the incredible building is the Northwest Louisiana History Museum which explores the rich heritage of the Cane River region. Visitors will find a fascinating array of artifacts, paintings, photographs, maps and other materials, many loaned from local collections, telling the story of how diverse peoples came together to create a rich and vital regional culture. Permanent exhibits explore the achievements of the great women of Louisiana, including folk artist Clementine Hunter, conservationist Caroline Dorman, historian Cammie G. Henry and author Kate Chopin.
In March Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne opened Faces of Natchitoches, an exhibition celebrating the Natchitoches Tri-Centennial. The exhibition invites you to explore history through the eyes of the town’s contemporary residents. The gallery includes images, artifacts, documents and memories contributed by the town’s residents. The result is a community’s portrait of itself, created by and for the people of Natchitoches.
The museum complex, located at 800 Front St. in downtown Natchitoces, is open 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Tuesday - Saturday and 1 p.m. - 5 p.m, Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, students and active military and children 12 years and under are free. For more infomation about the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and the Northwest Louisiana History museum call 318.357.2492 or visit www.crt.state.la.us/museum.