Every day is game day at this dazzling Louisiana State Museums, Sports Hall of Fame.
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 a 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.
The museum complex, located at 800 Front St. in downtown Natchitoches, 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 information about the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and the Northwest Louisiana History museum call 318.357.2492 or visit their website here.