On July 2nd, the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest History Museum marked its first anniversary as the centerpiece of downtown Natchitoches. More than 15,000 visitors from around the world have toured this magnificent example of contemporary architecture and explored its extraordinary collection of sports and historical artifacts. “This museum celebrates great athletes, great moments in Louisiana sports history and the rich heritage of the Cane River region,” Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne said. “It’s been a successful first year and look forward to hosting more visitors next year in this magnificent facility.”
Highlights from this year include The Faces of Natchitoches exhibition held in conjunction with the city’s Tricentennial in March and Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Chairman Doug Ireland presenting History of the Hall of Fame in September. Motor sports legend L.W. “Knot” Farrington visited in October to speak about the world land speed record he broke at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, and the modified 1956 Ford Thunderbird he drove is on permanent display at the museum.
The Museum was named the Top Architecture Project in the World in 2013 by Azure magazine, beating other major projects in London and Paris. Other honors include Interior Design Magazine’s 2013 Best of the Year award and the World Architecture Festival listed the museum among the Best in the World. Regional awards include the 2014 Tourism Advancement Award from the Natchitoches Chamber of Commerce.
Community partnerships played a major role in the museum’s inaugural year. It partnered with the Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches to host several Tricentennial exhibits. The Natchitoches Historic Foundation and Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches also included the museum on their annual tour of historic homes.
The museum’s first year success would have not been possible without the continued support and fundraising efforts of The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Foundation and Friends of Louisiana Sports and History.
The museum complex is located at 800 Front St. in downtown Natchitoches. For more information 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.