Sep 20, 2023 - Development

Louisiana Civil Rights Museum to open in New Orleans soon

Image shows a rendering of the inside of the Louisiana Civil Rights Museum

This rendering shows the entrance to the Louisiana Civil Rights Museum in New Orleans. Image: Courtesy of Louisiana State Museums

The Louisiana Civil Rights Museum will open in New Orleans in October, officials announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: It will be the first museum in Louisiana solely dedicated to memorializing and honoring the heroes of the state's Civil Rights Movement.

Driving the news: The museum will open Oct. 8 inside the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, according to a statement from Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, whose office oversees tourism in the state.

  • "Visitors will follow civil rights 'pathways' revealing how a particular right was denied to Black people in Louisiana, and how activism, demonstrations and more led to real people dedicating themselves and their lives to making rights real," Nungesser's office says.

By the numbers: Admission will be free for the first week and ticketed after that.

  • The hours are 2-5pm on Oct. 8 and 9am-4:30pm Oct. 9-15 at Hall A of the convention center.
  • Leaders are expected to release more details about the museum and ticket prices on Monday.

Catch up quick: The Louisiana Legislature approved the creation of the museum in 1999, according to | The Times-Picayune.

Photos hows people standing outside the National Civil Rights Museum and looking at the balcony where Martin Luther King Jr. was killed
Visitors tour the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, as they stand outside Room 306. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on the balcony, which is now part of the National Civil Rights Museum. Photo: Seth Herald/AFP via Getty Images

Meanwhile, Louisiana's neighbors have built their own museums.

Zoom in: Shreveport residents also are constructing a civil rights cultural museum and institute for north Louisiana.

The big picture: The Louisiana Civil Rights Museum is part of the ongoing redevelopment of the riverfront, which Mayor LaToya Cantrell says is crucial to getting the city ready to host the Super Bowl in 2025.

  • Other proposals include a $160 million museum dedicated to Louisiana's music heritage and a $30 million plan from Audubon Nature Institute to convert the Governor Nicholls Street and Esplanade Avenue wharves into event spaces.
  • Developers also are envisioning a Topgolf facility, a USL soccer stadium, shopping, a hotel, a movie theater and housing. (renderings)
Photos shows the new lobby of the Audubon Insectarium and Aquarium in New Orleans
Audubon built a two-story, triangle-shaped lobby for the newly renovated Audubon Aquarium and Insectarium. Photo: Carlie Kollath Wells/Axios

Recent riverfront projects: Include a renovated aquarium and parks.

  • The Audubon Aquarium and Audubon Insectarium reopened in June after a $34 million renovation that includes a new two-story entrance facing the river.
  • Woldenberg Park got a $7 million upgrade this year, with redesigned landscaping and electrical infrastructure.
  • The former World Trade Center reopened in 2021 as the Four Seasons hotel with a hot new restaurant from Chef Alon Shaya called Miss River.
  • The Canal Street Ferry Terminal reopened earlier this year after a $43.5 million makeover.
  • Spanish Plaza reopened in 2019 after undergoing a $7.5 million renovation that included new pavers and a bigger fountain.
  • Crescent Park, with its so-called "Rusty Rainbow" pedestrian bridge, fully opened in 2015 after a $31.2 million investment.
  • The Riverwalk reopened in 2014 after a $70 million rebranding.

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