- Associated Press - Monday, April 14, 2014

NATCHITOCHES, La. (AP) - A river runs through the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum.

Not literally, of course, but stylistically.

Taking inspiration from Louisiana waterways including Natchitoches Parish’s Cane River, the inside flows and curves.

And it’s drawing attention in the world of architecture.

It has been written up in numerous magazines, including Azure, which named it No. 1 in its 2013 Top 10 Architecture Projects from around the world. Four of the other nine were designed by prestigious Pritzker Prize Laureates, including Louvre-Lens in northern France.

The authors called the building powerful, praising the space as “wildly organic” with a “sinuous” Great Hall.

Architect Victor F. “Trey” Trahan III had built a “stunning landmark, while respecting the two-story structures that surround it,” they wrote.

“Any metropolis would be proud to have such a powerful building,” the magazine said.

Trahan, president and principal-in-charge of Trahan Architects, talked about the building in a telephone interview from his New Orleans office. He touched on its international recognition, a building element that is probably the only one like it in the world and some of his favorite objects there.

“This is just the beginning,” predicted Louisiana Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, predicting the museum will win many more prizes.

So what is this nationally recognized museum, located in a small town off-the-beaten path in Northwest Louisiana?

It has three purposes:

-To record accounts of the state’s sports heroes, who are named to the Hall of Fame by a committee of the Louisiana Sports Writers Association. The museum has been a dream of the association for many years, at least since the first class of three was enshrined in 1959.

-To show the history of northwest Louisiana, including four “Great Women of Louisiana” - artist Clementine Hunter, naturalist Caroline Dormon, plantation owner Cammie Henry and writer Kate Chopin.

-To host community gatherings and events, which include the recently opened “Faces of Natchitoches,” exhibit, celebrating the tricentennial of Natchitoches through Feb. 28.

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