“I wanted a room that had a view of the Superdome.”
Those were the words that my friend Mags said to me two Saturdays ago when I met her down at the Hotel Modern on St. Charles Avenue as she, like yours truly, was in New Orleans for the Saints v. Packers Sunday nighter. As we both watched Kansas State manhandle Texas, I explained to her that the building next to her was where the Saints’ first offices was.
In Memphis, Tenn. the powers that be with the Blues Foundation have something called the Blues Heritage Trail, where people get an opportunity to learn about the history of the blues by visiting several spots. In fact, a stretch of 61 from Memphis to Clarksdale, Miss. is known as the Blues Highway.
Which led me to thinking, why not take that concept and create what we’ll call the Saints Heritage Trail in New Orleans as a way to educate new fans about the history of the NFL’s 16th franchise? Especially with the team planning to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2017.
944 St. Charles Avenue
When the Saints began play in 1967, the building located at the corner of St. Charles Avenue and Andrew Higgins housed the team’s offices. After 13 years at the location, the team moved their offices over to the Louisiana Superdome in 1980 where they would remain until 1996 when the current offices on Airline Drive in Metarie opened.
4336 Magazine Street
The legendary 24/7 bar, located at the corner of Magazine and Napoleon, is on this list due to the notoriety it got in 2013 when defensive coordinator Rob Ryan frequented the place after home games.
2031 St. Charles Avenue
Around the corner from my place in New Orleans (I have a sublet on Carondelet) is where this building, constructed in 1927, was where the Saints were established. In fact, if you go to the building today, you can see the display in the window commemorating the moment.
Al Hirt’s Club
501 Bourbon Street
Among the minority owners of the Saints when it was first formed in 1967 was trumpeter Al Hurt, who for over 20 years had a club at the corner of St. Louis and Bourbon. While you can’t visit Hirt, who died in 1996, you can drop by this address and grab a daiquiri.