Some New Orleans musical legends.
Musical legends of New Orleans greet visitors to the park that bears their name.

Fats Domino and Thomas Edison

Field review by the editors.

New Orleans, Louisiana

In 1973 New Orleans' electric company gave the city an abandoned lot, in the middle of the French Quarter, that had previously housed a power substation. The city installed plants, waterfalls, and restrooms; christened it Edison Place with a cast iron plaque; and opened it to the public.

Plaque remembers Edison Place.
Tough guy Thomas Edison has survived the French Quarter outside the park fence.

By the 1980s the park had become overrun with drunks and druggies, so it was abandoned again, and padlocked.

In 1999 a group of private investors cleaned up the lot and reopened it as Musical Legends Park. They hired Stephen Gibson, a local artist, to create life-size sculptures of the Musical Legends, adding a new one every few years. New Orleans is proud of its contributions to popular music, but most of the Park's honorees are best appreciated by visitors who actually know something about jazz or R&B. Fats Domino is probably the most widely-known (and we liked his statue's antigravity keyboard). We had to read the plaques to understand the importance of inductees such as Ronnie Bell (who holds a wine glass) and Chris Owens (who's wearing go-go boots and a leotard).

There are still drunks and druggies in the French Quarter, so the park is locked from after-hours until mid-morning. If you visit during off-times, the only thing outside the gate is the old Edison Place plaque, rust-pitted with age, but apparently impervious to New Orleans' human hazards.

Also see: Quirky Monuments of New Orleans

Fats Domino and Thomas Edison

Musical Legends Park

Address:
Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA
Directions:
Musical Legends Park. In the French Quarter, on the west side of Bourbon St. between Bienville and Conti Sts.
Hours:
Su-Th 10-10, F-Sa 10-midnight.
Admission:
Free
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Birthplace of DixieBirthplace of Dixie, New Orleans, LA - < 1 mi.
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New Orleans Pharmacy Museum: LeechesNew Orleans Pharmacy Museum: Leeches, New Orleans, LA - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Cemetery Chapel with Hands and Feet, New Orleans, LA - 2 mi.

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June 16, 2019

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