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Jazz Landmark Eagle Saloon Slated For Revival

The "back of town" hangout will likely become a music venue and education center

The Eagle Saloon, a landmark of New Orleans' former "back of town" corridor, is finally slated for redevelopment after spending the last decade dilapidated.

Built in 1851 and on the National Register of Historic Places, the building's redevelopment has been long stalled. But now the newly formed Eagle Saloon Initiative and new board members for the New Orleans Music Hall of Fame are beginning a fundraising drive to preserve the building.

The group hopes to raise $500,000 and convert the three-story building into a space with a "first-floor performance venue, possibly with a WWOZ studio. The second and third floors would be devoted to jazz history and education, including programs for children."

The effort's organizers have even amassed a supergroup of cultural "ambassadors" to go to bat for the project, including Maroon 5 's P.J. Morton, who just moved to New Orleans and started a record label.

The area where the building stands was once a bustling African-American corridor. The Eagle Saloon was a hangout that attracted jazz greats like Buddy Bolden, who would grab drinks there before gigs.

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