Woman who helped raise the dome reflects on historic win

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - The Superdome has seen a lot of wins during the past four decades, and the latest one is for itself. The structure has been named to the National Register of Historic Places. The designation doesn’t protect the dome from destruction, but it does allow for possible tax credits for developers looking to preserve it in the future. And it’s just another reason to smile for those who love the skyline icon.

Mary Dixon, the widow of businessman David Dixon, is thrilled with the honor. She remembers the days when the dome felt like “the fourth child” for her and her husband; David Dixon worked tirelessly to make the Saints and the Superdome happen for the city he loved. His wife and sons smile when they recall his determination and optimism. They also give credit to the amazing architects, Curtis & Davis.

Mary’s favorite memory from the dome is when Pope John Paul II visited in 1987. She smiles describing the scene: “The nuns are standing up on the seats, hollering at the Pope!” Asked who got louder cheers, the Pope or the Saints, she says, “Well, I have to say the Saints.”

“I look at the things that have happened in this city that would never have come here if it hadn't been for David and the dome,” says Mary, adding that if David was here to learn of the new accolade, he would say “Well, I expected it!”

Being on the national register of historic places won't protect the building from being torn down, but it does mean that developers in the future would be eligible for specific tax credits if they wanted to work to preserve the dome.

Some memories hold more tears than cheers (think Katrina), but the beloved home of the Saints is an undeniable part of history living in many hearts—including Amanda Keith's.

Keith is the Indiana native who now lives and works here. She nominated the dome for placement on the national register as part of a grad student project at Tulane.

She says she feels a sense of ownership when she looks at the dome, but then, don't we all?

“That's the thing about the Superdome, is that it belongs to the people of New Orleans really,” says Keith.

Twist reporter Stephanie Oswald discusses the dome's latest win with Twist anchors Susy Roesgen and Curt Sprang:

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