New Orleans Athletic Club

New Orleans Athletic Club (NOAC) is an American athletic organization founded in 1872, making it the second-oldest such institution in the United States.[1][2] It is located at 222 North Rampart Street in New Orleans, Louisiana.[3]

New Orleans Athletic Club
New Orleans Athletic Club Logo.png
Rampart Street New Orleans Jan 2019 - NOAC 02.jpg
General information
TypePrivate club
Location222 N. Rampart Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70112
Coordinates29°57′24″N 90°04′17″W / 29.9568°N 90.0713°W / 29.9568; -90.0713Coordinates: 29°57′24″N 90°04′17″W / 29.9568°N 90.0713°W / 29.9568; -90.0713
Technical details
Floor count4
Design and construction
ArchitectDiboll & Owen


The club was formed by J.C Aleix and several other young men who built two gymnastic apparatus' in the back yard of Aleix's home, and called themselves the Independent Gymnastic Club. J.C Aleix was elected president and each member paid fifty cents per month. The members participated in gymnastic exercises including fencing and boxing. The club's motto was "Mens Sana in Corpore Sano" ("A healthy mind will exist in a healthy body"), and its colors were gold and black. The original constitution called for no more than fourteen members, and specified that the president be of gentlemanly deportment and be impartial. By 1873, in spite of the restrictions in the constitution, the club had fifty members, and set about looking for a suitable club building. In 1874, the Independent Gymnastic Club set up its equipment in a building at the corner of Rampart and Bienville Streets.[4]

In 1875, Edw. Fredericks became the second president and members voted to change the name of the club to the Young Men's Gymnastics Club.[5][6] In 1884, the club bought the property at 37-39-41 Burgundy Street for $6,000 and in 1888 a stock corporation was inaugurated. In 1890, the club constructed a new gymnasium, baths, swimming pool and held professional boxing matches at 44 North Rampart Street.[4]

In 1907, Hall of Fame trainer and coach Tad Gormley moved to New Orleans to become the physical director at the Young Men's Gymnastics Club.[7] In 1918, members of the club showed off their athletic skills while portraying apes in the first Tarzan movie, Tarzan of the Apes.[8]

By 1920 the club had about 600 members, but its building was run down and there was no money to repair it. Irwin F. Poche, the athletic director, began to promote health and fitness classes for businessmen. He set up a handball court, organized dances in the gym and boxing matches were also organized; membership began to increase. In 1929, a new building was built at its present location and the club became known as the New Orleans Athletic Club.[4] NOAC hosted the LHSAA state wrestling tournament in 1945 and 1947 to 1968.[9]

In addition to athletic events, NOAC hosts charity balls and events in its ballroom.[10] In 1991, the club opened membership to women.[2]

Sports and facilitiesEdit

Notable members and peopleEdit

Many well known athletes have trained at NOAC. John L. Sullivan and Roberto Durán trained there before boxing matches; Johnny Weissmuller swam in the saltwater pool; and John Havlicek and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played basketball and gave basketball clinics at the club.[4][11][12]

Celebrities that have trained at NOAC include Alec Baldwin, Harry Connick Jr., Kevin Costner, Tom Foley, Clark Gable, Jimmy the Greek, Phil Harris, Bob Hope, Kate Hudson, Frankie Laine, Jude Law, Art Linkletter, Louis Prima, Liv Tyler, Mark Wahlberg and Tennessee Williams.[2][4][12][13]

Politicians and other notable people that have trained at NOAC include D.A. Jim Garrison, Huey, Earl and Russell B. Long, Robert Maestri, Robert S. Maloney and T. Semmes Walmsley.[2][12][13]

Television and filmEdit

Sources: [14]


  1. ^ Becky Retz; James Gaffney (1 November 2004). New Orleans. Globe Pequot Press. pp. 233–. ISBN 978-0-7627-3456-6.
  2. ^ a b c d "Our Kind of Place: New Orleans Athletic Club". Retrieved 2014-03-30.
  3. ^ Eve Zibart; Tom Fitzmorris; Will Coviello (23 January 2007). The Unofficial Guide to New Orleans. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 310–. ISBN 978-0-7645-8343-8.
  4. ^ a b c d e "NOAC History". Retrieved 2017-04-21.
  5. ^ Dale A. Somers (1972). The Rise of Sports in New Orleans: 1850-1900. Pelican Publishing. pp. 317–. ISBN 978-1-4556-1129-4.
  6. ^ Federal Writers' Project. New Orleans (1972). New Orleans: A City Guide. Somerset Publishers. p. xlvii. ISBN 978-0-403-02203-8.
  7. ^ "Who was Tad Gormley, and why does he get a stadium in City Park named after him?". Retrieved 2018-07-29.
  8. ^ Samantha Cook (1 September 2010). The Rough Guide to New Orleans. Rough Guides. pp. 292–. ISBN 978-1-4053-8786-6.
  9. ^ LHSAA Wrestling State Tournament Index
  10. ^ "The Belle Vie Gala raises the roof for Belle Reve New Orleans". Retrieved 2013-08-20.
  11. ^ Christopher Klein (5 November 2013). Strong Boy: The Life and Times of John L. Sullivan, America's First Sports Hero. Lyons Press. pp. 160–. ISBN 978-1-4930-0197-2.
  12. ^ a b c "New Orleans Athletic Club". Retrieved 2017-04-21.
  13. ^ a b Boulard, Garry. Huey Long Invades New Orleans: The Siege of a City, 1934-36. Pelican Publishing. pp. 227–. ISBN 978-1-4556-0609-2.
  14. ^ "TV, Film & Commercials". Retrieved 2017-04-21.