Charity Hospital (Derelict) – New Orleans LA


Charity Hospital was constructed between 1936 and 1940 in central New Orleans, about a mile north of the downtown by today’s Interstate 10.   Charity Hospital was one of two teaching hospitals which were part of the Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans. For decades it served one of the country’s largest populations of uninsured citizens.

At the time it was built, Charity Hospital was the second-largest hospital in the United States. The cornerstone lists the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works (later called the Public Works Administration) as the building funder. The architects were Weiss, Dreyfous & Seiferth, who were also responsible for the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge. The hospital features two stone bas-reliefs and a cast aluminum screen called Louisiana at Work and Play, all by artist Enrique Alferez.

The building was flooded during Hurricane Katrina in 2004 and badly damaged. Even though the military scrubbed the building to medical-ready standards during post-Katrina clean-up,  Governor Kathleen Blanco said that Charity Hospital would not reopen. Louisiana State University, which owns the building, has stated that it has no plans for reopening or reconstruction.

Today (2018) the building sits behind a cyclone fence and visitors are shooed away by a security cop.


Source notes

"The New Deal: A 75th Anniversary Celebration." Kathryn Flynn with Richard Polese.

C.W. Short and R. Stanley-Brown, Public Buildings: A Survey of Architecture of Projects Constructed by Federal and Other Governmental Bodies Between the Years 1933 and 1939 with the Assistance of the Public Works Administration (1939)

Project originally submitted by Evan Kalish on December 9, 2011.
Additional contributions by Richard A Walker.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

1532 Tulane Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70112

Location notes:

Coordinates: 29.956681, -90.079289

9 comments on “Charity Hospital (Derelict) – New Orleans LA

  1. Chris Hull

    Are the birth records from 1934 available?

    • Gabriel Milner

      Good question. Unfortunately, we don’t know the answer to that. Perhaps New Orleans dept. of records might have the relevant documents?

  2. Caldwell


    Wondering what book the floor-plan came from? Been looking for that for a while now, and was wondering if I could find a higher-res scan, or maybe buy a copy myself!


  3. Corinne Duplessis

    Hi, I’m Corinne Bristol (birth Name) Rousseau (last name after adoption) Duplessis. I was a patient at Charity Hospital, from about 1955 through 1980. Are there any medical records that were salvaged after Hurricane Katrina? If so where can I obtain copies?

  4. C M Gillies

    Please correct the article: the flooding of Charity Hospital by Hurricane Katrina occurred in 2005, not 2004.

  5. C M Gillies

    Ms. Duplessis,
    You will not be able to find your records from Charity Hospital. They were destroyed. Charity Hospital was literally left to rot. It was decided that if there was any hint the hospital was salvageable for any purpose, it would derail plans for the multibillion dollar new LSU medical school facility and hospital.
    It has recently been opened to haunted tours for tourists. The state/LSU still refuses to reconstitute this enormous, amazing structure for any useful purpose.

  6. Ms Sampey

    Yes!!!!! Birth records and death records are available dating back to 1823. I absolutely
    positively know this cause I work at the storage facility where these giant almost 2′ tall books are kept. I copied many records requested from the 1800’s. If you need/want a copy of any page we need a date and name. Next call Iron Mountain in Harahan and request a copy. Should take approximately 3 days.

  7. Ms Sampey

    Birth Records and Death records can NEVER EVER be destroyed! Its a law these records are permanent. These records and millions of other records from Charity Hospital have ALWAYS been stored at an off-site storage facility called Iron Mountain located in Harahan. Call them and request a copy. Whomever wrote the above comment has NO CLUE about this hospital and should not have commented at all. I work at Iron Mountain and I know for a fact these records exist and are easily retrieved for copies. Hope this helps.

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