New Orleans Charity Hospital
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.
"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 Walker.
We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.SUBMIT MORE INFORMATION OR PHOTOGRAPHS FOR THIS SITE