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Pineville has a strong heritage for taking care of the sick. Three major hospitals have been located in Pineville:

  • Central Louisiana State Hospital
  • Veterans's Administration (VA) Hospital
  • Huey P. Long Charity Hospital (now closed)
Entrance to Central Louisiana State Hospital, Alexandria, LaVintage Postcard of Entrance to
Central Louisiana State Hospital

Central Louisiana State Hospital

In 1902, the Louisiana Legislature created a facility to house and treat the mentally ill. The facility operated under several names since its opening in January 1906, but was later known as Central Louisiana State Hospital. At its peak in 1959, the hospital housed over 3,000 patients, but in recent years, patient numbers at Central dwindled to 246 in 1995 to 60 being cared for today. The hospital campus is over 400 acres.

While many consider its location to be in Alexandria, it is actually located across the Red River in Pineville. The official address is 242 W. Shamrock Street, Pineville, LA 71361-5031.

The Rose Cottage, located on the grounds of the hospital, was converted into a museum to celebrate the hospital's centennial in 2006. The building was originally used as the hospital’s pathology lab and mortuary. The two-story, Italianate-style Renaissance Revival limestone and concrete building was designed in 1917.

Rose Cottage, Central Louisiana State Hospital, Pineville, Louisiana Rose Cottage, Central Louisiana State Hospital
(Photo courtesy of the Alexandria Daily Town Talk)

Many of the deceased patients of the hospital were buried on the hospital grounds in its cemetery. Hospital records indicate there are approximately 3,000 people buried in this cemetery, last used in June 1985.

Also on the grounds is the historic Hospital Dairy Barn, on a hill overlooking Fort Buhlow Lake. It was designed by architect Joseph H. Carlin, built in 1923, and added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 15, 1986.

This historic two-story frame barn has attached single story wings that jut out from the south end of the main block at angles that yield an overall "Y" shape to the structure (see aerial photo of the barn below). Since construction, the removal of the original dairy machinery is the only alteration the building has received.

The hospital grounds also include the Civil War-era Fort Randolph.

Today, Central Louisiana State Hospital is a free standing, full service psychiatric hospital licensed by the State of Louisiana, fully accredited by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and certified by the Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Services (CMS).

Dairy Barn at Central Louisiana State Hospital, Pineville, Louisiana, on a hill overlooking U.S. 165 and Buhlow LakeDairy Barn at Central Louisiana State Hospital
(photo by Erik Larson)

Plans were announced by the state in February, 2012, to relocate the hospital to a new facility on land adjacent to Pinecrest Supports and Services Center in Pineville. The hospital will retain its name, identity and function to maintain accreditation. The new building will cost $6 million and will be funded through State of Louisiana Capital Outlay funds. Construction will take 12 to 18 months.

Once the move the new facility is made, the current land and its prime location will become surplus. The City of Pineville and the Louisiana Office of Economic Development are studying alternatives for future land use, and are also being assisted by the England Authority.

For more information, visit:


Map of Central Louisiana State Hospital in Pineville Louisiana
Map of the Central Louisiana State Hospital in Pineville Louisiana

Vintage Postcard of Entrance to Central Louisiana State Hospital, Alexandria, La
Entrance to Central Louisiana State Hospital, Alexandria, Lac

Vintage Postcard - Insane Asylum, Alexandria, La.
Insane Asylum, Alexandria, Louisiana

Historic Dairy Barn at Central Louisiana State Hospital, Pineville, La.
(Photo courtesy of Erik Larson)
Photograph of the historic Dairy Barn at Central Louisiana State Hospital, Pineville, La., showing its classic red roof

 

Veterans Administration Hospital in Pineville, Louisiana

Across the Red River from Alexandria, in Pineville, is the Veterans Administration Hospital, a large facility with a number of buildings and beautiful grounds.

Today, the hospital, located on the Shreveport Highway, US71, remains a vital facility in treating our veterans. We salute the doctors, nurses and other staff who continue to provide valuable care and support.

For more information, visit the web site of Alexandria VA Medical Center.

The historic postcards shown below give views of the hospital from its earlier years.

Veterans Hospital

Pineville, Louisiana, across the Red River from Alexandria

Veterans Hospital

Doctors' Quarters, U.S. Veterans' Hospital

Pineville, Louisiana

Nurses' Quarters, U.S. Veterans' Hospital

Pineville, Louisiana

U.S. Veterans' Hospital

Pineville, Louisiana

Huey P. Long Charity Hospital

The Huey P. Long Medical Center opened in 1938 as the Mid-State Charity Hospital, located just off Main Street in Pineville. It was later renamed in honor of Governor and U.S. Senator Huey P. Long.

Signed into law on July 2, 2007, Act 220 of the 2007 Louisiana Legislature transferred management of the Huey P. Long Medical Center to the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport.

The facility in Pineville was closed in 2014.

Huey Long Charity Hospital, Pineville, Louisiana

Other major medical facilities in the Alexandria-Pineville area

 

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