Historic Charity Hospital
1736 - 2005
In 1735, Jean Louis, a French seaman who built boats in New Orleans,
bequeathed his holdings to the founding and maintenance of Charity, a hospital
for the indigent sick of the colony of New Orleans.  Charity Hospital opened its
doors on March 31, 1736.  Until the levee failures of 2005 closed it, it was the
second oldest continuously open public hospital in the United States, the oldest
being Bellevue in New York, which opened only a month earlier.
For 270 years, Charity cared for both the indigent and poor and for the vast
majority of accident, crime and fire victims in the city.  It had an excellent
reputation as a teaching institution and Charity's emergency room boasted one
of the best level one trauma units in the country.
To read about the 5-year battle to save Charity Hospital and the Mid-City
neighborhood, click on links at bottom of page.
The photos dated 1900-1920 are courtesy of Pop Art Machine.

The link to this page is:

YouTube:  Save Charity Hospital
Why Charity Matters

See more photos of Charity Hospital on my New Orleans Hospitals page.

Back to   Old New Orleans
Whispers - Home
The first two Charity Hospitals were destroyed by fire.   The third building, above,
was constructed in 1832 and demolished to make way for the new complex in 1936.
Another view of the third Charity, date unknown.
Charity Hospital and associated buildings, 1900.
All of the photos in the section below were taken between 1900-1920.
Above & below, view from back of building.
Above, Charity Hospital ambulance; below, ambulance building.
X-ray, stethoscope room
Orthopedic ward
Polyclinic waiting room
Lavatory where doctors scrubbed for surgery
The Charity Hospital Cemetery is, also, the home of the Katrina Memorial.
Monument reads:  "This memorial honors those who perished as a result of Hurricane
Katrina, August 29, 2005.  This storm led to both the greatest natural and greatest man-made
disaster in our nation's history.  This memorial provides a final resting place for those whose
bodies remain unidentified and unclaimed.  May they have eternal peace.  It also serves as a
tribute to survivors and their work to rebuild New Orleans and their lives."
This photo is courtesy of Infrogmation and Flickr Creative Commons.
Monument reads:  "More than 1,100 persons in New Orleans and the surrounding
communities perished in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.  An unprecedented effort to recover
and identify the dead was carried out.  Dr. Frank Minyard, Coroner of Orleans Parish, created
the New Orleans Katrina Memorial to build a final resting place to honor those victims who
remain unidentified or unclaimed. .... The memorial received the remains of the unidentified
and unclaimed victims and was dedicated to their memory on August 29, 2008.  May they and
other victims of Hurricane Katrina find eternal peace."
This photo is courtesy of Infrogmation and Flickr Creative Commons.
Charity Hospital Cemetery

Monument reads:  "This cemetery was purchased by Charity Hospital in 1848 and was
originally known as Potter's Field.  It has historically been used to bury the unclaimed from
throughout the city. including the victims of several Yellow Fever and influenza epidemics.  
The ashes of those who have donated their remains to the Louisiana State Anatomical Board
for medical education are buried here, also.  Charity Hospital Cemetery is one of the most
historically significant, yet least known, among New Orleans' famous Cities of the Dead."
This photo is courtesy of Infrogmation and Flickr Creative Commons.