** The Old State Capitol will be closed July 3 – 4, 2018 **
Constructed between 1847 and 1852, this imposing structure on a bluff looking out over the Mississippi River has the appearance from the outside of a medieval fortress. The interior, however, is decorated in marble and rich wood paneling, with a commanding cast-iron spiral staircase and an awesome display of stained glass in the main gallery and in an overhead skylight. Gutted by fire during the Civil War, it was restored in the early 1880s and then fell into disrepair after a new, modern capitol building was built in the early 1930s. Concerned citizens moved to save the structure in the 1970s, and the whole building subsequently has undergone a loving restoration. Today, the Old State Capitol interprets Louisiana’s often rowdy and certainly flamboyant political history, including a fascinating exhibit on the controversial state governor and U.S. Sen. Huey Long. Even more impressive, is the award-winning multimedia presentation, “The Ghost of the Castle.” Explore different aspects of Louisiana’s history in new and exciting ways through the use of interactive technology. These are guaranteed to be attractive to children and adults alike.
Louisiana’s Charity Hospital System: Medicine and Matters of the State
The Louisiana Old State Capitol is opening a new exhibit to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the opening of the last Charity
Hospital in New Orleans. “Louisiana’s Charity Hospital System: Medicine and Matters of State” will feature fascinating pictures and
original artifacts including admission books, a nursing school cape and the bell that once hanged outside the old ambulance house.
The exhibit will run through the end of the year with various events scheduled focusing on the Charity Hospital System.
Construction on the new Charity Hospital was completed in 1939 following the vision of former Governor, Huey P. Long. By 1940,
the hospital was fully occupied and was the second largest hospital in the U.S. with a total bed capacity of 2,680. During Hurricane
Katrina in 2005 the building suffered severe flooding which forced an evacuation of all patients and staff. At the time Charity
Hospital was the longest continuously operating hospital in the country, originally opening in 1736. The building has since been left
unoccupied and under the ownership of the Louisiana State University System.