The Foundation for Historial Louisiana

Professional Preservation Services

The Foundation for Historical Louisiana offers services to communities, businesses, and homeowners in the hopes of promoting historical preservation through design and renovations. Our Director of Preservation Field Services works in many areas to achieve this goal.

Services Include:

Historic Preservation Tax Incentives Assistance

Basic Explanation of Programs
Part 1: Determination of Eligibility
Part 2: Description of Proposed Renovation/Restoration
Part 3:  Request for Certification of Completed Work
Design Assistance

Architectural drawings for planning and illustration purposes (not for construction)
Design assistance and associated architectural drawings and plans could be used in Part 2 of Tax Credit Assistance.
Design assistance would also be beneficial to property owners wanting to restore the facades/porches of their homes or businesses.    
Design Guidelines for Municipalities, Historic Districts, and Neighborhoods

Basic Outline of Existing Conditions in Designated Area
Tasks may include an architectural survey, historical research of area, an illustrated list of common attributes and significant neighborhood characteristics, etc.
Publication of prepared survey, research, significant neighborhood characteristics, etc.
Creation of an illustrated guidebook of the proposed guidelines
After thorough analysis of existing conditions and input from interested parties, a publication with design guidelines and illustrations will be produced for the designated area.
National Register Nominations

Research, Document, and Complete a National Register nomination form for a for-profit entity such as a developer and property owner who is looking to make his property eligible to receive Federal and/or State Historic Tax Credits.


Contact the Director of Preservation Field Services at for more information.

FHL Snapshot

Important Charity Hospital Links

The Charity Hospital Proposal Video

The FHL Charity Hospital Full Feasibility Study

FHL Charity Hospital Study – Executive Summary

Founders and Past Presidents

Our Founders

Mrs. Heidel Brown
Mrs. Roger M. Fritchie
Mrs. James H. Hynes
Mrs. G.T. Owen, Jr.
Mr. Edward Overton Perkins
Mrs. V.R. Perkins
Mrs. G.C. Reeves
Mrs. E. Leland Richardson
Mrs. Homer D. Spaht
Mrs. Frank M. Womack

Our Past Presidents and Chairs

Overton Perkins, 1963-1965
Evelyn   Thom, 1965-1967
Magnolia Newsom, 1967-1968
Robert Heck, 1968-1972
Joan Samuel, 1972-1974
Veda Norfolk, 1974-1976
Winifred Byrd, 1976-1977
Connie Ogden, 1977-1978
Wanda Barber, 1978-1979
Jean Kirby, 1979-1980
Kay Calcote, 1980-1981
Lucile Munson, 1981-1982
Marilyn Davis, 1982-1983
Gwen Cook, 1983-1984
Nathalie diBenedetto, 1984-1986
Charlotte Smith, 1986-1988
Robert Hodges, 1988-1990
Lorice Say, 1990-1992
Ira Paul Babin, 1992-1994
George Jenne, 1994-2000
John W. Wilbert, Jr., 2000-2004
Darryl Gissel, 2004-2007
Lenore Feeny, 2007-2009
Mark Upton, 2009-2011
Doug Cochran, 2011-Present

Magnolia Cemetery and the Battle of Baton Rouge

Magnolia Cemetery

The Foundation for Historical Louisiana is the keeper of the records for burials in Magnolia Cemetery. If you are interested in researching the location of a burial in Magnolia Cemetery, please contact us at or 225.387.2464.

Civil War Brochure Available for Download.

Battle of Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge in 1860 was a town “on the make,” full of merchants, store clerks, lawyers, doctors, planters, and others who saw opportunity in this busy river port, Louisiana’s new “capital city.” The state capitol building, a glistening white castle along the Mississippi River, was itself less than a decade old. Throughout the year it housed the offices of the state government as well as the legislature when in session. Baton Rouge, the new center of political power in Louisiana, appeared as an attractive place to re-locate for many. In fact, by 1860 more than 5400 people called the town home, almost triple the number from just 15 or 20 years earlier. It was a diverse crowd, too. These new people had come from other parts of the South, New England, the Mid-West, and even overseas, especially from Ireland, England, and Germany. African Americans, mostly enslaved but also including several hundred free people of color, composed more than a quarter of the town’s total population. It was a bustling world, this Baton Rouge, but soon to witness great tragedy and radical change in the coming war.

The reasons for the Civil War are complex but ultimately devolve onto the basic issue of slavery and politics. The burning question had to be answered: would the free North or the slave South control the destiny of the nation? The 1850s had seen a heated political contest between the two sections. The new Republican Party, based completely in the North, viewed slavery as immoral and advocated limiting its expansion into the West. Southerners believed that slavery had to expand and were insulted by attacks on their morality and honor. In November 1860, Republican leader Abraham Lincoln was elected to the Presidency without a single vote from the South. With this, it became clear to southern leaders that they had lost the political fight. Lincoln indeed believed slavery to be morally wrong and wanted to limit its growth. Still, he believed that the U.S. Constitution protected slavery as a form of property where it existed. He therefore had no plans to abolish the institution, only to control its spread. For southerners, though, his election was the last straw. At that moment, the only logical solution for them appeared to be secession - withdrawal from the Union.

As a river town dependent on trade and commerce, Baton Rouge was cautious about the idea of secession. But pro-secession forces, the so-called “fire-eaters,” ruled the day. In early January 1861, Governor Thomas O. Moore ordered the seizure of Federal property in the state, including the weapons and ammunition housed at the U.S. Arsenal in Baton Rouge. Late in the month, a special convention of elected delegates met at the state capitol (today’s Old State Capitol) and voted to officially leave the Union. It was a hard decision for many; one delegate called it “the bitterest pill I ever took.” That February, Louisiana joined the other Deep South states to form a new government, the Confederate States of America. In April, war erupted when Confederate forces opened fire on the Union soldiers at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. Many of the local boys here in Baton Rouge enlisted in military companies such as the Fencibles, Pelicans, and Creole Guards, and went off to the fight with bands playing, flags flying, and dreams of glory floating about their heads. A great many would not return.

Abraham Lincoln and his military advisors realized that control of the Mississippi would determine their ultimate success in winning the war. They made its conquest a top priority. By early May 1862, the U.S. Navy had blasted through the Confederate defenses at New Orleans to the south and

Memphis to the north; only the fortress at Vicksburg remained outside Union control. Here at Baton Rouge, the mayor surrendered the town to the Union fleet when it steamed by, but no troops remained to occupy the place. Later in May, when Confederate guerillas fired at a boat of Union sailors coming ashore, navy ships shelled the waterfront, causing mass panic among local civilians and serious damage to buildings. A brigade of U.S. soldiers then arrived to hold the town. By early August, Confederate forces had massed in an attempt to re-take Louisiana’s capital. On August 5th, 1862, General John C. Breckinridge, a former Vice-President of the United States, led his men in an attack on the town. It was a bloody fight, this Battle of Baton Rouge, but an inconclusive one. Close to 200 men were killed outright or died shortly after; another 650 were wounded or missing. Each side appeared traumatized. The Union army eventually evacuated to New Orleans two weeks later, giving the town over to the Confederates. It was a short-lived re-occupation, though, as the Confederate troops soon moved to the more strategic Port Hudson position a dozen miles upriver. Union soldiers returned to Baton Rouge that December and would remain in Baton Rouge through the end of the war.

The Union occupation got off to a bad start. Right after Christmas 1862, the state capitol went up in flames, leaving a hulking wreck that would haunt the town for the next two decades. By that time, though, most inhabitants had fled or “refugeed” to western Louisiana or Texas. The town became a military garrison, with the Union navy and army using it as a staging point for its operations against Port Hudson in 1863 and up the Red River into central and northwest Louisiana in 1864. Thousands of soldiers and sailors passed through the place. Public buildings and private homes became makeshift officers’ quarters, enlisted men’s barracks, or hospital wards. From the countryside, thousands of African Americans, making a bid for freedom, poured in seeking the protection of the United States flag. Union officers organized the men into labor gangs, paying them wages for their work, or enlisted them into the army’s all-black regiments to fight against their former masters. It was a revolutionary experience, and one that spelled the end of slavery.

Eventually, the war came to an end in the spring of 1865 with the surrender of the South. By this point, Louisiana had a new state constitution, the Constitution of 1864, and slavery had been abolished. Confederate soldiers straggled home while civilian refugees likewise attempted to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives. In Baton Rouge, new and old businesses re-opened, the newspapers began publication once more, and whites and blacks adjusted as best they could to the radically different social and political order that would mark their lives in the coming decades.

Louisiana Preservation Organizations

Abbeville, Vermilion Historical Society:

Alexandria, Alexandria Historic Preservation Commission:

Baker, Baker Heritage Center:

Baton Rouge, Foundation for Historical Louisiana:

Baton Rouge, Le Comite Des Archives:

Baton Rouge, Los Islenos De Galvez Heritage and Cultural Society:

Gretna, Gretna Historical Society:

Jackson, Jackson Historic District Commission:

Lafayette, Lafayette Parish Bayou Vermilion District:

Lafayette, Louisiana Historical Association:

Lake Charles, Calcasieu Historical Preservation Society:

Minden, Dorcheat Historical Association & Museum, Inc.:

Natchitoches, National Center for Preservation Technology:

Natchitoches, Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches:

New Orleans, Louisiana Historical Society:

New Orleans, DOCOMOMO:

New Orleans, Louisiana Landmarks Society:

New Orleans, Preservation Resource Center:

Shreveport, Highland Restoration Association:

Shreveport, Rental Association of Highland:

Shreveport, Shreveport Historic Preservation Society:

Shreveport, Fairfield Historic District Association:

St. Francisville , West Feliciana Historical Society:

Sulphur, Brimstone Historical Society:

Westwego, Westwego Historical Society:

National Preservation Organizations


National Alliance of Preservation Commissions:

National Center for Preservation Technology & Training:

National Council for Preservation Education:

National Park Service:

National Preservation Institute:

National Trust for Historic Preservation:

The Nature Conservancy:

Historic Preservation Tax Incentives

The Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation administers the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit in conjunction with the National Park Service (NPS) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and two State tax credits in conjunction with the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR). The purpose of tax credits is to encourage the preservation of historic buildings through incentives to support rehabilitation of historic and older buildings. Since the inception of the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit, Louisiana has been a leader in certified tax credit projects, generating over $2 billion in private reinvestment in Louisiana communities. The State Commercial Tax Credit has leveraged more than $350 million in private reinvestment in Louisiana Downtown Development Districts and Cultural Districts.

What is a tax credit?
A tax credit is a direct, dollar for dollar, reduction in the amount of money a taxpayer must pay in taxes for a given year. For example, if a taxpayer owes $5,000 in taxes to the Internal Revenue Service, but has a $3,000 credit, he only pays $2,000. Thus he pockets the $3,000 he would otherwise have to pay in taxes. A credit is much better than a deduction which merely reduces a taxpayer’s income and puts him in a lower tax bracket.

For more information, please visit these sites:

National Register of Historic Places

Honor: It is a great honor for a property to be listed on the prestigious National Register of Historic Places. This status can be very useful in helping to save historic buildings and sites because people typically hold Register properties in high regard and think twice about insensitive alteration and demolition.

Protection: The National Register program also provides a measure of protection from federally assisted projects. For more information, visit the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation’s web site.

Financial: There are several financial incentive programs available for National Register-listed properties in Louisiana:

Federal and State Tax Incentives

Louisiana Main Street Program

Louisiana Main Street is a community-driven revitalization program designed to promote the historic and economic redevelopment of traditional commercial districts in Louisiana. The Main Street program improves all aspects of downtown, producing both tangible and intangible benefits. Improving economic management, strengthening public participation, and making downtown a fun place to visit are as critical to Main Street's future as recruiting new businesses and rehabilitating buildings.

The program uses four guiding principles to achieve community revitalization: organization, promotion, design, and economic restructuring.

Click here for more information.

Louisiana Cultural Districts

A "Cultural District" as defined by law is a district designated by a Local Governing Authority for the purpose of revitalizing a community by creating a hub of cultural activity, by offering communities opportunities to create or rebuild cultural destinations.

By Louisiana law a Cultural District must:

  • Be geographically contiguous
  • Be distinguished by cultural resources that play a vital role in the life and cultural development of a community
  • Focus on an existing cultural anchor such as a major art institution, art and entertainment businesses, an area or business with arts and cultural activities or cultural or artisan production
  • Be engaged in the promotion, preservation, and educational aspects of the arts and culture of the locale
  • Contribute to the public through interpretive and educational uses
  • Encourage opportunity for affordable artist housing and work space


Once a Cultural District is certified two tax incentives take effect:

  1. The sales of original, one-of-a-kind works of art are exempt from local and state sales tax.
  2. Renovations to historic structures within the district may be eligible for residential and commercial state historic income tax credits.

Similar programs in other states have resulted in increased occupancy, property renovations, a sense of community identity, increased social activity and jobs.

For more information click here.

For a map of Cultural Districts click here.

School Tours

                                                                                                                  Photo: Richard Alan Hannon

School Tour Hours and Admission Rates:
Tuesday through Friday
10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

    $1.00 for each student participating in the House Tour
    $2.00 for each student participating in the Arts and Architecture Tour

    1 complimentary chaperone required for each 10 students
    $5.00 per additional adult

Historic tours are appropriate for grades third through twelfth. We ask that you make your reservation at least two weeks in advance so that we may provide adequate guides. Please allow one hour for your group to visit the Mansion. The Old Governor’s Mansion is handicapped accessible and has an on-site picnic area.
Please call the Old Governor's Mansion at 225-387-2464 to make your school tour reservations.

What can we see and do there?
The history of the Old Governor’s Mansion as presented, spans the period from 1930 to 1963. Built to resemble the White House with tall columns and in the Georgian style, the Mansion does indeed look very much like the house at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The architectural details of the house are fascinating and give added opulence. The grandeur of the Old Governor’s Mansion impresses all that come to visit.

The Mansion is a focal point for students of Louisiana history. The knowledgeable guides enjoy sharing some of the little known tidbits. The story is told through changing and permanent exhibits. In addition to the house tour, teachers and students can choose the Arts and Architecture Tour which incorporates an arts lesson and discussion of the Mansion's architectural features into the house tour. Students participating in the Arts and Architecture Tour will complete a block printing activity as they learn about the Mansion's famous Zuber wallpaper (the same found in the Washington, DC White House), a tour highlight. Two hours should be allowed for this tour.

How do we get there?
From Interstate 10 Eastbound to 110 North, take the Government Street exit. Turn left onto Government Street. Government Street curves to the right and becomes River Road. Take a right from River Road onto North Boulevard (the Old State Capitol is on the corner of River Road and North Boulevard). The Old Governor’s Mansion will be on your right. Buses may park in front of the Mansion along North Boulevard.

What can we do in class before our visit?
The Old Governor’s Mansion is reported to be modeled after the White House. Ask students to look at pictures of the home of the President of the United States. Discuss the columns that span the front of the Mansion and the carved pediment above. Kids may enjoy bringing drawing paper and pencils when they first arrive at the Mansion. There they can draw the façade of the Mansion. Remember to bring those drawings back to the classroom!

S-T-R-E-T-C-H Out your field trip benefits
Remember those drawings your students made of the Mansion? Have them compare it to the White House in Washington, D.C. Kids will be discussing the architecture like pros, using terms like columns, pediment, roof line, and stories.

Instructional Concepts
Louisiana History; architecture; government; preservation

What can we visit nearby?
Old State Capitol; New State Capitol; Louisiana Arts and Science Museum and Irene Pennington Planetarium; USS Kidd; Magnolia Mound Plantation; Louisiana State University; Old Arsenal Museum; Pentagon Barracks Museum.


Please call 225-387-2464 to make your school tour reservations.

Lagniappe Tours


Lagniappe (lan-yap) is a South Louisiana tradition of giving “a little something extra.” Lagniappe Tours, the sightseeing arm of the Foundation for Historical Louisiana, opens the doors to Louisiana’s magnificent historic sites and cultural treasures, offering visitors renowned landmarks as well as the state’s best-kept secrets.

Throughout the year, we offer experienced step-on guides, customized itinerary planning and complete booking for all arrangements. Bilingual guides are available.

Whether you want to mambo your way to Mardi Gras, jet to Jazz Fest, or ramble down River Road, Lagniappe Tours can create a unique Louisiana experience for you.

For reservations, call 225-387-2464, ext. 201 or email

Old Governor’s Mansion

You are invited to tour Louisiana's White House!

                                                                                                                                         Photo: Richard Alan Hannon                

The Old Governor's Mansion, built by the famous (and infamous) Huey P. Long, served as the official residence to nine Louisiana governor's and their families. It is now a splendid historic house museum listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Walk-In Tours:
Guided tours are available Tuesday through Friday: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The last tour begins at 3:00 p.m.                                                                                                                                                                         

    Adults $10
    Seniors (62 or over) $9
    Students (K-12) $8
    Children under 5 Free
    FHL or NTHP Members Free

Group tours are available by reservation. Please call our Director of Education at
(225) 387-2464, ext. 201. Special rates apply for group tours.

The Mansion is handicapped accessible.
Motorcoach parking available on North Boulevard in front of Mansion.
The Mansion is closed on major holidays.


More information coming soon! 

Preservation Awards

"Making the Past Known and Useful to the Future"

Since 1976 the Foundation for Historical Louisiana has honored individuals and entities that exemplify the mission of FHL - to preserve, protect, and promote the cultural and architectural heritage of Louisiana.

To nominate a person or entity for a Preservation Award, please click on the form below and submit it via email to or by mail to 502 North Boulevard Baton Rouge, LA 70802. 


FHL would like to thank our underwriter for this program,

Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann LLC

Current Projects

LSU Huey P. Long Pool and Fieldhouse

The Huey P. Long Fieldhouse, completed in 1932, is one of the original buildings on the Louisiana State University (LSU) campus. Built under Long's leadership, the Fieldhouse was the original student union, with a ballroom, soda fountain, post office, beauty parlor, barber shop, racquetball courts, and outdoor swimming pool. The architecture illustrates the University's evolution from a humble agricultural state school to a prestigious institution of higher education—strong, elegant, and a site to behold.

Long was something of a showboat, and insisted his pool be longer than any other pool in the country, so it was built 181 feet long (1 foot longer than the standard pool). The water from the pool was furnished by artisan wells. The pool was often described as having the appearance of a "Roman Bath," due to its beautiful architectural details.

The Fieldhouse was designed by the same architectural firm that designed the Old State Capitol and governor's mansion. The building is listed in the state and National Register of Historic Places, as part of the LSU Historic District nomination. According to the state nomination form, the building is significant "because it embodies distinctive characteristics of a type of period, and method of construction that represents the work of a master and possesses high artistic value."

From 1932 until the 1970s, the HPL pool hosted many swim lessons for students of all ages, and it was required that LSU students complete a swim class during their tenure at the University. In 1988 the men's swim team, which trained at the HPL pool, won the Southeastern Conference championship. Unfortunately, since the 1960s the Huey P. Long pool has suffered from lack of maintenance. The pool was drained and finally closed around 1999.

The pool’s significance lies not only in its exceptional construction and mechanics, but also for its impact on the lives of university students. In a Reveille article from August of 1944 the Fieldhouse was described as a place, “where old friends gather, new friends meet, dates are made, and sometimes broken.” However, the pool was not just a purely recreational attraction, it was also used to help treat polio–stricken children and was the home of mandatory swimming classes for each university student. The pool became the battleground for segregation debate in the summer of 1964. In a Reveille article from June 1964, it was announced that an earthquake had damaged the pool and forced it to close indefinitely. When University President John Hunter declared that the pool would reopen solely as a teaching facility and would no longer be accessible to students, it sparked a huge controversy over speculation as to the real reason why it had been closed. The summer of 1964 was the first time that African American students had been admitted to the university, and several of these students had been denied access to the swimming pool and to other Fieldhouse amenities. During this time, it was standard procedure in the South to integrate but not to allow integration in social functions. The Fieldhouse pool was unceremoniously reopened in April of 1965, without major incident.

For  more information on the current status of the pool, click here


The Historic Lincoln Theater

The Lincoln Theater (ca. 1950) is a two story brick veneer-over-concrete building located at the corner of Myrtle Walk and Eddie Robinson Street in a modest early to mid-twentieth century neighborhood about a half mile southeast of downtown Baton Rouge. Although in disrepair, the original marquee is still quite prominent on the front façade and could easily be restored, as could the original roof signage with the profile of Abraham Lincoln.

The theater contains its original stage and also commercial shopfront bays. Historically these spaces housed a barber shop, a laundry, and a pharmacy. The commercial spaces back up to the theater space, sharing a common wall.  The barber shop is in an excellent state of preservation from the historic period. It retains its original sinks, metal cabinets, mirrors, recessed lighting and black and white checkerboard linoleum floor.
The Lincoln Theater was placed on the National Register in December of 2010 due to its significance as an important entertainment focal point for Baton Rouge’s large African American population. Additionally, it represents an important phenomenon – the development of first-class theaters in black neighborhoods specifically for African Americans. These entertainment meccas were of real and symbolic value in the segregated world of separate but typically unequal.

Baton Rouge city directories show the Lincoln under construction in the 1950 volume. The 1951 city directory lists the Lincoln Theater, Lincoln Pharmacy, and Lincoln Barbershop at the building’s address. The facility was built by Dr. A. L. Chatman, a local African American physician. Dr. Chatman was also responsible for the construction of the Lincoln Hotel, also in Baton Rouge.

When the theater opened, it was one of three African American theaters in the City of Baton Rouge. Black neighborhood theaters such as these were built either by white businessmen who saw an economic opportunity or by African Americans themselves. Obviously, African Americans preferred welcoming neighborhood theaters over the “colored” balcony of one of the city’s white theaters, accessed by a secondary “colored” entrance. As historians of segregation have observed, blacks daily had to deal with various indignities and humiliation – from seats at the back of the bus, to separate drinking fountains, to separate entrances, and seats in the balcony. By its very nature, segregation implied inferiority.

When asked what distinguished the Lincoln from the city’s other two African American theaters, one woman spoke for many when she said, it was “the modern thing.” Another person interviewed quickly replied “because it was a first class theater.” The Lincoln was the newest, most up-to-date of the three. Roscoe Perry, whose father was the Lincoln’s first projectionist, explained that sometime in the 1950s, the theater became even more up-to-date when it acquired a larger screen with cinemascope projection.

Preservation Saves and Losses

Today due in great part to the Foundation’s long standing efforts, our citizens enjoy many historic gems. Community leaders and elected officials now share a greater awareness of the critical importance of our landmarks. It’s the catalyzing work of the Foundation that spearheads initiatives such as the Heidelberg Hotel/Capitol House "comeback" and the restorations along Third Street. Over the years the Foundation has protected Magnolia Mound, the Louisiana State Capitol, the Pentagon Barracks, Historic Highland and Magnolia Cemeteries, the classic LSU campus buildings, Spanish Town and Beauregard Town Historic Districts, and the Old Governor’s Mansion. The work of safeguarding our patrimony is never ending and certainly never complete.

The brochure below contains more information about the places we’ve saved, and how you can help us in our mission.


Need Content


Stay tuned with what's happening at FHL by checking back here often!

News & Events

Read about upcoming events and any Foundation news by following the links below. Information can also be found on the Foundation's Facebook page here

Sponsorship Opportunities

The Foundation for Historical Louisiana could not champion the cause of preservation in this great state without the support of our members and the financial contributions of the following individuals and companies. These donations insure the preservation of Louisiana's rich historical heritage and see that it survives for generations to come. If you would like to become a sponsor, please email or call 225.387.2464. Thank you for your support!

Champion - $10,000

  • Logo featured in all media promotions and print materials, including Foundation’s website
  • Recognition in each quarterly Foundation newsletter with one feature article annually
  • Your name or logo printed on Foundation Sponsor banner at Old Governor’s Mansion
  • Twenty (20) tickets to the 9th Annual Old Governor’s Mansion Gala, October 25
  • Limited edition Sponsor keepsake gift
  • Reserved VIP tours of the Old Governor’s Mansion for you and your guests for one year
  • Annual Foundation Membership

Supporter - $7,500

  • Name featured in all media promotions and print materials
  • Recognition in each quarterly Foundation newsletter with one feature article annually
  • Your name or logo printed on Foundation Sponsor banner at Old Governor’s Mansion
  • Twelve (12) tickets to the 9th Annual Old Governor’s Mansion Gala. October 25
  • Limited edition Sponsor keepsake gift
  • Reserved VIP tours of the Old Governor’s Mansion for you and your guests for one year
  • Annual Foundation Membership

Investor - $5,000

  • Recognition in each quarterly Foundation newsletter
  • Your name or logo printed on Foundation Sponsor banner at Old Governor’s Mansion
  • Ten (10) tickets to the 9th Annual Old Governor’s Mansion Gala, October 25
  • Limited edition Sponsor keepsake gift
  • Reserved VIP tours of the Old Governor’s Mansion for you and your guests for one year
  • Annual Foundation Membership

Benefactor - $2,500

  • Recognition in each quarterly Foundation newsletter
  • Your name or logo printed on Foundation Sponsor banner at Old Governor’s Mansion
  • Eight (8) tickets to the 9th Annual Old Governor’s Mansion Gala, October 25
  • Limited edition Sponsor keepsake gift
  • Reserved VIP tours of the Old Governor’s Mansion for you and your guests for one year
  • Annual Foundation Membership

Patron - $1,500

  • Recognition in each quarterly Foundation newsletter
  • Your name or logo printed on Foundation Sponsor banner at Old Governor’s Mansion
  • Six (6) tickets to the 9th Annual Old Governor’s Mansion Gala, October 25
  • Limited edition Sponsor keepsake gift
  • Annual Foundation Membership

Current Sponsors

FHL is supported by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council as administered by the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge.



Today due in great part to the Foundation’s long standing efforts, our citizens enjoy many historic gems. Community leaders and elected officials now share a greater awareness of the critical importance of our landmarks. It’s the catalyzing work of the Foundation that spearheads initiatives such as the Heidelberg Hotel/Capitol House "comeback" and the restorations along Third Street. Recent victories include the creation of a Historic Preservation Commission and passage of a demolition ordinance. Over the years from 1963-2004, the Foundation has protected Magnolia Mound, the Louisiana State Capitol, the Pentagon Barracks, Historic Highland and Magnolia Cemeteries, the classic LSU campus buildings, Spanish Town and Beauregard Town Historic Districts, and most recently the Old Governor’s Mansion. The work of safeguarding our patrimony is never ending and certainly never complete.

Charity & Mid City

For Important Documents Click Here

Overview of the Big Charity Story
The Foundation for Historical Louisiana (FHL), at the direction of the Louisiana State Legislature and other governing bodies solicited expressions of interest and statements of qualifications for an Existing Conditions and Facilities Assessment Report on the “Big Charity” Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The Louisiana State Legislature’s House Concurrent Resolution No. 89 (HCR 89), passed in the regular session of 2006, authorizing the FHL to assemble an independent group to “. . . assess the condition of the facility and evaluate its potential uses as a location from which medical services may be offered to the population of the Greater New Orleans area . . . ”

A nationally recognized architectural firm found Charity Hospital structurally sound and ready for transformation to state-of-the-art modern medical facility. The full report (and video)was released to the public 9.22.2008. This alternative plan cited clear advantages in cost, time of delivery, less destruction of surrounding residential areas, and the revitalization of New Orleans.

Call to Action

Common sense and fiscal responsibility work just as well in the legislature as they do in Louisiana households. Contact Gov. Jindal and your Louisiana Legislators and ask them why they won't even consider an alternative that 1). saves our state millions of tax payer dollars, 2). returns much needed medical care to New Orleans residence years ahead of the state's plan, and 3). displaces fewer hard working New Orleans residence that have rebuilt their neighborhoods after Katrina.

Talk of reusing Charity Hospital building is familiar to preservationists

By Sandra Stokes and Walter Gallas
November 4, 2013 12:19pm

While preservationists are relieved that New Orleans is finally considering the adaptive reuse of Charity Hospital, the lingering irony is not lost on the community, which was repeatedly told after Hurricane Katrina that the building was in terrible shape and could not be reused because of its flooded basement. Many said it should have been demolished shortly after the storm to end the debate.

Luckily, through the work of the Foundation for Historical Louisiana, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Smart Growth for Louisiana, Louisiana Landmarks Society, Louisiana Justice Institute, and many other groups and citizens, the building is still standing today and finally the focus of discussion about its rehabilitation.

However, it is a little early to celebrate the announcement that Mayor Mitch Landrieu envisions the iconic Charity Hospital building as a civic center. This is not the first time we have heard a New Orleans mayor announce plans for a new City Hall. In May 2009, then-Mayor Ray Nagin presented his plan to move City Hall into the former Chevron Building in the Central Business District. Nagin’s plan never got off the ground. And although Landrieu’s new plan appears to be the best of all possibilities for Charity, it is still only a notion at this point.


Charity Hospital: The Times-Picayune covers 175 years of New Orleans history

By Bill Barrow, The Times-Picayune | Updated: February 01, 2012

Free medical care for the poor has been part of New Orleans for nearly all of its three centuries, a thread of the city’s narrative dominated by the downtown Charity Hospital that opened in 1939 as a technological, medical and architectural wonder.

Since the legislative debates that preceded its construction, the Charity Hospital story intertwines with the Louisiana’s populist traditions, byzantine battles in government and higher education, and the ongoing effort to grow a medical education enterprise of national renown.

The Art Deco building, which now sits dormant on Tulane Avenue as a new facility rises in Mid-City, was the sixth Charity structure since the institution opened in 1736 as L’Hospital des Pauvres de la Charite. Over two centuries, what began as a modest operation on the corner of Chartres and Bienville streets had grown into a million square feet with almost 3,000 beds, the second largest hospital in the United States at the time.

The hospital was a vision of Huey Long, the fallen governor and U.S. senator. During his tenure and after his 1935 assassination, Louisiana saw growth of existing Charity hospitals, the construction of new sites and the opening of a public medical school at Louisiana State University. In a swipe at the private Tulane University, the populist Long said, “We’re going to have the medical school, and every qualified poor boy can go.”

Tulane and LSU would for years educate physicians together in the giant downtown hospital. Charity garnered a reputation as one of the best hospitals nationally to train for emergency medicine: A physician educated at Charity was unlikely to encounter a circumstance not seen in New Orleans. For the region’s poor, Charity served as their medical home, usually from birth.

Yet for its successes, Charity almost immediately endured political wrangling and chronic financial shortfalls in a state whose populace seemingly wanted more than it was willing to pay for. In 1963, LSU and Tulane administrators — sometimes at odds — together railed against a process that allowed the governor to stack the Charity governing board. Over the years, control of the hospital has moved from the governor’s board to a legislative-chartered health care body to the LSU System.

Continue Reading

Dream of joint medical complex dies as VA prepares to drive pilings

By Bruce Eggler, The Times-Picayune | Updated: August 21st, 2011

As federal contractors begin construction of a Veterans Affairs medical complex in Mid-City, their work will include preparations for a central energy plant along Tulane Avenue. Plans for the adjacent University Medical Center, a state teaching hospital to succeed Charity Hospital, call for its energy plant to be just blocks away on the same thoroughfare.

This is despite the months officials spent talking about a shared central power plant for what amounts to one 70-acre campus bound by South Claiborne Avenue, Tulane Avenue, South Rocheblave Street and Canal Street. Even earlier this year, state planners said they remained in talks with the VA about a shared energy plant.
Now the VA is ready to move forward with construction, with plans to open in 2014 using $995 million in confirmed appropriations from Congress. The state project, meanwhile, has suffered numerous delays. It is projected to open in February 2015, though that presumes quick resolution of a financing scheme and business plan that will not be settled any earlier than September.

VA facilities executive Mark Brideweser stepped gingerly around UMC's circumstance. But he was clear: "We will have our own energy plant."

The separate plans highlight the evolution of the two medical centers from visions of a true joint project to talk of shared facilities and, finally, to the reality of two adjacent complexes with considerably fewer "synergies" than what state and federal authorities once agreed were possible. Even the prospect of any remaining cooperation is up in the air.

Continue Reading

State Treasurer John Kennedy Speaks • July 26th, 2011

More than 26 neighborhood and community organizations hosted a presentation on July 26, 2011 where State Treasurer John Kennedy explained the fiscal realities of the proposed UMC Medical Center. See the Treasurer's opening comments via video before he began an indepth question and answer session.

FHL to UMCMC Board • July 11th, 2011

Mr. Robert “Bobby” Yarborough
University Medical Center Management Corporation Board
P.O. Box 3374
Baton Rouge, LA 70821

Re: Consideration of FHL/RMJM Hillier Charity Hospital Feasibility Study

Dear Mr. Yarborough:

On May 3, 2011, the Foundation for Historical Louisiana (FHL) submitted a legal opinion by Smith & Fawer, LLC, Attorneys at Law, to the University Medical Center Management Corporation (UMCMC) board confirming the currently proposed model was not the only option available to the board to build the new UMC under the terms of the August 28, 2009 Memorandum of Understanding establishing the UMCMC and the articles of incorporation of the UMCMC. It states “the alternative proposal by architects RMJM Hillier could theoretically be implemented by the Board of Directors of the UMCMC without violating the governing documents of the UMCMC.” The June 13, 2011 directive from the Governor furthers the UMCMC Board’s obligation to fully examine alternative ways to achieve a first class academic medical center for the state – regardless of preconceived notions.

On June 2, 2011, the Kaufman Hall and Associates study was released. Completed for the UMCMC board, it confirmed and further elaborated on the risks exposed in the state’s own Verité Study. The conclusions reached in these studies emphasized that exploring all alternatives that can provide a state-of-the-art medical academic center is necessary if the project is to be responsibly built and sustained over time.

And in a letter dated June 13, 2011 to the UMCMC board, Governor Jindal directed the board to “explore all options to maximize the benefits and outcomes of the [University Medical Center] in order to create a first rate medical center.” The Governor added that the board “should consider options even beyond those in existing studies.”

The Foundation for Historical Louisiana (FHL) is prepared to provide the firm or firms chosen by the UMCMC board to examine “all alternatives” and “explore all options” with a copy of the FHL/RMJM Hillier Charity Hospital Feasibility Study and all supporting documents. FHL asks the board to give us notice to make arrangements to have the architects and other professionals available to meet with the analysts, as well as make a presentation to the UMCMC Board.

The Governor’s directive is to look at all alternatives to create the best medical center we can afford to build, not restrict the project due to preconceived limitations. We take him at this word. It would be irresponsible and inexcusable to exclude the only already existing, legislatively-charged, in-depth study of a viable alternative that could save time and money. This $600,000 study can provide valuable information so the new medical center can be built of any size (with room to expand), with all the technology, with all of the equipment – all of the bells and whistles – without further encumbering the state with additional borrowing or other onerous obligations. This could allow money to attract the intellectual capital essential to making the UMC a world class institution that serves the healthcare, education, research and economic interests of the state and its entire people.

The Foundation for Historical Louisiana stands ready to assist you.

Sincerely yours,

Sandra Stokes
Director at Large, Board of Directors
Foundation for Historical Louisiana

New Orleans City Council votes to close streets in hospital footprint

By Bruce Eggler, The Times-Picayune | Updated: June 3, 2011

Despite the objections of Councilwoman Stacy Head, the New Orleans City Council voted Thursday to give up the city's ownership of street rights of way on the site of the planned $1.2 billion state teaching and research hospital near the Central Business District.

View full sizeDavid Grunfeld, The Times-Picayune archive The University Medical Center site was photographed in January. Critics of the plan, many of whom still think the state should have agreed to rehabilitate Charity Hospital rather than build a new hospital, said the action effectively ends city leverage over the project, because its control of the streets was the city's only remaining way to demand the state make any changes in its plans.

Head ended up voting for the revocation because she said she recognizes the value of such a hospital as much as anyone else, but she was unhappy that the city did not get further concessions from the state. She failed to attract any support from her colleagues for most of the changes she wanted to make to the ordinance giving up the city's claims.

Continue Story...

Why Was New Orleans's Charity Hospital Allowed to Die?

By Roberta Brandes Gratz - The Nation | Updated: April 27, 2011

Before Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, Charity Hospital was the pride of New Orleans. A 1930s Art Deco–style icon built with WPA funds, Charity was one of the oldest continually operating public hospitals in the country and was regarded as one of the most vital and successful. “Charity was one of the best teaching hospitals in the country, where students from Tulane and LSU did their training,” says Dr. James Moises, a former Charity emergency room physician, noting that it served 100,000 patients a year before the storm.

Today Charity is a skeleton of its former self, with smaller, temporary facilities. The interim coverage does not include “urgent and chronic outpatient care,” notes Moises, and reaches a vastly reduced patient population. Meanwhile, the money that has flowed from the state and federal governments to compensate for the storm’s damage to the hospital is set to be spent on a highly controversial new $1.2 billion complex on an entirely different site, separated from the downtown core by an interstate highway.

The abandonment of the old Charity Hospital stands as a potent symbol of the many disappointments and betrayals experienced by the residents of New Orleans after Katrina. The loss has been a huge blow to the poor African-American community Charity served—an outcome that is all the more tragic, critics say, because it didn’t have to happen.

Charity flooded only in the basement during Katrina. In an extraordinary act of dedication and volunteerism, a 200-person medical and military team brought in a 600-kilowatt generator, pumped out the water and prepared the hospital for service. It was cleaned (to a condition better than before the storm) and was “medical ready” within weeks, according to doctors and military personnel present at the cleanup, as well as Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, the retired Army general who was commander of the joint task force on Katrina.

Continue Story...

Orleans Parish School Board files McDonogh No. 11 lawsuit against State and Louisiana Board of Supervisors

By Leslie Williams, The Times-Picayune | Updated: Monday, March 28, 2011,11:11 PM

The Orleans Parish School Board has filed a lawsuit against the State of Louisiana and the Board of Supervisors of LSU for damages regarding the expropriation of the McDonogh No. 11 school, according to a new release.

Ted Jackson, The Times-PicayuneThe Orleans Parish School Board has filed lawsuit over the state's expropriation of McDonogh11 school. The release does not elaborate on the amount of damages sought, but notes that "the State and LSU offered OPSB $2,365,000 for the property - an amount considerably less than the cost of post-Katrina renovations to the school and substantially less than the construction cost of a replacement high school."

McDonogh No. 11 is the oldest continuously operating school in Orleans Parish and is believed to be one of the oldest continuously operating schools in the United States. Since Katrina, McDonogh No. 11 has served as the facility of the Priestley Charter School. In June 2010, representatives of the State and LSU informed OPSB and Priestly that the school would need to be vacated in 90 days.

Continue Story...

Editorial: Saving McDonogh No. 11

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Not only is the McDonogh No. 11 campus historically and architecturally significant to New Orleans, but it was restored before Katrina and then underwent $3 million in renovations afterward.

It also is in the middle of the 34-acre site where a much-needed teaching hospital is to be built in Mid-City.

At this point, the 130-year-old school is scheduled to be demolished. The current plans for University Medical Center, which is vital to New Orleans' recovery, put the entry to the Emergency Department and support facilities where McDonogh now sits. "Given the close proximity and placement of the school, it was impossible to integrate the existing facility with the complex structures needed for the hospital design," state facilities chief Jerry Jones said.

Continue Story

National Trust for Historic Preservation Joins State and Local Partners in Calling for Historic School’s Incorporation into Reconfigured Mid-City Hospital Plan

New Orleans, LA (February 15, 2011)

Today the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Foundation for Historical Louisiana, Preservation Resource Center, Committee to Reopen Charity Hospital, Louisiana Landmarks Society, Smart Growth for Louisiana, Vieux Carre Property Owners, Residents, and Associates (VCPORA), and called on the State of Louisiana to incorporate the architecturally and historically significant McDonogh No. 11 School into a reconfigured University Medical Center (UMC) plan, rather than demolishing a vital piece of New Orleans’ history. The National Trust and its partners held a press conference urging the State to consider alternatives to demolishing the McDonough No 11 building.

The historic school located at 2009 Palmyra Street is within the 37-acre footprint for the proposed medical facility, a project which has already caused the demolition of 21 structures in New Orleans’ Mid-City neighborhood, a majority of them historic. The loss of those buildings and the imminent threat to the McDonogh No. 11 School is especially egregious in light of the medical center’s $400 million financing shortfall that will almost certainly stall site development. This fact prompted a UMC Board consultant to warn of imprudent site preparation that is out of step with the project’s financial resources. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development also raised concerns about the hospital project’s funding and design during the UMC Board’s application process for mortgage insurance.

“So much unwarranted demolition has already taken place in Mid-City, irrevocably severing the neighborhood’s tie to its past, and undermining homeowners’ commitment to rebuilding after Katrina,” said the National Trust’s Southern Regional Office Director, John Hildreth, “We’re sending a message to the State that here’s an excellent opportunity for them to salve the wound a bit, by stopping the demolition plans for the school, and instead making a rehabilitated McDonogh No. 11 School an integral part of the LSU/VA hospital plan.”

The McDonogh No. 11 School was built in 1879 and designed by William Freret, who later served as the Architect of the United States for the U.S. Treasury. The handsome powder blue Italianate/French Empire structure replaced the earlier Madison School, which burned down in 1878, taking the lives of two firefighters. Their sacrifice is memorialized by a stone plaque embedded above the main entryway.

The McDonogh No. 11 School served as the New Orleans Center for Health Careers, the only public school dedicated to prepare OPSB students for the Allied Health professions, until Katrina. Following the storm and subsequent flooding, the school was renovated at a cost of several million dollars and then served as a distinctive home for a public charter high school specializing in architecture and construction until December 2010 when students were abruptly forced to vacate in anticipation of demolition. These students are now learning in a group of modular buildings miles away from McDonogh No. 11, despite the uncertain timeframe for UMC site development. The Orleans Parish School Board retains ownership of the building and has retained counsel to protest an exceedingly low offer from the state in the face of expropriation.

CONTACT: Brad Vogel, National Trust – (504) 388-8298

National Trust for Historic Preservation
8123A Oak Street
New Orleans, LA 70118

Download PDF

Can LSU med center pay the bills? James Gill

By Letters to the Editor | Published: Sunday, February 13, 2011, 6:20 AM

Say you'd come back after Katrina to fix up your Mid-City house, possibly at public expense, and then watched it get knocked down to make way for a $1.2 billion medical complex.

You'd have to figure the complex was certain to be built if work had begun to turn a vast tract at the heart of New Orleans into a wasteland. It wouldn't make much sense to acquire property and commence demolition before the money had been lined up to fill the void left by the closure of Charity Hospital.

That is where we stand right now, however. And even if the University Medical Center does go ahead, the projected opening date has been pushed back again, this time until 2015, so there will be no hospital until a full decade after Katrina closed Charity down.
LSU evidently figures that a glorious new complex, and the economic stimulus it would supposedly bring, are well worth waiting for.

The board overseeing the project is naturally preoccupied right now, because the kitty is a good $400 million short, and only HUD can save the day. It could be worse, for the feds, in the form of FEMA, have already proved a major benefactor.

Although FEMA initially offered...

Continue Story...

Transplanted medplex houses in need of life support

By Karen Gadbois, The Lens staff writer | February 11, 2011

Bobbi Rogers and Kevin Krause were deservedly proud of their camelback on Palmyra Street, near Galvez. Part of the influx of young professionals drawn to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, the couple bought the place in 2007 and refurbished it in stride with neighbors engaged in one of the city’s more vigorous community revivals. Ironically, top-to-bottom restoration of the house was made possible in part by a $45,000 state grant for historic preservation.

Today the house teeters absurdly atop five-foot concrete piers in the 3600 block of Second Street, a couple of miles from Palmyra. Its camelback has been lopped off, along with the rear rooms that stood beneath it; its roof and windows are open to the elements, its architectural details – those that survived the move – tossed in a heap on the floor.

The house is one of 71 that have been uprooted in a first phase of site preparation for the $2 billion medical complex for the Veterans Affairs and Louisiana State University hospitals, a project about to begin construction on 70 blocks along Tulane Avenue north of Claiborne Avenue. The cost of moving the houses from the Veterans Affairs part of the project: more than $3 million. The price the couple was paid during the condemnation process was not stingy: $350,000.

What has provoked concern is the outcome of the overall taxpayer investment. Most often roofless, only occasionally sheathed in plastic and frequently shorn of the detailing that made them quaint and worth saving, the houses are strewn about the city’s older neighborhoods like giant packing crates.

Preservationists had hailed plans to relocate the houses as at least a...

Continue Story...

Persistence Pays Off in New Orleans Hospitals Fight

By National Trust for Historic Preservation on February 8th, 2011 Written by Brad Vogel

I’ve discovered something important about preservation during my months with the National Trust’s New Orleans Field Office: when the fight is seemingly over, it’s usually not over yet.  In the context of the LSU/VA Hospitals complex in the Mid-City National Register Historic District, that’s certainly been the case.  While the project has continued to push forward, we’ve managed to extract a number of positives during the ongoing rearguard action.

Just last week, we had some great news.  We learned that after months of continuous on-the-ground pressure from the National Trust and local allies, the State of Louisiana has agreed to move up to 25 houses off the University Medical Center (UMC) footprint instead of demolishing them.  The houses would join more than 70 houses that have been moved off the adjacent VA Hospital site by Builders of Hope to various lots in the city for rehabilitation.  Leaving the neighborhood intact is clearly the ideal outcome, but house moving has become a preferred policy in a landscape of last resorts.

While more than 20 structures have already been demolished in the UMC site, the state has halted demolitions because the University Medical Center’s own financial advisor recently warned board members that site preparation had gotten far out ahead of financial and management realities.  The project remains over $400 million short of the necessary financing for construction, and additional demolitions jeopardize a shot at HUD mortgage insurance that some see as a way to bridge the gap.  Additionally, we called the...

Continue Story...

Hospital opening pushed to 2015 Land acquisition, finances still thorns

Monday, January 31, 2011 | By Bill Barrow, The Times-Picayune

The targeted opening date for the state's Charity Hospital successor has been pushed back for the second time in as many months, with the latest recalculation forcing the University Medical Center opening into 2015, the year that will mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

The new move-in date, according to a monthly report from Jacobs Engineering, the state's project manager, is Feb. 28, 2015, two months later than the Dec. 31, 2014, date set in the previous report and eight months later than the target at the start of last year.

Jacobs set the latest target presuming that the Orleans Parish clerk of civil court, beset for months by a database crash, can accommodate all delayed property closings by April 1. The report also acknowledges that lingering financing questions could...

Continue Story...

Relocation of historic homes from Veterans Affairs hospital footprint nearly complete

Published: Thursday, January 27, 2011, 9:07 PM | Updated: Thursday, January 27, 2011, 9:10 PM

By Bill Barrow, The Times-Picayune

Builders of Hope, acting as a city of New Orleans contractor, is nearing completion of a $3.2 million program to move historic homes from the planned federal veterans hospital footprint to other parcels in Mid-City.

Through Thursday, the effort involved 69 structures being moved, with three houses scheduled for Friday and four more identified as movable but not yet scheduled.

What remains is an expansive tract of cleared land, with a few exceptions, in the more than 30 acres bound by Tulane Avenue, South Rocheblave Street, Canal Street and South Galvez Street. The 200-bed VA medical complex is projected to open there in 2014.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration, meanwhile, is negotiating a new arrangement to have Builders of Hope continue its efforts on the adjacent land slated for the state’s Charity Hospital successor.

State and city officials said the VA program will exhaust the initial $3.2 million, which came from $79 million in federal hurricane recovery grants that former Mayor Ray Nagin committed to land acquisition and site preparation for the VA hospital.

The state previously pushed for the city to dedicate any remaining Builders of Hope money to moving houses from the adjacent University Medical Center site. Landrieu spokesman Ryan Berni and state spokesman Michael Diresto, whose agency manages the University Medical Center project, said enough money should remain from that...

Continue Story...

RMJM Hillier Response • November 9th, 2008

RMJM Hillier response to the State Division of Administration. This letter is in response to the Foundation for Historical Louisiana (FHL) request that RMJM Hiller assist FHL in responding to comments regarding the Medical Center of New Orleans - Charity Hospital Feasibility Study (available at and hereafter referred to as “Feasibility Study”) provided by the State of Louisiana Commissioner of Administration in a letter dated October 24, 2008. A copy of the letter was received by RMJM Hillier via facsimile on October 27, 2008.

Click here to view the response in PDF format.

Full Charity Hospital Feasibility Report Released • September 22nd, 2008

The Louisiana Legislature charged the Foundation for Historical Louisiana to conduct an independent assessment of Charity Hospital in New Orleans. FHL retained RMJM Hillier, internationally-renowned architects in preservation and healthcare design, to conduct this extensive study with two main goals: structural soundness and potential reuse.

RMJM Hillier made the following findings in a recent report on Charity Hospital:

  • The building is structurally sound--with its original design being architecturally exceptional and “ahead of its time.” It is perfectly suited for renovation into a first rate, state-of-the-art medical and teaching facility.
  • Renovation would be the most cost effective way to return quality healthcare to N.O. and are considerably less costly than the proposed new hospital. Reusing the Charity rich limestone shell is the most expedient way to return adequate healthcare to N. O.
  • Charity can be renovated into a showcase facility in three years. The proposed new hospital would take, at very minimum, five years.
  • The vacated and empty building, with interim medical services presently in place elsewhere, allows the opportunity for a faster and finally comprehensive renovation, without further disruption of medical services.
  • This approach allows for the preservation of nearby historic neighborhoods slated for demolition to make way for the proposed new hospital.
  • Reusing vintage building stock is the ultimate “green” approach.
  • Renovation of Charity Hospital would provide the most expedient means to “Shelter in Place” with a fully functioning Level One Trauma Center in case of a Category 5 Hurricane. The structure is ideally located, with the first floor 3 feet above flood plane, and adjacent access to I-10.
  • The reuse of this iconic historic landmark would be a towering symbol of the rebirth of New Orleans.

Download PDF Response (107mb) or Watch Video

Treasures in Trouble

Foundation for Historical Louisiana Past "Treasures in Trouble" 
2011-2012 Endangered Properties List

The Foundation for Historical Louisiana (FHL) named endangered historic properties and entities, calling them "treasures in trouble," to draw attention to their potential loss. FHL designated five properties in the Greater Baton Rouge region, as well one grouping of New Orleans Lower Mid-City Historic District homes moved from the swath of construction for the new medical center, as endangered treasures and in need of advocacy efforts to preserve.

Named are the Livingston Parish Courthouse, circa 1940; First Guaranty Bank of Ponchatoula, a mid-20th century modern building designed by renowned Louisiana architect John Desmond; True Friends Hall in Donaldsonville, circa 1886; The Royal Hotel in Amite, circa 1900; the Laurel Street Firehouse, circa 1940; and dozens of moved homes originally located in the National Register Lower Mid-City Historic District of New Orleans and intended for recycling.

These Treasures in Trouble were selected predominately from the nine parish capital region that includes Ascension, Livingston, and Tangipahoa. Nominations came from citizens concerned about preservation and each entry is architecturally and culturally significant, said FHL board member and Treasures in Trouble Chair Mark Drennen. Also serving on the committee are Lenore Feeney, Robert Hodges, Doug Cochran, Sandra Stokes, Mark Upton, Michael Desmond, PhD., along with the FHL professional staff.

"The Treasures in Trouble recognition draws attention to these unique properties that are so important to their communities. Each property represents a tie to the history, architectural, and cultural story of its location. Additionally FHL will bring together individuals and organizations from the various parishes to develop a business plan of action for each named property. "Spotlighting these neglected and sometimes forgotten properties is the first step in bringing them back into commerce and showcasing their full potential and possibilities for economic development," stated Doug Cochran, FHL Board of Directors Chair.

Other Treasures in Trouble from past years include: St. Paul’s Church in Bayou Goula, the LSU Huey P. Long Pool, the Bucky Geodesic Dome, the Lincoln Theater, and The Marston House.

Staff Members

Lynda Hargroder
Interim Executive Director

Lynda Hargroder, a longtime FHL Board Member and volunteer, will serve as Interim Executive Director until Mrs. Jackson takes over in September 2015. Mrs. Hargroder has been involved with the Foundation for over 10 years. 


Fairleigh Jackson
Executive Director

Fairleigh Jackson will join FHL as the Foundation's second Executive Director in September 2015. She has a 10 year record of service to area non-profit organizations, is currently serving as director of Member Services for the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations. She has also served as a director of Advancement with the LSU Museum of Art, campaign director for the Community Fund for the Arts, and director of Development for Boys & Girls Club of Greater Baton Rouge.


Carolyn Bennett
Executive Director Emeritus

Carolyn Bennett began her journey with the Foundation for Historical Louisiana in 1975.  She is a graduate of the University of Maryland in English and French and holds a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from The Johns Hopkins Seminars.  She is a Preservation Partner with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. After 40 years with the Foundation, Carolyn retired in July 2015. 

Nicole Kennelly
Director of Preservation Field Services
Extension 204

Nicole Kennelly joined the Foundation for Historical Louisiana as Director of Preservation Field Services in 2014. She joined FHL after serving as a Tax Credit Reviewer for the Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation. Kennelly, a graduate of the Arizona State University and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, holds a Master's degree in Public History. Her thesis was on the Freetown Community, and included a Standing Structures Survey and other research for a new National Register Historic District in Lafayette. As Director of Field Services, Kennelly provides expertise and consultation for historic preservation tax credit applications for residential, commercial, and federal tax credit services, and National Register of Historic Places applications.  She is also the Foundation Liason for the Historic Magnolia Cemetery Board of Trustees.

Claire Murphy Trahan

Director of Special Events

Extension 209

A Baton Rouge girl, Claire loves the familiarity, the food, the people and the history of her hometown and state. Trahan began working as the special events director with the Foundation in 2005 after running her own event coordinating business, “A Day to Remember.” While working as a weekend wedding coordinator, Claire fell in love with the history and beauty of the Old Governor’s Mansion and knew that it felt like the right place for her. She even held her own wedding reception there in 2005. Claire received her undergraduate degree in sociology from Southeastern Louisiana University. She has a six-year-old daughter who she enjoys spending time with visiting museums and going to plays in a flourishing Downtown Baton Rouge.

Selena Grant
Foundation Shops Manager
Extension 200

Ms. Selena Grant has been managing the Foundation’s museum shops, located in the State Capitol and the Capitol Park Museum, since 2001. From right here in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Grant spent time studying at Dillard University, The University of Tennessee and Southern University. Before working with FHL, Selena spent 33 years working as a legal secretary for the Louisiana Department of Education. She spends time working with her church providing outreach to the Brookstown area. Grant loves everything about Louisiana especially the culture, the food, the people, the football and the fact that Louisianans’ take so much pride in their state.

Emily Guidroz
Public Relations Intern

Emily Guidroz is a senior at Louisiana State Univerisity studying Mass Communication with a concentration in public relations and a minor in history. She has been with the Foundation since early 2015 and focuses on assisting the Public Relations director with press releases, eblasts, website and social media managment as well as any day-to-day public relations operations for FHL. Emily is a member of Delta Gamma Sorority at LSU and volunteers with the Louisiana School for the Visually Impaired as well as St. James Retirement Community. She is from Lafayette, Louisiana and plans to persue a career in public relations in New Orleans upon her graduation in May of 2016. 


Natalie Paul
Special Events Intern

Natalie is a student a Louisiana State University majoring in Mass communications with a concentration in public relations and minor in business. She has been with the Foundation since the summer of 2015 and focuses on marketing and event planning of the Old Governor’s Mansion as a venue. Natalie assists in the day-to-day public relations operations of the Old Governor’s Mansion such as managing the social media, as well as event execution. She assists in venue tours to market the mansion to potential clients and prepares wedding and other promotional materials. Natalie is a member of Chi Omega Sorority at LSU. She is from League City, Texas and hopes to pursue a career in public relations after her graduation in May of 2016.

Angela deGravelles
Public Relations

John Gibby

Our Webmaster, John Gibby is truly the “master” of all things creative. An accomplished graphic designer from Baton Rouge, Gibby earned a bachelor’s of Fine Arts from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. With a diverse portfolio and background, Gibby has a passion for the cultural, arts and music communities in the Baton Rouge area. He is currently the Lead Interactive at Xdesign in Baton Rouge where he makes websites, mobile applications and helps in design, branding, marketing strategy and identities. Gibby is also an accomplished artist that has shown in galleries, museums and exhibits across the state. He has created juried exhibits for charity, the largest of which went international and resulted in the donation of several thousands of dollars to Gulf Aid of Acadiana dedicated to relief of the victims of the BP Oil Spill. Gibby began working with FHL part-time in 2011, drawn by his passion for nonprofits who help promote and preserve the cultural heritage of his home state. John keeps himself immersed in the community through his work with nonprofits. He currently works with the Elevator Projects of Baton Rouge as a consulting and web designer as well. John describes his love for Louisiana, as:

“It is the only place I’ve been that is as culturally rich and diverse as it’s geographic and natural resources. Being able to fish on the gulf coast, visit New Orleans for a nice meal and relax in the quietness of Baton Rouge all in the same day is an experience only available here. Our food, our culture, our people and our attitudes is what makes Louisiana my home, both by birth and by choice.”

Chairman’s Message

Dear FHL members, volunteers, and constituents:

Can it really be since 1963 that the Foundation for Historical Louisiana Board of Directors, staff, and volunteers have been working with fervor to protect, preserve, and promote what is important to all of us-Louisiana’s historical heritage, architecture, and culture? FHL is almost to the 50 year mark! This past year we have accomplished much because of members and constituents like you.

Each year, we must turn to you for critical, sustaining support. Your donation of $100, $500, $1,000 or $5,000 can make all the difference and is fully tax-deductible. Please help make these accomplishments continue with your contribution. FHL’s current activities include:

  • Advocating and supporting the historic preservation tax credit legislation--an economic development tool;
  • Hosting the first annual “Preserve Green” symposium and monthly Heritage Lectures and Preservation Salons;
  • Naming our 2011-2012 Treasures in Trouble: The Royal Hotel in Amite, circa 1900; Laurel Street Firehouse in Baton Rouge; True Friends Hall in Donaldsonville, constructed 1886; First Guaranty Bank in Ponchatoula, an example of mid-century modern architecture; and the Livingston Parish Courthouse;
  • Key meetings and conversations regarding the LSU Huey P. Long Field House & Pool project;
  • Official partners with Washington, DC based National Trust for Historic Preservation and Preservation Action;
  • Engaging our up and coming community leaders and young professionals through Inherit Baton Rouge.

You are a key member of this dynamic preservation family through your donations and your belief in our mission. At this time, we sincerely hope that you will consider a generous year-end contribution.

Membership dues and our many fundraising endeavors at the Mansion are not enough to support all of the work FHL has before it. FHL is not funded by a federal, state, or city budget line.  Every year we must raise our annual operations budget.  In this uncertain economic time, FHL counts on your support - now more than ever. The Foundation for Historical Louisiana is a 501 (c) 3, not-for-profit organization. Thank you so much for your help.
With kind regards,

Carolyn Bennett,
Executive Director

Doug Cochran Carolyn Bennett
Chairman, Board of Directors

Board Of Directors

The Foundation for Historical Louisiana is a privately funded organization governed by a Board of volunteers from throughout the community. Our directors and officers represent all aspects of Baton Rouge’s diverse cultural, socio-economic, and professional make up. They are elected by the membership and serve various term lengths. Members also serve on other boards including the Louisiana State Museum Board, Baton Rouge Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the East Baton Rouge Parish Historic Preservation Commission.

Contact Information

We'd love to hear from you!

Physical Address
Preservation Headquarters
Old Governor’s Mansion • 502 North Boulevard
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Mailing Address
Foundation for Historical Louisiana
PO Box 908
Baton Rouge, LA 70821

Phone 225.387.2464 • Fax 225.343.3989  • • 

Get Involved

Foundation Members Make it Happen!

From the remarkable restoration of River Road’s Magnolia Mound Plantation to our current stewardship project of Louisiana’s Old Governor’s Mansion, the Foundation for Historical Louisiana brings the rich heritage of the past to vivid life in the present.

Since its chartering in 1963, the Foundation has been successful due to the membership and endorsement of generous and dedicated supporters just like you!

There is still much to safeguard around our heritage-rich state: Main Street historic districts that continue to suffer demolition, historic school buildings, commercial and residential National Register properties that need immediate restoration work and adaptive planning for the 21st Century.

Together, we can make a difference that will endure and preserve the past for future generations! Become a Foundation Member today!

Foundation members enjoy:

  • Free Admission to the Old Governor’s Mansion
  • 10 % discount in Old Governor’s Mansion West Wing Gift Shop, the CapitolPark Museum Store and the Shop at the Top of the New State Capitol
  • Invitations to all Foundation programs and events, including Heritage Lectures, Preservation Workshops, and THE party of the year, our Annual Old Governor’s Mansion Gala
  • Advance notice and reduced fares for all Lagniappe Tours excursions
  • The satisfaction of helping preserve the cultural and architectural heritage of Louisiana AND the opportunity to work actively for historic preservation causes throughout the state.

If you would prefer to join FHL offline, please call 225-387-2464 or print and 
mail this form with your payment.


The Foundation invites you to become a preservation partner! As an underwriter, you will be honored throughout the full year. Your donation will return solid marketing advantages in addition to being tax deductible, as the Foundation is a 501 (c)(3), not for profit organization.

The Great Company You'd Join

How to Become a Partner


The Foundation for Historical Louisiana strives to preserve the cultural and architectural heritage of our state through advocacy, stewardship, and most importantly, education. Endless resources and programs are available to those interested in saving our rich and unique culture.

Louisiana Cultural Districts

Louisiana Main Street Program

National Register of Historic Places

Historic Preservation Tax Incentives

National Preservation Organizations

Louisiana Preservation Organizations

Research Resources


The Foundation for Historical Louisiana is proud to offer a variety of tours for the enrichment of its members, schoolchildren, and the public.

Information for these tours can be found here:

Lagniappe Tours

Old Governor's Mansion

School Tours


For additional information or to schedule a tour, call Greg Dole at 225-387-2464, ext. 201 or email

What We Do

For over 40 years, the Foundation has protected Magnolia Mound, the Louisiana State Capitol, the Pentagon Barracks, Historic Highland and Magnolia Cemeteries, the classic LSU campus buildings, Spanish Town and Beauregard Town Historic Districts, and the Old Governor’s Mansion. Most recently, the Foundation was instrumental in the development of a historic demolition ordinance for the downtown area and the creation of a Historic Preservation Commission. The work of safeguarding our patrimony is never ending and certainly never complete.

Who We Are

The Foundation for Historical Louisiana was founded in November of 1963 with the purpose of promoting local interest in the heritage of Baton Rouge and Louisiana. The Foundation uses the resources of today to preserve the treasures of yesterday and improve the quality of tomorrow. 

Our aim is to promote cultural awareness and to encourage economic growth that revitalizes our communities. We seek to unite community leaders, business people, historians, teachers, and preservationists in a coalition approach to historic education and preservation advocacy.

The mission of the Foundation for Historical Louisiana is to promote the preservation of the cultural and architectural heritage of Louisiana through education, advocacy, and stewardship.


The Foundation for Historical Louisiana is a member-based, educational nonprofit organization committed to protecting the state’s cultural and architectural heritage. For more than 50 years, FHL and its dedicated supporters have worked to preserve historic landmarks, including their own headquarters, The Old Governor’s Mansion; Magnolia Mound, Heidelberg Hotel, Baton Rouge High School, East Feliciana Courthouse and countless homes and architectural treasures throughout Louisiana. Today, FHL’s efforts include educational programming, historic documentation and tax credit consulting as well as preservation advocacy as a tool for community economic development. FHL is a Local Partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.