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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.

Entrance to Central Louisiana State Hospital, Alexandria, LaVintage Postcard of Entrance to
Central Louisiana State Hospital

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.

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.

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

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).

Buhlow Lake ... recreation, fishing, boating, racing, and more ... click to visit now!

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.

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)

Other major medical facilities in the Alexandria area include:

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

Dairy Barn at Central Louisiana State Hospital, Pineville, Louisiana, overlooking Buhlow Lake
(Photo courtesy of Erik Larson)
photo of the Dairy Barn at Central Louisiana State Hospital, Pineville, Louisiana, overlooking Buhlow Lake

Aerial View of the Dairy Barn at Central Louisiana State Hospital showing its "Y" shape
Aerial View of the Dairy Barn at Central Louisiana State Hospital showing its "Y" shape

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