Hotel Dieu Hospital

Hotel Dieu Hospital, New Orleans (ca. 1874)

Hotel Dieu Hospital was founded by the Daughters of Charity an order of nuns. The hospital opened its doors in 1859. Hotel Dieu is French for "House of God." The hospital was founded, owned and operated by the Daughters of Charity, and was the only private hospital in New Orleans that stayed open during the Civil War. The present building was completed in 1972, replacing a structure completed in 1924, which, in turn, had replaced the original Hotel Dieu.

During the hospital's long history, it saw New Orleans through two major yellow fever epidemics (1853 and 1897). It was the first hospital in the nation to air-condition its surgical suites (1913), and it was the site of milestone medical research that developed sulfonamide drug treatment for meningitis (in the 1940s). At the end of 1992, the Daughters of Charity sold Hotel Dieu to the state and the hospital was re-named "University Hospital". After Hurricane Katrina, Charity Hospital closed and University Hospital was updated, becoming the main campus of LSUHSC. University Hospital was then renamed "LSU Public Hospital"