LaGarde Army/Navy Hospital

LaGarde Hospital was built in 1941 to relieve congestion during the Second World War at other regional Army hospitals such as Camp Beauregard in Pineville, Louisiana, and Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The hospital was designated as an "exempt station," meaning that it was independent from a larger Army camp.

After completion of the hospital's construction in March 1941, the city's public welfare department selected about 150 needy families to receive scrap lumber from the project. Captain Frank A. Ray, Construction Quartermaster for the hospital, and Sarah Davis, Chairman of the Welfare Department of the New Orleans Chapter of the American Red Cross, coordinated the donation of lumber to the city's public welfare department.

Although it was ready for occupancy in March 1941, LaGarde Hospital did not become operational until April 1, 1941 after the medical staff set up rooms and tested the equipment. LaGarde Hospital offered 1,650 hospital beds for post-surgery patients and those recuperating from acute or chronic diseases and other ailments. It was staffed with 73 medical officers, 120 nurses, 500 enlisted men, and 100 civilian employees.

In March 1946, the Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Center moved into the LaGarde General Hospital complex. After the Second World War, commercial and residential construction on the Lakefront came to a halt. The VA moved its headquarters from the Lakefront to downtown New Orleans in September 1952.

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