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Officials seek to add Huey P. Long Medical Center to National Register of Historic Places


PINEVILLE, Louisiana — Huey P. Long Medical Center's 75 years of meeting health needs are being emphasized by those seeking to have the Pineville hospital added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The Town Talk reports (http://townta.lk/1JiopcV) Pineville Mayor Clarence Fields, who was born in the hospital, is among the area officials and residents sending comments to the National Park Service, which is considering whether the hospital should be on the National Register.

A state review panel has unanimously recommended to the National Park Service that HPL be on the National Register, and receipt of public comments is the last step before a final decision is made, according to Paul Smith of Historic Preservation Consulting in Alexandria.

The Historical Association of Central Louisiana hired Smith to do the research and paperwork needed in trying to achieve National Register status for the HPL building.

Huey P. Long opened as a state charity hospital in 1939. The state closed it on June 30, 2014, as part of the privatization of charity health care services.

Smith has said a decision on adding the hospital to the National Register is expected next month, and he is "very optimistic."

Although the hospital was called Huey P. Long Medical Center when it closed, it previously was called Huey P. Long Memorial Hospital, which is how the National Park Service refers to it concerning the nomination to the National Register.

Attaining National Register status would not ensure that the HPL building would not be torn down, but it would provide tax incentives that would make it more attractive to re-use the building rather than raze it. The building is owned by the state, which has not announced plans for its future.

Information from: Alexandria Daily Town Talk, http://www.thetowntalk.com

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