In 1959, the USDA building in downtown Alexandria was destroyed by fire. The U.S. Forest Service, Southern Forest Experiment Station and many other Federal Agencies lost their offices. Most of the files and records were salvageable and the Forest Service temporarily made their home in building 17 at the Veterans Administration Hospital, which at the time was a vacant building that had been used as living quarters for nurses working at the hospital.
The Southern Forest Experiment Station and the Louisiana Forestry Association began communicating on the concern of a permanent new home for the Experiment Station and a more modern home for the Louisiana Forestry Association. In 1963, a contract was awarded and funds were made available to build the new facility which would be attached to Building 17 where the Kisatchie National Forest had been temporarily located. The Veteran's Administration, it is believed, donated the building and 14 acres of land to the joint venture of the Agencies to complete what is now know as "The Alexandria Forestry Center".