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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.

 

Property Name Coatesville Veterans Administration Hospital Historic District
Reference Number 13000059
State Pennsylvania
County Chester
Town Caln Township
Street Address 1400 Blackhorse Hill Road, Caln Township, PA
Multiple Property Submission Name United States Second Generation Veterans Hospitals MPS
Status Listed 03/06/2013
Areas of Significance Politics/Government, Health/Medicine, Architecture
Link to full file http://www.nps.gov/nr/feature/places/pdfs/13000059.pdf
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The Coatesville VA Hospital Historic District is significant for its association with the federal government's commitment to the health care of World War I and World War II veterans. As defined in the United States Second Generation Veterans Hospitals Multiple Property Documentation Form, the Coatesville VA Hospital Historic District is an excellent, intact example of a Period II neuropsychiatric Second Generation Veterans Hospital. Neuropsychiatric hospitals are a sub-type of Second Generation Veterans Hospitals. Period II includes those veterans hospitals constructed from the late 1920s through 1950, the date of the last veterans hospital constructed utilizing the designs developed for the Second Generation Veterans Hospitals. The Coatesville VA Hospital Historic District exhibits characteristics commonly associated with Period II veterans neuropsychiatric hospitals, including: large campus size that originally accommodated farming operations conducted by the patients as a form of therapy; a monumental main building serving as the focal point of the historic district; H-shape buildings constructed around courtyards that were specifically designed to house neuropsychiatric patients depending upon the extent of their illness; the hierarchal use of Classical Revival and Colonial Revival architectural decorative elements on the exteriors of the buildings, creating a cohesive architectural campus setting; the use of connecting corridors between buildings containing patient wards and services; and grouping buildings into three clusters depending on their original function, such as administration/patient services, staff residences, and maintenance/utility buildings. The Coatesville VA Hospital Historic District is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) under Criterion A at the state level of significance in the area of Politics and Government because of its impact on the local community and veterans throughout southeastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, Delaware, and northeastern Maryland. The historic district is also eligible under Criterion A at the state level of significance in the area of Health and Medicine because of the physical evidence the hospital provides concerning health care offered to veterans of the mid-Atlantic region, primarily veterans of World War I and World War II. The Coatesville VA Hospital Historic District is also eligible under Criterion C in the area of Architecture at the state level of significance because the Coatesville VA Hospital is an intact example of a Period II Second Generation Veterans Hospital incorporating elements of classical revival architectural styles that were nationally popular in the early to mid-twentieth century. The use of quoins, porticos, pediments, balustrades, pilasters with Corinthian capitals, wreaths with festoons, dentil molding, and the dominant cupola of the main building (Resource 1 , 1930) reflects the influence of the Colonial Revival and Classical Revival styles. The hospital exhibits standardized designs developed for federal veterans hospitals constructed from the late 1920s through 1950. Construction began on the Coatesville VA Hospital in July 1929. Additional buildings and structures continued to be constructed within the historic district throughout the twentieth century. It was designated a neuropsychiatric hospital serving the mid-Atlantic region and continued to serve as a neuropsychiatric hospital throughout the period of significance. The period of significance and assessment of contributing and noncontributing resources for this nomination are based on the historic district's significance within the historic contexts developed in the United States Second Generation Veterans Hospitals Multiple Property Documentation Form (MPDF). Resources constructed after 1950, and thus considered noncontributing within this nomination, may possess significance under themes not fully developed as part of the MPDF. Resources located within the medical center campus may be eligible or contributing for other associations or contexts under National Register Criteria A-D, or recent buildings/structures may be eligible under Criteria Consideration G, for resources of exceptional importance that are less than 50 years of age..

 

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