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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 Lebanon Veterans Administration Hospital Historic District
Reference Number 13000539
State Pennsylvania
County Lebanon
Town South Lebanon Township
Street Address 1700 South Lincoln Avenue
Multiple Property Submission Name United States Second Generation Veterans Hospitals
Status Listed 7/23/2013
Areas of Significance Politics/Government, Health/Medicine, Architecture
Link to full file http://www.nps.gov/nr/feature/places/pdfs/13000539.pdf
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The Lebanon 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 Lebanon VA Hospital Historic District is an excellent, intact example of a Period II general medical and surgical and neuropsychiatric Second Generation Veterans Hospital. The general medical/surgical and neuropsychiatric hospitals are both sub-types 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. Although originally serving both general medical/surgical and neuropsychiatric patients, the Lebanon 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 neuropsychiatric patients as a form of therapy; a monumental main building serving as the focal point of the historic district; buildings specifically designed to house neuropsychiatric patients depending upon the extent of their illness; 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 Lebanon VA Hospital Historic District is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion A at the state level of significance in the areas of Politics and Government because of the importance placed on securing the federal facility and its impact on the local community and veterans of the state of Pennsylvania. The historic district is also eligible under Criterion A in the areas of Health and Medicine at the state level of significance because of the mission of the federal government, through the VA, to provide neuropsychiatric, general medical, and surgical care to veterans of World War I and World War II. The Lebanon VA Hospital Historic District is also eligible under Criterion C in the area of Architecture at the state level of significance as an intact example of a Period II Second Generation Veterans Hospital incorporating elements of the classical revival architectural styles that were nationally popular in the early to mid-twentieth century. The use of a portico, parapeted gables, projecting central pavilion, elaborate facade door surround, stringcourses, oculus windows, and the dominant lantern of the main building (Resource 1, 1947) reflects the influence ofthe Colonial Revival and Classical Revival styles that were fashionable in the early decades of the twentieth century and that continued in the years after World War II. In addition, the Lebanon VA Hospital Historic District is significant for its monumental buildings, which serve as focal points of the historic district. As a hospital constructed during the latter half of the 1940s at approximately the same time the last Second Generation Veterans Hospital was constructed (1950), the Lebanon VA Hospital Historic District demonstrates the evolution in the design of veterans hospitals. Third Generation Veterans Hospitals (also known as Bradley Hospitals) were being designed and constructed in the late 1940s, with smaller tracts of land and multi-story, tower hospital buildings exhibiting modern exterior designs with little ornamentation. The buildings of the Lebanon VA Hospital Historic District exhibit the move to larger hospital buildings but retained the philosophies of the Second Generation Veterans Hospitals through the utilization of a large campus, separate buildings serving specific patient functions, and the use of revivalist architectural styles. The Lebanon VA Hospital Historic District also exhibits standardized designs developed for Period II Second Generation Veterans Hospitals. Initial construction was completed in 1947, and additional buildings were added in 1950. The facility was designated a general medical, surgical, and neuropsychiatric hospital serving veterans of south-central Pennsylvania. The historic district continues to retain characteristics of these sub-types of hospitals, particularly the neuropsychiatric Second Generation Veterans Hospital subtype. The use of a nationally popular architectural style creates a cohesive design for the historic district It also reflects the importance of the VA and its mission to provide medical care to the nation's veterans. 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 Lebanon Veterans Affairs 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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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria