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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 Edward Hines, Jr., Veterans Administration Hospital Historic District
Reference Number 13000814
State Illinois
County Cook
Town Hines
Street Address 5000 South 5th Avenue
Multiple Property Submission Name United States Second Generation Veterans Hospitals MPS
Status Listed 10/9/2013
Areas of Significance Politics/Government, Health/Medicine, Architecture
Link to full file http://www.nps.gov/nr/feature/places/pdfs/13000814.pdf
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The Edward Hines, Jr., VA Hospital Historic District is significant as an example of a hospital that was financed jointly with private and federal funds, constructed prior to the acceptance of standardized plans to meet the immediate needs of the Chicago region's World War I veterans, and later incorporated Period II standardized buildings. The Edward Hines, Jr., VA Hospital Historic District includes a large, unique Main Infirmary Building (Resource 1, 1921) designed by private interests that was initially to serve returning veterans from World War I before its proposed conversion to serve the medical needs of Chicago residents. Construction began on the hospital during World War I but the conflict ended with the hospital only partially completed. After delays and investigations, the federal government offered to complete the hospital and take control of the facility from the private interests, with the facility transferred to the United States (U.S.) Public Health Service in March 1920. After the creation of the Veterans Bureau, the U.S. Public Health Service transferred the hospital in April 1922 to the Veterans Bureau. The Veterans Bureau was consolidated with two other federal agencies into the VA in 1930, with the former Veterans Bureau hospitals coming under the jurisdiction of the newly created VA. Construction was also undertaken within the Edward Hines, Jr., VA Hospital Historic District from the late 1920s through the 1940s, which includes Period II of Second Generation Veterans Hospitals. The Edward Hines, Jr., VA Hospital Historic District is an excellent example of a Second Generation Veterans Hospital that incorporates elements of both a privately planned facility built prior to the development of standardized designs for Period I veterans hospitals and of the Period II VA building campaign. The 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 the vigorous effort involved in acquiring the facility and its impact on the local community and veterans throughout the state of Illinois. The Edward Hines, Jr., VA Hospital Historic District is also eligible under Criterion A in the area of health and medicine at the state level of significance for implementing and continuing the mission of the federal government to provide quality health care for the nation's veterans, primarily those of World War I and World War II, through the U.S. Public Health Service, Veterans Bureau, and VA. Thousands of veterans received subsidized medical care at the hospital throughout the period of significance. The Edward Hines, Jr., VA Hospital Historic District is also eligible under Criterion C in the area of architecture at the state level of significance because it is an intact example of a Second Generation Veterans Hospital blending a previously designed hospital with later Period II buildings exhibiting Colonial Revival and Classical Revival elements. The distinctive design of the fireproof, multi-story, Main Infirmary Building (Resource 1, 1921), which is 2,000 feet in length and 50 feet wide, provided each patient room or ward plentiful sunlight and ventilation while serving patients with tuberculosis, neuropsychiatric illnesses, and general medical and surgical care within a single building. The hospital originally served veterans of Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. The Edward Hines, Jr., VA Hospital Historic District is also significant for its monumental Administration Building (Resource 2, 1929) that serves as a focal point for the historic district. The period of significance and assessm~nt 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 hospital 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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