June 07, 2011

The Federal Marine Hospital

The Feds' Hospital
This property began as a federal facility 
to become a Chicago Pubilc School 
The Main Building
1884 Illustration
History of Cook County, Illinois 
by Alfred Theodore Andreas
illustration - Calumet 412
postcard  - Ebay 
postcard - Ebay
An Aerial Location
a 1928 view - Calumet 412
By 1928 the Lincoln Park landfill was to the east, Clarendon Avenue to the west, roughly Bittersweet to the south and roughly Gorden Terrace to the north of the federally owned and operate hospital
with zoomed views below
 wtih an even closer look below 

VHA evolved from the first federal soldiers’ facility established for Civil War Veterans of the Union Army. On March 3, 1865—a month before the Civil War ended and the day before his second inauguration—President Abraham Lincoln signed a law to establish a national soldiers and sailors asylum. The faciltiy was renamed as the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers in 1873. This building was the first-ever government institution created specifically for honorably discharged volunteer soldiers. Following the Civil War, many state Veterans homes were established. Since domiciliary care was available at all state Veterans homes, incidental medical and hospital treatment was provided for all injuries and diseases, whether or not of service origin. - US Department of Veterans Affairs

The First Federal Marine Hospitalonce located in St. Louis, Missouri

The Marine Hospital Service was the genesis of America’s modern health care system and is responsible for major improvements in research, hygiene and science-based medical treatment. In 1863 and during the first two years of the Civil War, the Marine Hospital treated wounded Union soldiers from Shiloh, Perryville and other major battles. The Marine Hospital was closed for the duration of the war, and boatmen returned to the Louisville Marine Hospital for treatment. In 1869 The Sisters of Mercy accepted an offer to come to Louisville and operate the U.S. Marine Hospital. The Sisters continued supervision until the Marine Hospital Service was reorganized and resumed operation of the facility in 1875.

postcard - Calisphere via University of California
and destroyed in the Chicago Fire of 1871
illustration below - Harper's Weekly
The 2nd 
U.S. Marine Hospital 
Lake View Township
illustration - Chicagology
image - Illinois Medical Directory 1910

“On September, 1867, the present hospital at Lake View was ordered...In 1868, Congress appointed a commission to select a site for a new hospital. An available site was secured at [Township of} Lake View, on high ground overlooking the lake, and the government purchased ten acres here. Work on the new building began in 1869, and it was completed in 1872 at a cost of $4,452,000. Competent judges say the building could not now be reproduced for the same money. The structure comprises a central building and two wings, [each] four stories [with a] basement. The entire building is built of lemonstone, and handsome stone porches grace the various fronts. The main building, which is 350 x 60 feet in area, contains the offices, executive departments, dispensary, and administrative department. The wings each contain three wards, accommodating twenty patients to each ward, and they are thirty feet wide, interior measurement. The building was refitted in 1879 under the supervision of Dr. Truman W. Willer.”  - Compass Rose Cultural Crossroads

1887 Rascher Atlas Map
Halsted = Clarendon
Graceland = Irving Park Road
zoomed below
and below
1905 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map
with then existing shoreline
zoomed below
postcards - Ebay
This 1922 University of Chicago edited map hows the hospital along Clarendon Avenue north of Irving Park Road along the existing bluffed configured lakefront. Ships would dock to 
de-boarded patients in the 19th century.
What the Lakefront Would Have Look Like ...
postcard - Ebay
About the Facility & its Occupants
in 1873
illustration below - Calumet 412
An Account from
 'Chicago & its Suburbs' 
by Everett Chamberlin 1874
"Upon the lake shore just north of Graceland Avenue (Irving Park Road) stands the United States Marine Hospital a magnificent stone building 360 feet long and four stories high It has just been completed at a cost of $500,000. Its location in the center of a lot of ten acres upon a ridge fronting the lake and being in full and near view of all the passing shipping of the harbor is one which for healthfulness beauty and appropriateness cannot be surpassed anywhere. The improvement and decoration of the hospital grounds already commenced will not be completed until next season. Government buildings and grounds everywhere kept with extreme neatness and taste are always desirable neighbors. The United States Marine Hospitals and Soldiers and Sailors Homes at Washington Pensacola and other places are the centers of park neighborhoods and so we confidently predict that the lake shore property in this vicinity will within five years present an exceptionally fine line of villa residences."
Featured in Harper's Weekly 18948 images - Ebay    
Another Historical Account 
in 1884
History of Cook County, Illinois by A.T. Andreas 
"Situated [along] the lakeshore a few miles north of the city and Graceland Avenue (Irving Park Road) is one of the most important of [Township of] Lake View. The grounds comprising acres were purchased and the first building commenced in 1868. It was finished in 1873 and in September of that year was occupied for general hospital patients. In 1882 the interior was entirely remodeled and repaired at a cost of $48,000. As it stands to day the hospital building is a large brIck structure 360 feet in length and four stories in height. Its officers are as follows: Truman W Miller surgeon, WA Wheeler assistant surgeon, JH Rowles acting surgeon, T Villiers steward. As its name implies the Marine Hospital is the harbor of refuge for those following a seafaring life. The wards are six in number and each ward contains twenty beds the statistician and sanitarist being pleased to discover that the number of cubic feet of air accorded to each patient is equal to that allowed in the best institutions in the country says the Chicago Tribune in a late review of the workings of this institution. The heating is done by steam and every steam coil is supplied by fresh air. The ventilators are numerous every bed having one at its head which leads into a heated ventilating shaft. These means insure a steady flow of pure air into the wards The steam pipes are uncovered making the discovery of breakages easy as well as their repair and beyond this removing all danger of their heating and setting on fire their surroundings. The drainage system here in use is as near perfection as plumbers have been able to make it The traps of slop-basins and water closets are ventilated into separate heated shafts as well as the rooms in which they are placed. Everything is absolutely free from odors and sewer gas. The building as originally designed by the United States architect was ill suited for its purpose but the present surgeon in charge Dr Miller has practically remodeled and rebuilt its interior. 
An Annual Report 
of 1897

The present hospital building is a sufficiently large one and save that it lacks an elevator is fairly well adapted for hospital purposes It is situated on the lake shore and in a quiet sparsely settled residence portion of the city. The location is extremely advantageous the open front and large grounds insuring sufficient air and the nature of the suburb rendering it free from smoke and as nearly free from dust as is possible in Chicago. Since the hospital was opened a number of changes have been made the leveling of the grounds and building the breakwater on the lake being the most extensive. So far, as is known to the writer, no changes have been made in the building save the addition of an operating room in 1896. This was designed by Surgeon Hamilton and built under his supervision is handsomely finished inside with white marble floors and wainscoting and has a perfect light. - Annual Report

1907 postcard image - CardCow
Daily News Archive photo below - 1909
Rumors of Closure
in 1909
Lincoln Park Board of Commissioners 
Report 1913-16
The City Interests vs The Feds
Lincoln Park, the park
 is moving northward
The Boiler & Laundry House
photo - St. Croix Architecture
Expansion Plans
in 1932
New Mission, New Name
by 1951
1965 photo above - Historical Outlet
Property Surveyed 
by 1967
Property Plans 
for the Future in 1967
In 1969, a Chicago Public Building Commission approved the acquisition of the abandoned 12 acre Marine Hospital building and property for the construction of an unconventional (pod-like classrooms) elementary school. This innovative school was the first magnet school in Chicago that is located in neighborhood of Buena Park, Community of Uptown Walt Disney Magnet School that was dedicated in 1971. 
2021 Google Earth View
of the former Marine Hosptial property

No Post Notes:
My Private Collection:

This Federal Hospital was once located in the Township/City of Lake View and then in the neighborhood of Buena Park. Currently the location of Malt Disney Magnet School. The hospital's complete name was 'Marine Hospital for Sailors and Soldiers' built in the 1870's and razed by the 1960's.
Congressional Report of 1901
request for repairs 

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