Filed Under Place

Fort Harrison Original Hospital

Fort Harrison Veterans Hospital Historic District

The hospital at Fort Harrison was the last of twenty-two original buildings completed in September 1895, just before the hospital corps and Companies B and E of the 22nd Infantry Regiment arrived from Fort Assiniboine to their new quarters. By 1906, the Army had added open-air verandas for tuberculosis patients on the facades of the building’s east and west wings. Tuberculosis—an infectious lung disease—was the leading cause of death (along with pneumonia) in 1900. To cure the disease, doctors prescribed rest, fresh air, and sunlight, prompting construction or renovation of hundreds of tuberculosis “sanitariums” nationwide. Following World War I, the newly created Veterans Administration (VA) redeveloped the fort to care for returning war veterans. Renovations in 1924 connected the hospital via covered walkways to new wards in the old jail and administration building. Even after the new 1932 hospital opened, the 1895 hospital served tuberculosis patients until 1945, when it was renovated into a nurses’ dormitory. Though the building sat mostly vacant after the 1980s, sensitive rehabilitation in 2019 transformed the old hospital into transitional apartments for homeless veterans.

Images

Fort Harrison Original Hospital (Building 2)
Fort Harrison Original Hospital (Building 2) Facade Source: Montana Historical Society Creator: Bryan Baldwin Date: July 27, 2022

Location

Metadata

Montana Historical Society, “Fort Harrison Original Hospital,” Historic Montana, accessed April 20, 2024, https://historicmt.org/items/show/3414.