11 Most Endangered Historic Places
Charleston Naval Hospital District
Dating to 1902, and chiefly constructed by the Works Progress Administration in 1938, the Charleston Naval Hospital District was completed just in time for the outbreak of WWII. One of three National Register Districts on the site of the former Charleston Navy Base, the Naval Hospital District played a prominent role during the war, serving as the primary re-entry point for American servicemen injured in Europe and Africa. At times, as many as 4,000 wounded soldiers were received and treated here every month.The Naval Hospital District was constructed on a portion of what was Chicora Park, designed by the firm of famed landscape architect Frederick L. Olmsted in 1899. Additionally, the District features a hospital with a layout that reflects important contemporary advances in military medicine. The main hospital building was constructed with specialized wings to include psychiatric care, reflecting the growth of medical specializations.
“This is the place where the wounded warriors of the Greatest Generation were repaid by a grateful nation.”Don Campagna, The Naval Order of the United States
Located in the rapidly developing area of North Charleston, the Naval Hospital District currently sits mainly vacant, with only a few outlying buildings in use. Impending construction of a rail line proposed by Palmetto Railways, extending the length of the District, would require the demolition of nine of its 32 buildings, and seriously hinder the use of 19 others.
Not only would the rail line result in the destruction of integral buildings within the Naval Hospital District, which could cause a de-listing from the National Register, it would also diminish the potential ability for the adaptive reuse of the complex as a vibrant community space.
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