Honoring the Places that Serve Veterans
Note: This Place Matters is a campaign that the National Trust started in 2009, before Black Lives Matter had come into being as a movement. Out of respect for Black Lives Matter and the important message behind it, we retired the campaign in June 2020. We encourage National Trust supporters to instead celebrate places that are important to them using the hashtags #SavingPlaces or #TellTheFullStory.
In addition to remembering those who fought and died for our country on holidays like Veterans Day and Memorial Day, we also like to reflect on a few of the National Trust's National Treasures that have historically served our armed forces and now need our help to be preserved.
Opened in 1867, the Milwaukee Soldiers Home was originally designed for the recuperation of physically and mentally disabled soldiers who had survived the Civil War, and was later expanded to include a post office, library, recreation hall, theater, chapel, and recreation areas. A National Treasure since 2012, the project has been a collaborative effort with the Milwaukee Preservation Alliance. In 2016, the Department of Veteran Affairs announced that they would rehabilitate six historic buildings on the premises.
Battle Mountain Sanitarium was established by Congress in 1902 and opened to patients in 1907. Battle Mountain Sanitarium was the only branch of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers designed solely as a medical facility. The National Trust, in collaboration with Save the VA at Battle Mountain Sanitarium, is eager to raise awareness and advocate for this National Treasure’s preservation. However, the site’s future remains unsure following the Department of Veterans Affairs’ recent publication of a study supporting the closure of the sanitarium to construct a new facility 60 miles away.
We asked a few visitors about why we it’s important to preserve these sites, how they honor our veterans, and why these places matter to them. Take a look at what they had to say.
Editor's note: We have updated this story as of November 2017 to reflect recent changes in our National Treasures.