Denver National Recuperation Camp, Part 2

The Red Cross Building sat at the center of the entire post known as Army General Hospital No. 21 in Aurora, Colorado.  It was built in the shape of a cross like the organization’s emblem. “…a landscaped quadrangle much like one found on a typical college campus” surrounded the building.
         All campus buildings were of stucco and hollow tile construction. The Mission Revival style was then standard for Army posts in the southwest. “Walls and ceilings were covered with asbestos plaster board and two coats of wall plaster. Floors were generally of maple, sometimes pine, and covered with two coats of white paint.”
          The main infirmary was designed for “perfect ventilation and maximum sunshine, two factors considered essential for the treatment of tuberculars.” Windows could be opened wide for ventilation and patients’ beds could be wheeled onto open porches on the south side.
          A coal-fired central steam plant heated the entire facility. In cold weather three rail carloads of coal were required daily. Steam lines ran through concrete tunnels under the sidewalks. At least no one had to shovel snow as it melted immediately on the warm walkways.
          Cost of the first 48 buildings on the campus of Army General Hospital No. 21 (later known as Fitzsimons General Hospital) was $1,750,000. The 25 additional buildings  added in late 1918 came at a price of  $1,285,000.

Information and quoted material from the Historic American Building Survey, by Emily Thompson Payne, Intermountain Regional Office, National Park Service, Denver, Colorado, August 2009

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