Denver National Recuperation Camp, Part 3

“On Armistice Day, 11 November 1918, the capacity of Army General Hospital No. 21  in Aurora, Colorado was reported at 380 beds. New construction underway was 50-percent complete and would add 736 beds.”
          After the war ended, the patient load decreased. Local officials worried about keeping the facility open. Fortunately, Colonel Roger Brooke of the Surgeon General’s Office saw Denver as the best site for a permanent Army tuberculosis hospital.
          On June 26, 1920, Hospital No. 21 was “redesignated” by the War Department as Fitzsimons General Hospital. The name honored William Thomas Fitzsimons, the first U.S. Army officer to die in World War I. In 1920, 60% of the total 3,442 admissions at Fitzsimons  were for tuberculosis treatment.
          Fitzsimons became the largest active military hospital in the world and the largest tuberculosis hospital in the United States.
          The facility closed in 1999 and the grounds are being redeveloped for civilian use as the Anschutz Medical Campus and the Fitzsimons Life Science District.

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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