HISTORY OF BUILDING 34 & 35
The story behind these two buildings and their historic significance
Both building #34 and #35 were located on part of what was once a farm owned by Captain W. B. Rice. He was a farmer, naval stores operator and businessman who had purchased the property from Joseph D. Smith in 1903. His home, known as “Brookwood” was located on the land, the exact location of the home is unknown.
Both buildings were designed by Roberts & Co., an Atlanta. Ga. architectural firm utilizing design philosophies developed for Second Generation military hospitals. Building plans were initiated in 1943 and construction was completed by 1945. A 1946 map titled “U.S. NAVAL HOSPITAL DUBLIN, GA SHOWING CONDITIONS ON JUNE 30, 1946” shows building #34 was designed as a corpsmens barracks and #35 as a civilian technicians barracks.
They were designed in the style known as Second Generation Veterans Hospital Period II. (According to the National Register Historic Multiple Property Documentation Form titled United States Second Generation Veterans Hospitals). First Generation veterans homes were built between 1866 and 1929 for Veterans of the Civil War and World War 1. Second Generation Period I were built 1919-mid1920s, Period 11 from mid 1920s to c. 1950.
After 1950 Third Generation Veterans hospitals were focused on outpatient treatment , not residential care, and high-rise buildings were introduced.) The Second Generation style was developed by the Veterans Bureau (which became the Veterans Administration in 1930). Typically the attendants quarters were large rectangular or H-shaped masonry two or three story buildings with minimal exterior decoration, with symmetrical façade, one or two porches at the front façade and exit doors at left and right sides. They were set apart from the central hospital complex to give the attendants some distance from their working environment. The attendants lived in dormitory style accommodations. Similar accommodations built in the Second Generation Period II style for attendants can be seen at veterans hospitals in St. Louis (Jefferson Barracks, building #4, c. 1930) and at Lyons Veterans Hospital in Lyons, N. J. , c. 1930.
In 1948 the hospital complex was decommissioned as a Naval Hospital and transferred to the Veterans Administration.
*During the 1940s and 1950s Building #34 was used as a domiciliary for patients discharged from the adjacent hospital but without either a permanent home or having other health issues such as alcoholism, mental illness or psychosocial problems that did not need acute care. The Domiciliary Care Program, established in the late 1860s, is the oldest health program run by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Central heat and air was completed in the domiciliary.
In the 1960s
Buildings served as living quarters for families of VA workers and military personnel.
Building #35 became a nurses residence. Signs at the two front entrances show that there were four apartments at both the left side and right side of the building.
In the early 1990s
Both buildings became vacant and were sold in 2001 from the Veterans Administration to the Community Service Board of Middle Georgia. In 2014, the properties were transferred to the federal government, with the total deeded package comprising of 16.946 acres. The Community Service Board of Middle Georgia provides comprehensive behavioral healthcare and has offices in downtown Dublin, Ga. at 600 North Jefferson Street. Both buildings have been vacant since the sale and have suffered interior deterioration.
The buildings’ location set apart from the main hospital complex was designed to give these auxiliary personnel separation from their work environment and was typical of many other similar barracks in other early military and VA hospitals. The buildings were designed in the Neo-Colonial style which was typical of other barracks associated with military hospitals in the 1940s. A similar attendant’s quarters, built in the 1930s, is located at the Lyons Veterans Administration Hospital in Lyons, N. J. Another similar attendant’s building is part of the VA Jefferson Barracks in Jefferson. Mo. Typical of Second Generation Period II architecture for veterans hospitals, the buildings were located in a grassy campus setting and featured minimal exterior ornamentation. The focus of military hospital complexes was to contain costs and speed construction.
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE:
Areas of Significance: Architecture and health/medicine
Buildings #34 and #35 appear to be the oldest Second Generation Period II attendants’ buildings on a military hospital complex in Georgia that retain their historic integrity both on the exterior and interior. They are located in a grassy campus setting with minimal exterior ornamentation, typical of the architectural style during their period of construction.
Neither the Atlanta Veterans Medical Center in Decatur, Georgia nor Charlie Norwood Veterans Administration Medical Center in Augusta retain Second Generation Period II barracks. Buildings #34 and #35 are similar to the Attendants’ Quarters Building #4 at the Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis Mo (c. 1930)as shown in a photographs taken by Marc Kollbaum of the St. Louis County Parks System; and the attendants quarters (c. 1930) at the Lyons, N. J. Veterans Administration Hospital (See attached photographs).
The Carl Vinson Veterans Administration Center plans were formulated in 1942 as a long-term care facility for veterans. The attendants who were housed in #34 and #35 were critical components of this plan as many of the patients suffered from tuberculosis and rheumatic fever, both long-term afflictions. In fact the hospital was one of only two research facilities on rheumatic fever in the United States in 1946.