Fort Miley/VA Medical Center


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Fort Miley/San Francisco VA Medical Center

by Christopher VerPlanck

Page One: Site History - Fort Miley
Page Two: San Francisco VA Medical Center
Page Three: Chronology/Selected Bibliography

Veterans Administration Facility at Fort Miley, August 30, 1934. - San Francisco Daily News. Courtesy of the San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.

CHRONOLOGY

1850: President Millard Fillmore signs Executive Order to set aside Point Lobos for military purposes.

1851: President Fillmore signs a second Executive Order rescinding the designation of Point Lobos as part of the coastal defense network of San Francisco Bay.

1853: U.S. Geodetic Map shows a semaphore signaling station on the site of the present San Francisco VA Medical Center.

1868: Two-hundred acres surrounding Point Lobos acquired by the City and County of San Francisco for Golden Gate Cemetery.

1890: U.S. Army launches 'Endicott Period,' a comprehensive modernization and construction program to improve coastal defenses. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers call for new complex of fortifications on both sides of the Golden Gate and on islands in San Francisco Bay.

1893: U.S. Army pays $75,000 to acquire 54 acres of Golden Gate Cemetery at Point Lobos.

1897: Construction of Reservation at Point Lobos begun.

1900: Reservation at Point Lobos renamed Fort Miley in honor of Lieutenant Colonel John D. Miley.

1902: Fort Miley Main Post completed and officially garrisoned as a subpost of the Presidio of San Francisco.

1902-03: Battery James Chester completed.

1904: Battery LaRhett Livingston and Battery Anton Springer completed.

1915: Battery Loren H. Call completed.

1922: Fort Miley's Main Post mothballed.

1930: President Hoover signs Executive Order establishing Veterans Administration.

City of San Francisco, in competition with other California cities, seeks to influence the Federal Board of Hospitalization to locate a new Veterans Hospital and Diagnostic Center in the city. City offers two sites for consideration: Pine Lake Park, near Sigmund Stern Grove and Fort Miley, which was then under consideration for deactivation by the U.S.Army.

1932: U.S. Army deeds 25 acres in the central part of Fort Miley Reservation to Veterans Administration. Within a year another 4.25 acres were added to the original parcel.

Plans drawn up by VA Department of Construction Services for a new hospital and diagnostic center at Fort Miley.

1933: Demolition of the Main Post of Fort Miley undertaken, resulting in the destruction of several barracks, officers' club and support structures. Only Building 18 is left standing.

1934: New twenty-one building VA Medical Center campus at Fort Miley completed by Herbert M. Baruch Corporation of Los Angeles for $1,182,000.

1937: U.S. Army decides to abandon batteries at Fort Miley.

1941: Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor leads to immediate reactivation of Fort Miley batteries. Veterans evacuated from VA Medical Center.

1946: Patients returned to VA Medical Center.

1947: Building 25 completed for use by the engineering department.

1953: Building 26 completed for use as a storage shed.

1963: San Francisco VA Medical Center awarded sizable grant to undertake three-phase modernization of Fort Miley campus.

1964: Construction of new clinic and administration building (Building 200) completed.

1967: Expansion and renovation of research building (Building 12) completed.

1973: Building 205, the power plant, completed. Buildings 29 and 30 also completed.

1976: Construction of new 440-bed hospital (Building 203) completed.

1981: San Francisco VA Medical Center determined eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

1984: Expansion of Building 12 completed.

1988: Northern California Institute of Research and Education founded on San Francisco Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center grounds.

1989: Construction of new parking garage (Building 209) completed.

1990: Renovation and seismic upgrade of Buildings 200, 2 and 4 begun.

1992: A 120-bed nursing home (Building 208) is completed on south side of grounds.

1993: New two-story building constructed to house Regional Counsel (Building 210).

1999: Construction of two additional floors on Building 210 completed.

2000: New one-story building (Building 14) completed for NCIRE.

2001: Temporary modular building (Building 16) delivered to grounds.

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Articles

"Army Offices Ordered Moved," San Francisco Call (June 9, 1911).

"The Changing Face of Fort Miley," San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle (October 17, 1976), p. 8.

"Construction Starts on Ft. Miley Addition," San Francisco Progress (August 8-9, 1962), p. 9.

"Fort Miley Meeting on New Building Design," San Francisco Chronicle (November 19, 1969), p. 7.

"Ft. Miley Work Will Start at Once," San Francisco Call-Bulletin (February 2, 1933).

"Hines Priority List Assailed by Veterans." San Francisco Chronicle (April 6, 1931).

"Hines Urges City to Name Hospital Site," San Francisco Chronicle (April 7, 1931).

"Hoover's Vet Bill Receives Setback," San Francisco Chronicle (April 11, 1930).

"L.A. Concerns Bid Low on Ft. Miley Building," San Francisco Chronicle (December 22, 1932).

"New Hospital Wing," San Francisco Examiner (August 4, 1962).

"New Vets' Hospital to be Started Soon," San Francisco Chronicle (December 25, 1932).

"VA Will Build Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital Here," San Francisco Chronicle (October 25, 1946), p. 3.

"Vet Hospital Site Sought," San Francisco Chronicle (April 8, 1931).

"Veterans Hospital Will be Erected This Winter," San Francisco Chronicle (November 6, 1932).

Books, Reports and Pamphlets

Mollenhoff, Gjore J. and Karen R, Tupek. "Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco," National Register of Historic Places Determination of Eligibility, 1981.

Thompson, Erwin N, "Fort Miley Military Reservation, Point Lobos Military Reservation," National Register of Historic Places Nomination, 1979.

Veterans Affairs. VA History in Brief. Washington, D.C.: VA Department of Public Affairs, n.d.

-----------An Introduction to the Architectural Heritage of the Veterans Affairs. Washington, D.C.: Veterans Affairs and the National Building Museum, 1980.

-----------Inventory of Historic and Cultural Resources. Washington, D.C.: VA Historic Preservation Office, 1989.

Veterans Affairs Medical Center. VA Medical Center: 5O Years: 1934-1984. San Francisco: San Francisco VA Medical Center, 1984.

Page One: Site History - Fort Miley
Page Two: San Francisco VA Medical Center
Page Three: Chronology/Selected Bibliography


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Page launched 26 February 2003; updated 9 November 2013.