Built as a federally funded public works project during the 1930s, the Main Hospital Building (Building 500), at Fitzsimons General Hospital, is associated with the history of military medicine in the United States and as a national center for the treatment of tuberculosis in military personal. Opened in 1941 on the grounds of the World War I-era Fitzsimons General Hospital, the new facility pioneered methods of treating the disease and served as a training facility for medical personnel. Upon completion, is was the largest building in the state, the largest Army general hospital in the country, and the first important permanent building erected at Fitzsimons. The building is important for its association with U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower. An eighth floor suite of rooms served as the president's office and bedroom for seven weeks while he recuperated from a heart attack suffered while visiting Denver in 1955. The Main Hospital Building is important architecturally as an example of the Modernistic style developed by private architects in conjunction with the Medical Department of the Army and the commanding officer at Fitzsimons. The building's architecture represented state-of-the-art construction for military general hospitals, reflected in the stepped and terraced plan which allowed maximum sunshine, fresh air, and scenic views. Finally, the building is important geographically. As the largest building in the state at the time of its construction, it quickly became a visual landmark in the region.
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Fitzsimons General Hospital
12101 E. Colfax Ave.
Photo and text credit: The Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, History Colorado