NPS Form 10-900 OMB No. 1024-0018 United States

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NPS Form 10-900OMB No. 1024-0018United States Department of the InteriorNational Park ServiceNational Register of Historic Places Registration FormThis form is for use in nominating or requesting determinations for individual properties and districts. See instructions in National RegisterBulletin, How to Complete the National Register of Historic Places Registration Form. If any item does not apply to the property beingdocumented, enter "N/A" for "not applicable." For functions, architectural classification, materials, and areas of significance, enter onlycategories and subcategories from the instructions.1. Name of PropertyHistoric name: Fort Harrison Veterans’ Hospital Historic DistrictOther names/site number: Fort William Henry Harrison/24LC0123Name of related multiple property listing:N/A(Enter "N/A" if property is not part of a multiple property listing2. LocationStreet & number: Two Miles Northwest of Helena, MTCity or town: Helena State: MT County: Lewis & ClarkNot For Publication:Vicinity: X3. State/Federal Agency CertificationAs the designated authority under the National Historic Preservation Act, as amended,I hereby certify that this x nomination request for determination of eligibility meetsthe documentation standards for registering properties in the National Register of HistoricPlaces and meets the procedural and professional requirements set forth in 36 CFR Part 60.In my opinion, the property x meets does not meet the National Register Criteria. Irecommend that this property be considered significant at the followinglevel(s) of significance:nationalX statewideApplicable National Register Criteria:X ABX CX localDSignature of certifying official/Title:DateState or Federal agency/bureau or Tribal GovernmentIn my opinion, the propertymeetsdoes not meet the National Register criteria.Signature of commenting official:DateTitle :State or Federal agency/bureauor Tribal Government1

United States Department of the InteriorNational Park Service / National Register of Historic Places Registration FormNPS Form 10-900OMB No. 1024-0018Fort Harrison Veterans’ Hospital Historic DistrictLewis & Clark, MTName of PropertyCounty and State4. National Park Service CertificationI hereby certify that this property is:entered in the National Registerdetermined eligible for the National Registerdetermined not eligible for the National Registerremoved from the National Registerother (explain:)Signature of the KeeperDate of Action5. ClassificationOwnershipped of Property(Check as many boxes as apply.)Private:Public – LocalPublic – StatePublic – FederalXCategory of Property(Check only one ns 1-6 page 2

United States Department of the InteriorNational Park Service / National Register of Historic Places Registration FormNPS Form 10-900OMB No. 1024-0018Fort Harrison Veterans’ Hospital Historic DistrictLewis & Clark, MTName of PropertyCounty and StateNumber of Resources within Property(Do not include previously listed resources in the s2structures2objects309TotalNumber of contributing resources previously listed in the National Register N/A6. Function or UseHistoric Functions(Enter categories from instructions.)DEFENSE/military facility military postHEALTH CARE/hospital veterans’ medical centerCurrent Functions(Enter categories from instructions.)HEALTH CARE/hospital veterans’ medical centerSections 1-6 page 3

United States Department of the InteriorNational Park Service / National Register of Historic Places Registration FormNPS Form 10-900OMB No. 1024-0018Fort Harrison Veterans’ Hospital Historic DistrictLewis & Clark, MTName of PropertyCounty and State7. DescriptionArchitectural Classification(Enter categories from instructions.)LATE VICTORIAN: Queen AnnNo-StyleModern MovementLATE 19TH AND 20TH CENTURY REVIVALS: Colonial Revival, Classical RevivalLATE 19TH AND EARLY 20TH CENTURY AMERICAN MOVEMENTS:Bungalow/Craftsman, National FolkMaterials: (enter categories from instructions.)Principal exterior materials of the property: STONE, CONCRETE, BRICK, WOODNarrative Description(Describe the historic and current physical appearance and condition of the property. Describecontributing and noncontributing resources if applicable. Begin with a summary paragraph thatbriefly describes the general characteristics of the property, such as its location, type, style,method of construction, setting, size, and significant features. Indicate whether the property hashistoric integrity.)Summary ParagraphFort William Henry Harrison was established by Congressional order as a military post in 1892.Twenty-one of the 40 features on the campus were constructed between 1894 and 1909. In 1919,the US Army transferred the facility to the US Public Health Service and, in 1922, the posttransitioned to the Veterans Administration (VA). Forty resources are located on the VAhospital campus. Thirty-four features are of historic age and 31 contribute to the historic district.Nine resources do not contribute to the historic district for several reasons: buildings they wereassociated with no longer exist, they have been substantially remodeled, they do not addmaterially to our understanding of Fort Harrison’s history and significance, or do not meet theNational Register age criteria. Buildings are categorized by their function in a military post(1895-1912) and in a Veterans Administration facility (1919-present). A unifying factor indelineating an historic district is the similarity in architectural styles of the military buildings andsome of the Veterans Administration buildings. Their relationshipped to the parade ground isalso a unifying factor. The architectural features shared by the buildings in the district includeelements that are similar to many of the older structures (fenestration, decorative windowopenings, foundations, materials, and general configuration).All of the contributing buildings within the proposed historic district boundaries share asimilarity of architectural design, massing, and detailing. In November 1894, while many of thebuildings were under construction, the Helena Independent described the post as "substantiallySection 7 page 4

United States Department of the InteriorNational Park Service / National Register of Historic Places Registration FormNPS Form 10-900OMB No. 1024-0018Fort Harrison Veterans’ Hospital Historic DistrictLewis & Clark, MTName of PropertyCounty and State1built," with the exteriors of the individual buildings "plain, but substantial looking." What thebuildings may lack in architectural ornamentation is more than made up by the sturdy appearanceof the buildings associated with the post when it functioned as a military facility. Many haverough-faced stone foundations built of stone quarried in the Helena, Great Falls, Ulm, andBillings (sandstone) areas. Many feature granite window and door sills, decorative segmentallyarched brick window and door lintels, pedimented gables, and many have open-air porches.These features are distinctly late Victorian Age in architecture and provide the appearance of asignificant permanent military facility. Buildings constructed after 1912 also exhibit many of thecharacteristics of the earlier structures, while representing architectural designs indicative of theirtimes, such as the Administration Building (#141), and Heating Plant (#142). Some buildings oradditions constructed after 1963 (nos. 154, 154A, 167, and 168) exhibit the minimally decorativestyle of the earlier buildings and are comprised of brick, some with decorative window openingsthat are similar to the historic buildings.The Montana State Veterans’ Cemetery is not included within the historic district boundaries.The cemetery, while on the VA Hospital’s grounds, is not administered by the Veterans’Administration. Instead, it is administered by Montana Department of Military Affairs. TheMontana State Legislature established the cemetery at the Fort Harrison VA Hospital in 1985and the first burial occurred in September 1987.Narrative DescriptionFort William Henry Harrison2 is located at the western end of the Helena Valley in southwesternMontana at the foot of the Boulder Mountains. Fort Harrison and the City of Helena are situatedatop Belt sedimentary rock deposited 1.5 billion to 800 million years ago. The adjacent HelenaValley is composed of tertiary basin fill, while the Boulder batholith rises above the valley floorto the south of the fort. The batholith formed approximately 75 million years ago and isbordered in the Helena area by deposits of dolomite and limestone. Fort Harrison is near thenorthern end of the intermountain seismic belt, a series of seismically active faults that extendssouthward through Yellowstone National Park to the Wasatch Range near Salt Lake City. Thepost is located near the northern foot of the Boulder Mountains about two miles west of Helena.The Scratch Gravel Hills and the Big Belt Mountains are visible to the north of the fort. TheHelena Valley is situated in a roughly bowl-shaped depression between three mountain ranges.The picturesque valley, which is extensively developed, is a mixture of small agriculturaloperations increasingly encroached upon by residential subdivisions radiating north and west ofHelena. The mountains south of the fort were the scene of extensive hard rock miningoperations beginning in 1865 and continuing until the late 20th century. Fort Harrison is locatedat an elevation of 4,004 feet above sea level.3“Fort Harrison,” The Helena Independent, 11 November 1894.Congress initially named the post in honor of the 23rd US president Benjamin Harrison. He, however,declined the honor if favor of his grandfather, William Henry Harrison.3 David Alt and Donald W. Hyndman, Roadside Geology of Montana, (Missoula: Mountain Press PublishingCompany, 1991), 6, 13, 200-201, 271.12Section 7 page 5

United States Department of the InteriorNational Park Service / National Register of Historic Places Registration FormNPS Form 10-900OMB No. 1024-0018Fort Harrison Veterans’ Hospital Historic DistrictLewis & Clark, MTName of PropertyCounty and StateThe buildings are listed by the numbering system implemented by the military when the firstphase of construction on the post ended in 1895. The Veterans Administration (VA) has retainedthat numbering system and added to it as it constructed new buildings on the campus.The contributing historic buildings facing on to the parade ground all display a regularity andsymmetry of design that profoundly connects them to their military origins. All arerepresentative of the late Victorian period. The NCO and Nurses quarters vary little inappearance and all include the same basic structural and visual components. There is, moreover,an architectural display of military ranking at the fort. The buildings progress from a simplicityof design and appearance in the warehouse area to a more ornate form that culminates in theCommanding Officer’s residence. That symmetry also involved the placing of buildings aroundthe central parade ground. However, the symmetry has been diminished somewhat by the loss ofthe barracks around World War II and the construction of the new hospital and associatedbuildings after 1963.Hospital (Building #2, one contributing building)Building #2 is a 2½ story Late Victorian-style brick building constructed in 1895 that originallyfunctioned as the post hospital. The building is oriented along a northwest to southeast axis andfaces northeast onto Liberty Lane and the parade ground. The irregular plan building is coveredby a hipped roof sheathed in asphalt shingles with soffits under the eaves. The building sits on arough-faced stone foundation and has a stone belt course. Rectangular one-story wings attach tothe northwest and southeast elevations. Windows throughout are 1/1 double-hung units withstone surrounds and continuous stone sills. A hipped roof dormer with asphalt shingled roofingis slightly offset from center. The walls of the dormer are clad in wood shingles and it features aribbon window of three 12-light units.An open-air porch, centrally located on the facade, has a hipped roof supported by square brickcolumns and is partially enclosed by a low brick wall capped with concrete. The porch isreached by concrete steps flanked by low brick walls also capped with concrete. The doorway islocated north-of-center on the facade and was partially in-filled with brick, probably in 1945when the VA converted the building for use as nurses’ quarters. The door has a single fixed lightreinforced with wire. There are six windows on the second floor and five windows on theground floor of the facade in addition to the doorway. Window openings are located on thenorthwest and southeast elevations adjacent to and above the additions. Some of the windows onthe second floor of the northwest elevation have been in-filled with brick.The north wing, comprised of brick, rests on a rubblestone foundation. Stylistic details mimicthe main section of the building, including stone lintels and continuous sills and 3-light casementwindows in the daylight basement. Windows are also 1/1 double-hung units identical to themain building. A doorway is centrally located on the north elevation and is flanked by modern2/2 double-hung windows. The doorway is partially in-filled with brick and contains a modernsteel door with a single fixed light. The doorway, featuring a stone lintel and a granite sill, isreached by concrete steps flanked by steel railings. Daylight windows pierce the foundation oneither side of the steps. The rear facade of the north wing contains four windows on the groundfloor and three basement windows. A sealed coal chute pierces the foundation on the right.Section 7 page 6

United States Department of the InteriorNational Park Service / National Register of Historic Places Registration FormNPS Form 10-900