National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers - Battle Mountain Sanitarium, 500 North Fifth Street, Hot Springs, Fall River County, SD
The name of the overall site and some individual buildings were edited after the initial photographic survey was transmitted. The secondary names were changed from Black Hills Health Care System and Veterans Administration Hospital to Hot Springs Veterans Administration Medical Center and VA Black Hills Health Care System - Hot Springs Campus.
Significance: The Battle Mountain Sanitarium of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers (NHDVS) was built between 1903 and 1907. The NHDVS was a federal institution authorized by Congress in 1865 and charged with caring for Civil War veterans disabled by their military service. By 1930 the system had eleven branches and became part of the new Veterans Administration. The Battle Mountain Sanitarium was the tenth NHDVS facility and the only one built exclusively for medical care. Veterans typically would return to residential NHDVS branches after their course of treatment at Battle Mountain was complete. Battle Mountain specialized in treatment of musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, and respiratory conditions, as well as skin diseases which would benefit from hydrotherapy in the mineral spring plunge pool incorporated into the hospital building. Well-known Omaha architect Thomas Rogers Kimball designed a striking Mission Revival hospital complex with all wards and service buildings connected by covered walkways and an unusual series of ramps. Prominent Kansas City landscape architect George Kessler created the site plan on a hill overlooking downtown Hot Springs.
Battle Mountain Sanitarium was built at a time of shifting emphasis from residential campuses to medical care for veterans. The importance of the hospitals at the NHDVS branches had been growing throughout the late nineteenth century as medical care became more sophisticated. The needs of World War I veterans with lung diseases such as tuberculosis further pushed the shift to medical care as the most prominent aspect of veterans' services. The Veterans Bureau sponsored construction of a new hospital on the site of the wood frame tuberculosis cottage in 1925-26. Subsequent additions to this 1920s hospital have turned it into the main medical/surgical facility at Battle Mountain. The original hospital complex is used now for inpatient treatment of PTSD.
Survey number: HABS SD-24
Building/structure dates: 1903-1907 Initial Construction
Building/structure dates: 1909-1911 Subsequent Work
Building/structure dates: 1925-1926 Subsequent Work
National Register of Historic Places NRIS Number: 11000561