Roanoke Veterans Administration Hospital, Building No. 6, 1970 Roanoke Boulevard, Salem, Salem, VA
Significance: Building #6, designed and constructed by the Veterans Administration in 1934-1935, is significant on a national and local level in the areas of architecture, science and social history. The building's primary significance is as a contributing element to the Roanoke Veterans Administration Hospital (R-VAH), which was designed as a regional neuro-psychiatric hospital. The R-VAH was one of fifty hospitals constructed by the Veterans Administration between 1920 and 1946. These hospitals were based upon a standardized plan developed by the Veterans Administration in Washington, D.C. as the result of an intensive research and planning effort. The network of hospitals created was one of the most advanced health care systems of its time. Designed as a self-sufficient community dedicated to the rehabilitation of patients through a variety of physiological, physical and occupational therapies, the R-VAH is representative of the state of psychiatric health care in the 1930s. The additions and alterations to the facility and to Building #6 are a record of changing medical philosophies and veteran's health care policies. The R-VAH had great significance for the Salem-Roanoke are at the time of its construction, during the Great Depression, and in later decades, both as a major employer and a service provider. Building #6 was one of fourteen buildings constructed as part of the original plan for the R-VAH. It was the only building in the complex dedicated to acutely disturbed patients. These patients were, for the most part, confined to the building. Thus it was necessary that Building #6 house a wide range of services, making it functionally self-sufficient. Building #6 is in the Georgian Revival style which is employed throughout the facility. This style was chosen by the designers at the Veterans Administration for its regional associations.
Survey number: HABS VA-1251-A