DC -- Armed Forces Retirement Home (Old Soldiers Home):
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- Wikipedia Description: Armed Forces Retirement Home
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The U.S. Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) — formerly the U.S. Soldiers' and Airmen's Home, the U.S. Soldiers' Home, and the U.S. Military Asylum — is an independent establishment in the executive branch of the federal government of the United States. It now operates two retirement homes for American military veterans — the historic Soldiers' Home in northeast Washington, D.C. and a home in Gulfport, Mississippi, just west of Keesler Air Force Base.
The U.S. Soldiers' and Airmen's Home:
The Soldiers' Home occupies a campus in N.E. Washington, D.C.. It sits adjacent to two historic cemeteries, Rock Creek Cemetery and United States Soldiers' and Airmen's Home National Cemetery (the forerunner of Arlington National Cemetery).
The Soldiers Home was created by an act of the U.S. Congress in 1851 following the Mexican-American War. Its purpose was to provide a place of retirement for U.S. servicemen. The project came to fruition largely due to the efforts of Major Robert Anderson, Jefferson Davis, (at that time Secretary of War), and General Winfield Scott. These three men wanted to provide a secure and honorable place for retirement for homeless and disabled war veterans.
The Soldiers' Home has had many interesting historic buildings, some of which survive to the present day:
* Anderson Cottage
Built initially in 1843 by the banker George Washington Riggs as a summer cottage for his family, it was a part of the first parcel acquired by the U.S. Military Asylum. Renamed Anderson Cottage for co-founder Major Robert Anderson it housed the first residents of the home. It is now known as President Lincoln's Cottage. The house is grey stucco.
* Scott Building
Begun in 1852 and completed in the 1890s, Scott Building is named for General Winfield Scott. The initial design for the building was in the Norman Gothic style. It housed 100-200 residents. Its castellated clock tower was used as a watch tower during the Civil War, especially during General Jubal Early's raid on nearby Fort Stevens.
* Sherman Building
Built by Barton S. Alexander, the Sherman Building is connected to the Scott Building by a central annex. Its exterior is unfinished white marble.
* Stanley Hall
Built in 1897, this was a recreation center and is now the Home's Chapel.
* Sheridan Building
This building, begun in 1883, was built as a dormitory. It has three stories and is built of red brick.
* Grant Building
Begun in 1911, the Grant Building was built as a barracks, mess hall, and recreation center.
The Gulfport campus:
The Gulfport campus was severely damaged in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina. In September 2007, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announced the award to Yates Construction of Biloxi, Mississippi of a design-build contract to replace the damaged 13-story building. The contract was for $189 million dollars, with most of the funding being appropriated by Public Law 109-234.
The damaged building was demolished in October 2007. A new building is under construction, with plans to open in 2010.
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