Fischer, Joan (ed.) / Wisconsin Academy review
Volume 51, Number 3 (Summer 2005)
Hayes, Paul G.
Hallowed ground, pp. 29-36
enl rlir hnmp It's within spitting distance of Miller Park. Cars whiz past it on 1-94. But many area residents don't even know about Soldiers Home, a veterans' hospital and respite rnntr thkt rtntc c arcL' tn tho Civii \AlAr And nnv)i h,-s thp pprv timpless feel of a worlds apart from modern life. Plans are afoot to preserve it as a An evening sun illuminates the towers of the main domiciliary (1869). the signature building of the Soldiers Home, which once housed as many as 1,000 veterans. In addition, it held the dining hall and administrative offices. It was designed by Milwaukee architect William Townsend Mix and is an example of Second Empire Victorian work. At that time, Soldiers Home was located out in the coun- try, and Milwaukee residents would catch a trolley or train to spend a day picnicking, visiting vet- erans, or seeing a performance in the theater there. RISING FROM HIGH GROUND IN THE VERY CENTER OF MILWAUKEE COUNTY, the Gothic Revival tower of a building called the main domiciliary at the National Soldiers Home looks out in four directions. When it was built in 1869 it dominated a largely rural landscape. The city of Milwaukee lay a few miles to the east and only farms or crossroads settlements were nearby. By the 1890s, the domiciliary stood at the focus of what Marquette University history professor James Marten called "a stately village" occupying 400 acres. The village had a hospital and convalescent wards, a library, an elegant theater, a multi- STOR AN PHTO BY PAU G.HAE WISCONSIN ACADEMY REVIEW SUMMER 2005 29 p C w $04 _ 11 me * I n * * . * . nu m n 'ill' n nu n I .
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