Soldiers' and Airmen's Home , DC
The Soldiers’ Home was established in 1851, as an “asylum for old and disabled veterans.” Four of the original buildings still stand and are listed as national historic landmarks. The U.S. Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home remains a thriving community of military retirees and veterans in the heart of Washington DC.
In 1934, the Civil Works Administration (CWA) reconstructed and repaired buildings and machinery at the site, did general landscaping and painting, built two storehouses, tiled the milk house and built roads, according to records at the National Archives
In 1938-39, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) did extensive work at the facility. WPA records describe the work as follows:
“Erect a useful unit of a modern [illegible] at the U.S. Soldiers’ Home in DC, including excavating, grading, resodding, painting, doing electrical, ventilation, and plumbing work, installing elevator, and incidental and appurtenant work; Construct addition to hennery, construct basement U.S. Soldier’s Home;…
Rehab and improve buildings, lakes, roads, and grounds at U.S. Soldiers Home, work includes cutting and repointing stonework, deepening lakes, rehabilitating walls, replacing existing storm sewers, landscaping, widening, extending, and resurfacing existing roads, installing curbs, rebuilding shoulders, relocating sidewalks, raising fences, rehabilitating gullies, extending water lines;..
Improve and rehabilitate buildings, install plumbing, heating, and electrical facilities, realign headstones, landscape, grade, and drain grounds, including improvements to roads and walks, at the Soldiers’ Home National Cemetery.”
It is unknown how much of this very extensive New Deal work remains in place, but it must be considerable.
National Archives, Record Group 69, “Microfilmed Index to WPA Projects.
National Archives, Record Group 69, WPA Microfilm, District of Columbia, Box 969.
Project originally submitted by Brent McKee on May 27, 2013.
Additional contributions by Richard A Walker.
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