U.S. Marine Hospital Executive Building and Laundry-Kitchen

Status: Executive Building, preserved; Laundry-Kitchen, renovation is planned.

Address: Metal Museum Drive (formerly 360 and 374 West California Avenue), Memphis

Built: 1883-1884

Architectural Style: Vernacular Italianate

Original Function/Purpose: Governmental

The U.S. Marine Hospital Executive Building and Laundry-Kitchen were placed on the National Register on July 2, 1980.

History: Built in 1883-1884 as part of the U.S. Marine Hospital complex, the Executive Building and Laundry-Kitchen are part of Memphis’s first federally funded public health facility. A Congressional Act of 1798 mandated that hospitals be constructed in regions where they were needed “for relief of sick and disabled seamen.” After a hospital in Arkansas built for this purpose was destroyed, a new one was constructed in Memphis. Until after World War I it was the only government hospital in the area. The facility closed in the 1960s, and the City of Memphis purchased the western part of the site containing the Executive Building (top picture) and leased it to the National Ornamental Metal Museum. The other portion of the hospital complex containing the Laundry-Kitchen building (which had been converted into nurses’ quarters, bottom picture) was sold by the federal government in 2003 to private owners. The owners plan to renovate the Laundry-Kitchen structure into apartments, as well as the large adjacent non-listed hospital building of 1934 that faces Metal Museum Drive.

 

City Council District: 6

Super District: 8

County Commission District: 8

DON NEWMAN