Veterans Administration Hospital Complex, No. 88 – Memphis

Status: Demolished; delisted Nov. 9, 2007

Address: 1025 E.H. Crump Boulevard East, Memphis

Built: 1921 with later additions

Architectural Style: Beaux Arts

The Veterans Administration Hospital Complex was placed on the National Register on Nov. 29, 1995.

History: A large home on Lamar Ave. (now E.H. Crump Blvd.) was purchased in 1914 by First Methodist Church to “be adapted to Hospital purposes.” Five years later the cornerstone was laid for a much larger building, “for the use mainly of the indigent sick,” while the original home would be used as a residence for nurses. The new six-story hospital with five-story wings opened on Nov. 1, 1921 but was “gallantly” sold to the United States Veterans’ Bureau less than a year later to serve the needs of disabled veterans. Additions were constructed in 1925, 1928 and 1931. Kennedy Military Hospital was constructed on Getwell Road during World War II and became a VA hospital in 1946, and in 1947 the hospital on Crump was designated a tuberculosis facility, and in 1957 a teaching hospital. In 1962 after extensive renovations “old No. 88” became the Lamar Unit of Baptist Hospital, treating chronic disease. It later specialized in rehabilitation, but the inpatient facility was closed in 1992 and the outpatient in 1996. The City of Memphis declined Baptist’s offer to donate it to the city, so it was given to Mission Corps International to use as a homeless shelter, although it was never renovated for this use. In 2003 the then-owner (who had bought it for $10) called it “the neighborhood crack house, for lack of a better word.” For some time it was tied up in environmental court for violating the anti-neglect ordinance, and was eventually demolished.

 

City Council District: 6

Super District: 8

County Commission District: 8

DON NEWMAN