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Opened in 1905 by the U.S. Army at the Vancouver Barracks, the Post Hospital is considered a significant example of early 20th century American military architecture and was once at the forefront of military medical technology. More than a century after the hospital opened, the Fort Vancouver National Trust is working to reinvent this historic building for the arts. While the building is owned by the City of Vancouver, the Fort Vancouver National Trust holds a master lease, creating a unique public-private partnership.
Making an Artful Transition
As the Fort Vancouver National Trust moves ahead on this innovative project, the arts community and other community members are invited to be involved. We are currently working on raising funds to pay for the assessment, programming and design activities for the Post Hospital Project. Click here to read about the exciting news!
Stay informed! Check back regularly for project updates
Interested in purchasing "Flower" in support of the Post Hospital? Download the brochure to learn more.
A History of Innovation
Innovation has been a constant theme at the Post Hospital. When it opened in 1905, the facility was state-of-the-art in design, technology and treatment. The glass galleries allowed for fresh air and solar therapy, a specific design element based on modern tuberculosis treatments in the early 20th century. In 1918 during the Spanish Influenza epidemic, the hospital treated 21,000 patients with an impressive recovery rate; only 240 patients were lost to the disease.
After the building was decomissioned as a hospital, the U.S. Army used it for office and training space until the mid 1990s. Since then, the 29,000 square-foot building has been vacant and has fallen into disrepair. The lath and plaster walls and some ceilings have suffered moisture damage. The original tin ceiling tiles were painted, likely with lead-based paint. About 90 percent of the original tongue-and-groove fir floors are covered with asbestos tiles.
Listening to the Arts Community
In February, the Trust led Post Hospital tours which allowed community members to envision how to program the space most effectively. Following the tours, the Trust hosted a community conversation attended by more than 80 members of the arts community. In the break-out sessions, groups brainstormed the potential repurposing of the Post Hospital space into an arts, arts education and museum facility.
The key themes derived from the conversation included integrating arts education; providing museum/gallery space; embracing all art forms; making a place for visual and performing arts to be created, rehearsed, displayed and performed, and opening an arts business center to provide business services, business education and arts organization administrative offices.