11 Most Endangered Historic Places

United States Marine Hospital

Year Listed: 2003
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Threat: Deterioration, Neglect

Significance

United
In less than eleven months of work, the exterior of Louisville?s U.S. Marine Hospital has been completely restored.

Credit: The National Trust for Historic Preservation

Constructed in 1851 by an act of Congress, Louisville's United States Marine Hospital served the community and the nation faithfully for more than a century. Designed by famed architect Robert Mills, America's first native-born professional architect, the 3-story Greek Revival structure addressed the pressing health needs of seamen on the Western inland waterways; later, it was used as a as a military hospital during the Civil War. This National Historic Landmark recounts a significant chapter in U.S. maritime history and in the development of Louisville as an important river port -- but its significance has not protected it from serious deterioration. Now owned by the Louisville Jefferson County Health Department, the hospital has been vacant since 1975. Its ceiling and original plaster walls are falling, and the entire structure is suffering from extensive moisture and termite damage.