If These Walls Could Talk
Building 500 Chancellor’s Suite
In the 1930s construction began on a new hospital building at the Fitzsimons Army Medical Center as part of a federally funded public works project during the 1930s. The “new” hospital building (Building 500) opened in 1941 on the grounds of the World War I era Fitzsimons Army Hospital. Upon its completion, Building 500 was reported at to be, “the largest building in the state, the largest Army general hospital in the country, and the first important permanent building erected at Fitzsimons.” The building is also known for serving as President Eisenhower’s temporary White House for seven weeks in 1955 while he recuperated from a heart attack, as well as the birth place of former Secretary of State and Senator John Kerry.
Building 500 exemplifies the streamline, Art Moderne architectural style popular in the 1930s-40s in the United States. The building’s design symbolized state-of-the-art construction for military general hospitals, reflected in the stepped and terraced plan which allowed maximum sunshine, fresh air, and scenic views. The interior area remodeled by Humphries Poli Architects encompasses approximately 10,000 square feet includes the Chancellor’s and Vice Chancellor’s Suite, as well as office space for the Budget and Human Resources Departments, Alumni Office, and various support spaces which includes two public restrooms. The HR and Finance offices are located in the former morgue space in the building, and the associated conference room is created out of the former Chapel.