Saturday, June 23, 2007

Miami VA Medical Center

The Miami Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Center has a long and colorful history. In 1942, the Commanding General of the Army Corps directed that an officer candidate school be established to maintain an Air Force Replacement Training Center with facilities for medical services. The Floridian and Nautilus Hotels were used for this purpose. The Nautilus is considered to have been the first Veterans Administration Hospital in the Greater Miami area. The facilities of the Nautilus were soon inadequate for the number of troops stationed in this area and another Air Force team was called in to inspect all hotels in South Florida. The famed Biltmore Hotel in
Coral Gables was selected and became an Army Hospital in 1946. It was renamed Pratt General Hospital in honor of one of the Army Air Force's pioneer flight surgeons.

Pratt General Hospital was deactivated in May 1947, but was taken over immediately by the Veterans Administration. The Pratt General Hospital, consisting of 450 general and surgical beds, was maintained until the completion and activation of the present Miami VA Medical Center, located at 1201 N.W. 16th Street, in May, 1968. This is a shot of it from the back side of the large complex.

Miami VA

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