Battle Creek Sanitarium, photo 1950-1970
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Battle Creek Sanitarium
74 North Washington Avenue, Battle Creek - Calhoun County
Other Names Battle Creek Federal Center
Property Type hospital
Historic Use HEALTH CARE/hospital
Current Use GOVERNMENT
Style Beaux Arts
Architect/Builder FRANK M. ANDREWS
Merritt J. Morehouse
Significant Person John Harvey Kellogg
Narrative Description The Battle Creek Sanitarium is an enormous facility located directly northwest of the downtown business district in Battle Creek. The earlier segment, an L-shaped six-story uncoursed cobblestone Beaux Arts Classical building was demolished prior to 1988. The later addition is a fifteen-story brick and stone Beaux Arts Classical tower. The "Towers" is divided vertically into five bays with the two end and center shallow bays alternating with two projecting bays. One of its two square penthouses features a 15,000 square-foot outdoor "Sun Garden." The base of the building is a two-story colonnade with and a round arch pavilion at either end. Each penthouse is crowned by a pyramidal roof and finial with a flag pole. As with the rest of the addition, the interior is decorated in the Italian Renaissance style by the Marshall Field Company of Chicago.
Statement of Significance The massive Battle Creek Sanitarium Complex is an architectural and historical landmark of unique significance for the city of Battle Creek and the State of Michigan. This complex with its famous fieldstone structure (now demolished) have historical significance due to its association with Dr. John Harvey Kellogg -- a pioneer in the field of preventative medicine -- its influence on the growth and notoriety of the city of Battle Creek, and from its later function as one of the nation's largest military hospitals. It has architectural significance as an excellent example of a large-scale Beaux Arts Classical building. The sanitarium was founded in 1866 by Ellen G. White of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Originally called the Western Health Reform Institute, the site was the birthplace of many of Dr. Kellogg's innovative health practices and inventions. Architect Frank Andrews of Ohio designed the fieldstone building in 1903 and Chicago architect M. J. Moorehouse designed the fifteen-story Towers addition in 1928. It was Battle Creek's tallest building. By the time it was completed, the Battle Creek Sanitarium had evolved into an immense complex. Henry Ford and other famous guests visited the sanitarium. The U.S. Army later assumed ownership of the main building at a cost of $2,341,000 and the Towers building was significantly altered. On June 14, 1942, the main building was given official designation as the Percy Jones Army Hospital, later known as the Percy Jones Medical Center. In 1976 the Cataloging and Standardization Offices of the Air Force Logistics Command were centralized in the complex.
Marker Name ID Plaque and Informational Marker: Battle Creek Sanitarium / Percy Jones Hospital
Marker Text BATTLE CREEK SANITARIUM The Battle Creek Sanitarium opened in 1866 as the Western Health Reform Institute. The institute was founded on health principles advocated by the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. In 1876, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg became the medical superintendent at the sanitarium. Kellogg's many innovations included the use of radiation therapy for cancer patients and the invention of flaked cereal. The sanitarium burned in 1902; the following year a six-story Italian Renaissance Revival-style building, designed by Dayton, Ohio, architect Frank M. Andrews, was constructed. Kellogg's brother W. K. Kellogg worked at the sanitarium for twenty-six years before leaving to establish the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flakes Company. The Battle Creek Sanitarium is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. PERCY JONES GENERAL HOSPITAL In 1928 the Battle Creek Sanitarium was enlarged with a fourteen-story "towers" addition and dining room annex designed by M. J. Morehouse of Chicago. After the stock market crashed in 1929, business declined; the facility went into receivership in 1933. The sanitarium continued to occupy the site until 1942 when the U. S. Army purchased the buildings and established the Percy Jones General Hospital, named for an army surgeon whose thirty year career included commanding ambulance units during World War I. The hospital specialized in neurosurgery, plastic surgery and the fitting of artificial limbs. Approximately 100,000 military patients were treated at the hospital before it closed permanently in 1953. In 1954 the building became the Battle Creek Federal Center.
Period of Significance 1866-1900
Significant Date(s) 1903, 1928, 1942, 1976
Registry Type(s) 03/05/1990 Marker erected
07/30/1974 National Register listed
09/07/1989 State Register listed
Site ID# P22698