Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project



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Institution Name: College of Santa Fe
Original/Historic Place Name: Bruns Army Hospital
Location on Campus: South Perimeter Rd.
Date(s) of Construction:
1941-1945original construction U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Designer: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Modern/post-WWII, Other (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture, history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: concrete slab
Walls: wood frame
Roof: asbestos
ca. 1942-1945infirmary (WorldWar II Army Hospital)
1945-present (2006)other (studios)
1945-present (2006)other (storage)
1945-present (2006)dining hall
1945-present (2006)chapel
1945-present (2006)faculty offices
1945-present (2006)classrooms

In 1942 the Bruns Army Hospital and a Japanese Internment Camp opened in Santa Fe. While the Japanese Internment Camp buildings are gone, several of the Army Hospital barracks continue to serve the College community. The Bruns Army Hospital was designed and built by the Army Corps of Engineers in anticipation of massive burn casualties resulting from the War in the Pacific. The Manhattan Project also began in 1942--just 35 miles up the road from Santa Fe. In developing and later dropping the atomic bomb, the Manhattan Project preempted the need for the Bruns Hospital, since the expected American burn casualties did not materialize.

Shortly after World War II, the Christian Brothers--a teaching order brought to town in the XIX Century by Santa Fe's pre-eminent religious figure, Archbishop Lamy, acquired the Bruns Army Hospital property. The Hospital barracks has served most of the educational and administrative needs of the State's oldest private educational facility. The first graduating class in 1950 numbered 23 students, and by 1960 new buildings designed by local architect Philippe Register had begun to replace some of the barracks. The barracks today--in various states of repair--provide a myriad of services, from housing, to offices, to teaching, to dining facilities.


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Last update: November 2006