Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

124-0036 Portsmouth Naval Hospital

Portsmouth Naval Hospital
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons, Huckfinne, 2012

*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 11/16/1971

NRHP Listing Date 04/13/1972

NRHP Reference Number 72001516

Originally known as the Norfolk Naval Hospital, this famous facility in Portsmouth was an outgrowth of the 1798 Congressional act creating the Marine Hospital Service. Fort Nelson, a Revolutionary War defense work guarding the Norfolk harbor, was chosen as the hospital site in 1826. The architect, John Haviland of Philadelphia, produced a preeminent work of Greek Revival institutional architecture. The decastyle Doric portico, finished in what Haviland described as “chisel dressed Virginia freestone,” is a masterpiece of monumentality. Distinctive are the narrow frieze windows forming the triglyphs. The shallow dome capping the operating room was added during a 1907 expansion. The hospital has had a distinguished record of service, treating naval casualties of every American conflict since its opening. Now flanked by modern hospital facilities in Portsmouth, Haviland’s original structure is undergoing a careful rehabilitation.

VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated: July 28, 2022