Architecture of the U.S. Soldiers' Home

The U.S. [ Armed Forces Retirement Home] (formerly the U.S. Soldiers' and Airmen's Home, the U.S. Soldiers' Home, and the U.S. Military Asylum) was created by an act of the U.S. Congress in 1851 to provide a place of retirement for retired servicemen. Its campus in N.E. Washington, D.C. has many interesting buildings, some of which survive into the twenty-first century.

Anderson Cottage

Built initially in 1843 by the banker George Washington Riggs as a summer cottage for his family, it was a part of the first parcel acquired by the U.S. Military Asylum. Renamed Anderson Cottage for co-founder Major Robert Anderson it housed the first residents of the home. It is now known as President Lincoln's Cottage. The house is grey stucco.

cott Building

Begun in 1852 and completed in the 1890s, Scott Building is named for General Winfield Scott. The initial design for the building was in the Norman Gothic style. It housed 100-200 residents. Its castellated clock tower was used as a watch tower during the Civil War, especially during General Jubal Early's raid on nearby Fort Stevens.

herman Building

Built by B.S. Alexander, the Sherman Building is connected to the Scott Building by a central annex. Its exterior is unfinished white marble.

tanley Hall

Built in 1897, this was a recreation center and is now the Home's Chapel.

heridan Building

This building, begun in 1883, was built as a dormitory. It has three stories and is built of red brick.

Grant Building

Begun in 1911, the Grant Building was built as a barracks, mess hall, and recreation center.


American Institute of Architects, "A Guide to the Architecture of Washington". New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1965.

Forman, Stephen M., "A Guide to Civil War Washington". Washington, D.C.: Elliott and Clark, 1995.

"Washington, D.C.: The A Guide to the Nation's Capital", Revised edition, Randall Bond Truett, Editor. New York: Hastings House, 1968.

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