The Caroline County War Memorial Health Center in Bowling Green, Virginia, was one of more than 1,200 public health centers constructed across the United States in the quarter century after World War II. In 1946, the landmark federal health-care legislation known as the Hill-Burton Act, among its many initiatives, offered local governments financial and technical support to build dedicated structures for their public health departments. As a result, hygienic and up-to-date quarters were constructed in nearly every seat of government in Virginia. These modern health centers connected science, medicine, and architecture in service of the mission to safeguard and improve the public health of all citizens. Although the buildings were extensions of federal and state legislation, their execution was controlled by local officials and their political and fiscal conservatism often inhibited architectural ambition. The designs for public health centers relied upon modernist design planning and materials but employed a broad array of applied styles influenced by their immediate architectural context. The public health centers of post–World War II Virginia embodied a distinctively local engagement between the political and architectural realms.


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pp. 96-123
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