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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Marina in Monterey County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Stilwell Hall: A Fond Memory

Fort Ord Dunes State Park

 
 
Stilwell Hall: A Fond Memory Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 15, 2013
1. Stilwell Hall: A Fond Memory Marker
Captions: While commanding the 7th Infantry Division in 1940, General Joseph W. Stilwell chose this site for a club where enlisted men could rest and relax – the first of its kind in the U.S. Army (upper left); Opened in 1943, The Soldiers Club became a social hot spot for troops who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam (bottom left); The elegant interior of Stilwell Hall featured Mission Revival styling, murals by Works Progress Administration-funded artists, leather sofas and huge fireplaces (upper right); Doomed by beach erosion that left it dangling at cliff’s edge, Stilwell Hall was demolished in 2003 (lower right).
Inscription. For the two million servicemen and women who passed through Fort Ord, the entertainment center that once occupied this site provided welcome relief from rigorous military training. The Soldier’s Club, later renamed Stilwell Hall, featured a huge ballroom, elegant reading rooms and what many have been California’s longest bar. The time spent here is a favorite memory for veterans and the local residents who socialized with them.
 
Erected by California State Parks.
 
Location. 36° 39.634′ N, 121° 49.3′ W. Marker is in Marina, California, in Monterey County. Marker can be reached from 8th Street. Click for map. The marker is located in Fort Ord Dunes State Park near the old Stilwell Hall parking lot. Marker is in this post office area: Marina CA 93933, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Former Firing Range Becomes a State Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Welcome to Fort Ord Dunes State Park! (within shouting distance of this marker); Training to Defend America (within shouting distance of this marker); A Coastal Attack the Army Couldn’t Stop (within
Stilwell Hall: A Fond Memory Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 15, 2013
2. Stilwell Hall: A Fond Memory Marker
shouting distance of this marker); Portola-Crespi Monument (approx. 4.1 miles away); Depots (approx. 5.1 miles away); Fish Hoppers (approx. 5.3 miles away); Silver Harvest (approx. 5.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Marina.
 
Also see . . .
1. Stilwell Hall. Stilwell Hall was truly the jewell of Fort Ord. An idea envisioned by "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell, the Commanding officer of Fort Ord at the time. General Stilwell was genuinely concerned with the welfare of his troops and built Stilwell Hall as a facility that soldiers could go to relax... (Submitted on September 29, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 

2. Historic American Buildings Survey Record for Stilwell Hall. (Submitted on September 30, 2013.)
 
Categories. EntertainmentForts, Castles
 
Stilwell Hall - Oblique View Looking Southwest image. Click for full size.
By Martin Stupich, 1992
3. Stilwell Hall - Oblique View Looking Southwest
Significance: Stilwell Hall was the largest soldiers' club constructed in the west. It was also one of the last Works Progress Administration (WPA) buildings to be built and was noted for its collection of WPA art (now removed). The relationship between the Army and the WPA was unique because of the size and scope of the building that was constructed and was the only known Army club built with WPA funding. The building design, in Mission Revival style represents an attempt to incorporate the historic Monterey style of architecture into the design of a recent structure....[Continued next picture]
Stilwell Hall - Oblique View Looking Southeast image. Click for full size.
By Martin Stupich, 1992
4. Stilwell Hall - Oblique View Looking Southeast
...The fact that Major General Joseph W. Stilwell, commander of the 7th Infantry Division at Fort Ord from 1940 to 1941 and III Corps from 1941 to 1942, directed the construction of the building is a testament to Stilwell's devotion to the common soldier. In the years since its construction, Stilwell Hall has been a prominent local landmark and a place where soldiers and the community could hold social events and other activities. - Historic American Buildings Survey, statement of significance
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 518 times since then and 42 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.   3, 4. submitted on . • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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