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Brightwood in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Borden's Dream

Former Walter Reed Army Medical Center

 

Walking Tour

 
Borden's Dream Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, December 20, 2019
1. Borden's Dream Marker
Inscription.  WRAMC was named for Major Walter Reed, but it was the persistence and vision of another Army doctor, Major William Cline Borden, that led to the construction of the first prominent structures for a U.S. Army general hospital on this site. Borden became friends with Reed when they were on the Army Medical School faculty at the turn of the 20th century. When Borden championed the establishment of a new Army hospital complex, he was serving at two Washington-area installations: the U.S. Army General Hospital (at present-day Fort McNair) as commandant and operating surgeon, and the Army Medical School (on the Mall) as professor of military surgery. Reed had the breakthrough discovery on the transmission of yellow fever, a serious disease affecting Army soldiers abroad at the time.

It was in 1902 at the Army General Hospital that Borden operated on Reed, who was suffering from and later died of appendicitis. Deeply affected by his friend's death, Borden dedicated himself to honoring Reed by building a new medical center and naming it for Reed that would combine a new hospital, the Army Medical School and the Army Medical Museum on
Borden's Dream Marker [Reverse] image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, December 20, 2019
2. Borden's Dream Marker [Reverse]
a single site. After three years of urging Army officials, his efforts paid off in 1905 when Congress passed a bill to authorize the Medical Department of the Army to purchase land and build the icon that would become known around the world simply as "Walter Reed."

Borden oversaw the early planning and construction as the new hospital's first commander, but he was reassigned to the Philippines and was not present for the opening of the hospital in 1909. During World War I, he returned to the hospital briefly as an active duty lieutenant colonel and chief of surgery. He retired in 1919 and was honored as dean emeritus at George Washington University, before his death in 1934.

[Caption:]
While on the faculty at the Army Medical School, Major Walter Reed chaired the commission proving that mosquitoes carry the yellow fever virus. In this Robert Thom painting, members of the commission working in Cuba are shown left to right, Major William Crawford Gorgas, Dr. Atistides Agramonte, Dr. Carlos Finlay, Dr. James Carroll, and Dr. (Maj.) Walter Reed (seated). The patients is the first study volunteer, Private John Kissinger.

[Captions on the back of the marker:]
The Army Medical School moved twice, once in 1910 (left) and again in 1916 (right) before being moved to the Army Medical Center at Walter Reed in
Borden's Dream Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, December 20, 2019
3. Borden's Dream Marker
1923.

West and south facades of the Army Medical Museum & Library, Seventh Street & Independence Avenue Southwest, Washington, DC, where the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden building now stands.
(Marker Number 2.)
 
Location. 38° 58.465′ N, 77° 1.729′ W. Marker is in Brightwood, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on Main Drive Northwest just west of 12th Street Northwest, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 6939 12th Street Northwest, Washington DC 20307, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Walter Reed General Hospital (within shouting distance of this marker); Battle of Fort Stevens (within shouting distance of this marker); Walter Reed Army Medical Center (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Borden's Dream Realized (about 300 feet away); WRAMC - Modern Era (about 300 feet away); Site of a Tulip Tree (about 400 feet away); Cameron's Creek and the Rose Garden (about 400 feet away); a different marker also named Walter Reed Army Medical Center (about 800 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Brightwood.
 
Categories. EducationScience & MedicineWar, World I
 
Signage on the perimeter of the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, December 24, 2019
4. Signage on the perimeter of the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center
Borden's Dream
Walter Reed General Hospital opened its doors on May 1, 1909, due to the tireless advocacy of Major William C. Borden, who dreamed of an Army medical center containing a hospital medical school, museum, and library.
 

More. Search the internet for Borden's Dream.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 24, 2019. This page originally submitted on December 20, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 48 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 20, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.   4. submitted on December 24, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.
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