A US Marine Hospital, akin to today's VA hospitals, was established in Evansville in 1850s to take care of service men.
Being a port of call earned Evansville a Marine Hospital, and ground was broken in 1853. Situated near the foot of Wabash Ave, the first US Marine Hospital opened in 1856. After the Civil War, the need for a general military hospital dwindled, so it was sold to the Daughters of Charity and later became the first St. Mary's hospital.
It wasn't until 1888 that a new US Marine Hospital started to materialize. Grounds were purchased just north of the old Orphans' Home at the west end of Illinois St. Three main buildings were erected in 1892 at a cost of $100,000. The building at right housed a laundry on the first floor and a kitchen and dining room on the second. The left building was a surgeon's residence. At center was the administration building with two wings in the back. The left wing was the ward for white patients, and the right wing was the ward for colored patients and also housed carpentry shops. Sometime around 1920 a hospital was built immediately behind the administration building.
By 1910, the street running parallel to the front of the hospital appears with the name Marine Ave on maps. The street (more like an alley) ran from north from Pennsylvania St past Illinois St, and it would later connect all the way to Franklin St.
The hospital formally closed in 1947, but within two years it reopened as the US Navy & Marine Corps Training Center (USMTC). At some point the surgeon's residence was torn down. A rifle range was also added in the rear in 1956
The traning center moved out in 1975, and the old hospital was vacated. A potential reuse was sought for the building including the possibility of a condonimium retirement home or apartments.
Part of the buildings were damaged by fire in 1981, likely arson. The buildings were razed around 1984.
Recently the once-wooded site was cleared again with the intent of residential development. However nothing has happened of late, and only the brick wall at the entrance is all that remains of the old hospital.
History about the Marine Hospital - http://www.westsideimprovement.org/marine_hospital_history.htm
Marine Hospital at HistoricEvansville.com - http://www.historicevansville.com/site.php?id=marine
Original Marine Hospital at HistoricEvansville.com - http://www.historicevansville.com/site.php?id=oldmarine