Cass Gilbert Society

Railroad Buildings

Northern Pacific Railroad Hospital - Brainerd, Brainerd, MN

Northern Pacific Railroad Hospital, Brainerd, MN, ca. 1895

Crow Wing County Historical Society

Northern Pacific Railroad Hospital - Brainerd

Other Names:
Brainerd Hospital-NPRR
Brainerd, Minnesota
Design & Construction:
1883 [1883 Christen-2001]
Cass Gilbert 

The Brainerd Hospital consists of two buildings. The two-and-half-story, wood-frame hospital building (37 x 120 feet) was very much like the sophisticated work McKim, Mead & White was doing in the East and has the appearance of a resort hotel. Large, sweeping porches, decorative shingle work, towers, and a roof that does not project beyond the shingle-covered exterior walls of the upper floors are elements of the style McKim, Mead & White referred to as "Modern Colonial." Seventy-five years after its inception, Vincent Scully, Jr. coined the term "Shingle style" to describe the informal design of such wood-framed, shingle-covered buildings.[White-1998, 14.] Unlike most of McKim, Mead & White's Shingle-style designs, the Brainerd Hospital has a hip roof and window shutters. The hospital cost $11,500. The smaller, two-story Ward Building, a bare-bones design, cost $4,800. The plumbing contract was separate and cost $6000 for both buildings.[McKim, Mead & White to General Haupt, June 5,1883, Box: 13, Fldr.: 89, MNHS-CGP.]

The hospital facility itself was moved from Brainerd to St. Paul in 1922, and in 1937, the building was converted to residential use. It has since been razed. All that remains on the site are two nurses quarters designed in 1901 by Gilbert's local competitor Reed & Stem.

See Also