Dayton VA to kick off plans for new national history center

The Dayton Veterans Affairs Medical Center will update the public later this month on progress being made on the new national VA History Center.

A kickoff event will be hosted at the historic Protestant Chapel at the medical center at 3 p.m. Oct. 31, according to an announcement. VA chief historian Mike Visconage will be at the event to provide the update and participate in a brief question and answer session.

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Other speakers will include:

• Jill Dietrich, former Dayton VA director and current Cleveland VA director.

• Coleen Ryan of the Dayton Foundation.

• Glenn Costie, president of the board of trustees for the American Veterans Heritage Center.

The new national VA history center is expected to be located in two historic buildings on the VA Center’s West Dayton campus.

Initial plans would house the agency’s archives in the national headquarters facility, built in 1871 and the clubhouse, built in 1881. The two buildings would undergo an extensive renovation as part of the plan, with money coming from both the federal government and the private sector.

The history center would house archival records, memorabilia, artwork, architectural and archaeological artifacts, aiming to tell the story of the VA’s role in medicine.

The Dayton site was one of three original VA sites that opened just after the end of the Civil War, and the bulk of the Dayton VA campus was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2012. Currently, the National Archives host many of the military records dating back to before the Revolutionary War.


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