History of the VAGLAHS

Prominent architect Stanford White is credited with designing the original shingle style frame barracks.  J. Lee Burton designed a streetcar depot and the shingle style chapel in 1900.  The Barry Hospital was built in sections from 1891 to 1909. Plantings of pines, palm trees, and eucalyptus groves transformed the site from its treeless state. 

Carolina Winston Barrie, the great-great niece of de Stearns Baker and the direct descendant of one of the heirs of her estate was a plaintiff in the historic 2011 lawsuit.  She is one of the founders of the 1887 Fund, dedicated to refurbishing the five historic buildings on the campus.

At its peak, during the Korean War, the campus housed thousands of Veterans. Prior to 2016, the VA was rampant with corruption prompting a lawsuit by civil rights groups and resulting in the passage of a new law, the West LA Leasing Act.  This law creates vigorous oversight at the VA and further creates stringent criteria for any entity sharing Veteran Lands.

In 2015-2016, in a momentous step forward, a Master Plan was conceived and adopted to build housing for 1200 of the most vulnerable Veterans and to repurpose the VA for Veteran Use.  New leadership has brought greater opportunity for the surrounding  communities to engage with the VA as a partner and to play a vital role in serving the at-risk Veterans that are in its care.

In response to this opportunity, Village for Vets was formed in January 2016. Village for Vets believes that it is our obligation, as members  of the Los Angeles community, to provide resources and support for the most vulnerable Veterans who have sacrificed on behalf of this country and need extra help to thrive.

*Information taken from a national parks website and a publication entitled Preserving a Home for Veterans, Les Figues Press, Los Angeles adapted from a position paper “Preserving a Home for Veterans, c 2011.

How to Feel Connected to the VAGLAHS

Over half of the acreage donated to the Federal Government for the benefit of ‘old soldiers’ was used for the 405 Freeway, Wilshire Boulevard, the Federal Building and the Cemetary.  Do you use these roads?  Does the use of these lands help you earn your living and visit friends? Do you notice the grave stones as you pass by Westwood?  Do you feel connected to the VA now?

The Federal Government needs community support to serve the most vulnerable Veterans who are most in need of using the GLAVAHS.  Can you find it in your heart to join us to help them?