ANOTHER inauguration took place this past week: the...


January 26, 1993

ANOTHER inauguration took place this past week: the official opening of the new Baltimore VA Medical Center on Greene Street downtown -- a Taj Mahal of medical technology.

For $121 million, area veterans have gotten the latest in state-of-the-art medical care spread over one million square feet of space. It looks and feels like a Hyatt Regency hotel, with its two atriums, glass skylights and over 300 rooms with a view.

Already, this building has been named the 1992 Grand Award Winner by the Landscaping Contractors of America for Environmental Improvement. The halls are filled with art work, much of it with a Southwestern theme. The interior decor is heavy on muted earth tones, designed to be pleasing and soothing to patients and visitors.

There is a food court much like you'd find at any shopping mall, plus atrium seating to make your visit more pleasant.

The only problem could be the overnight popularity of this medical center with vets from the Mid-Atlantic region. Already there is concern that the center isn't large enough to accommodate the needed research space and the expected surge in outpatient visits. But since it took some five-and-a-half years to build and nearly that long to get the building through the planning, design and approval stages, such crowding shouldn't come as a surprise. Federal bureaucrats and health regulators have never been known for rushing a project to completion.

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