• What’s named what? And why?

  • Fort Leavenworth has about 80 paved roads, all of them named.

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  • Quentin Schillare | Special to the Fort Leavenworth Lamp
    Fort Leavenworth has about 80 paved roads, all of them named. It has more than 1,000 buildings, and if you count the athletic fields, statues, flag poles and other things the Directorate of Public Works/Logistics Readiness Center tracks for accountability, the number swells to almost 1,200. Ninety-four buildings have formal or informal names. Grant Hall is a formal name, the clock tower building is informal. Four more soldiers give their name to terrain features on post, and finally, at least 35 soldiers and civilians are remembered in “hidden” locations, rooms and auditoriums within named buildings.
    Determining what is named what is not as easy as you would expect. There are three primary sources. The streets are the easiest. The DPW/LRC maintains a digital database and publishes on-demand a post map with a grid reference system. It graphically depicts the streets and buildings by number. An index cross references the most important buildings by mission and facility number.
    Named buildings can be identified by a two-step process. DPW/LRC maintains a searchable database of structures cross referenced by number, name (if it has one), year built and address, so one can find the building number on the map and search the post building number database for a name. Geographical place names are listed on the Leavenworth Quadrangle on the U.S. Geological Survey topographic map.
    Locating various named places can often be a challenge. Many are identified by easy-to-read street signs or nameplates affixed to the building, such as Grant, Sherman and Sheridan Halls. Others are obvious with a little knowledge of the post: the Grant Statue, the Buffalo Soldier Monument and the monuments in the Circle of Firsts. A few have brown National Park Service-like signs pinpointing the location of a building or housing area, including the Rookery, the Henry Leavenworth House and Quarters 1.
    Another group, including Rucker and Lowe Halls, have internal plaques informing visitors of the person or persons memorialized. An additional group is a bit harder. It consists of those streets, buildings and other features with no indication that they have names at all, including Blochberger Avenue, Rachel Cooke Hall, the Edwin Sumner House and Dodge Hall.
    There is a final named group inside many Fort Leavenworth buildings known only to those who frequent the location. They represent the largest and most important buildings. These indoor namesakes, of which there are at least 35, include conference rooms, auditoriums, lodging suites and a gymnasium. These hidden rooms typically memorialize distinguished soldiers.
    In some cases named spaces move around. When the Command and General Staff College moved from Bell Hall to the Lewis and Clark Center, so did the Dwight D. Eisenhower Auditorium and George C. Marshall Lecture Hall, which was called Marshall Auditorium in Bell Hall.
    Page 2 of 2 - The Lewis and Clark Center is a good example of using interior spaces to honor famous Americans. The Douglas MacArthur and J. Franklin Bell Rooms, named for distinguished soldiers and former Army chiefs of staff, provide temporary office space for visiting VIPs. The Henry H. (Hap) Arnold Conference Room is dedicated to the memory of first U.S. Air Force chief of staff. The William T. Sherman Conference Room is named for the Civil War general. And finally, the Pat Roberts Room recognizes the former Marine officer and current U.S. Senator from Kansas.
    Several other buildings on post have multiple named interior spaces, including Otis Hall with eight, the Thomas Custer House with six, Eisenhower Hall with five, and the Frontier Conference Center has three. There is one named room or hall in several buildings, including the Adjutant General building, Davis Hall, Grant Hall, the Herbert R. Temple Mission Training Complex, Hoge Hall, McNair Hall and the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks. There are probably other hidden facilities on post known to only a few.
    The tradition of memorializing soldiers and civilians by naming things after them is long established on Fort Leavenworth. DPW/LRC and other organizations have an ongoing challenge to identify and mark the streets, buildings and other locations. The sign shop keeps busy.
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