Fort Sheridan (2)
Fort Sheridan (2) (1887-1993) - A U.S. Army post established in 1887 as Camp Highwood in Lake County, Illinois. Renamed in 1888 for General of the Army Philip H. Sheridan who died on 1 Jun 1888. Abandoned in 1993.
Fort Sheridan was designed by the architectural firm of Holabird & Roche as a traditional open plan fort with a large semi-circular central parade. Along the south side of the parade was a massive 227' central tower (Bldg. 49) flanked by two multi-company barracks (Bldgs. 48 & 50). Officer's quarters lined the remaining semi-circle and branched out on the northeast side toward the lake. A large hospital was located on the south east side of the post and the cavalry stables were located on the south west side of the post behind the barracks. Some 64 brick buildings were constructed between 1889 and 1895 with cream colored bricks made from clay found in local bluffs.
The most prominent building on Fort Sheridan was the 227' central tower originally designed as part of the barracks complex. The tower was constructed in 1891 and included an elevated water tank to provide water to the post under pressure. In 1949 a structural problem necessitated an overhaul of the tower and the removal of the original conical roof. The changes reduced the tower height from 227' to 169'.
The post was first garrisoned by infantry troops in 1887 but became a cavalry post in 1892.
World War I (1917-1918)
During World War I Fort Sheridan served as an induction and training center for the midwest region and the post was expanded with the addition of many WWI temporary buildings. The post also housed an Officer training camp.
After the war, the post was used as a rehabilitation hospital for returning soldiers and as an isolation hospital for the great influenza epidemic of 1918, some 60,000 patients were treated at the hospital between 1918 and 1920.
The post housed Camp Leonard Wood, a Civilian Military Training Camp (CMT) between 1926 and 1939. The CMT camps were designed to provide civilians with military officer training for any future conflicts. The camp was largely a tent camp with temporary support buildings.
World War II (1941-1945)
Fort Sheridan again became a regional induction and training center even before war was declared in 1941. Just as in World War I the post expanded with temporary WWII buildings to handle the additional troops. Some 500,000 troops were processed through the post and a new mobilization center was built on the south end of the post. As the war progressed, it also became the regional headquarters for prisoner of war camps and housed some of the POWs on post.
Cold War (1947-1991)
Fort Sheridan again became a regional induction and training center during the Korean War and the Vietnam War. In 1950 an Army Air Field (AAF) was built on the post and later named Haley Army Airfield.
In 1954 Fort Sheridan became the regional NIKE missile headquarters for the Chicago Air Defense area and a NIKE missile launch site from 1955 to 1963. With the end of the Vietnam War and the phaseout of the NIKE system in 1974 the post transitioned into a Reserve and National Guard role.
Fort Sheridan was included in the first round of base closings (1989) by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC). The Fort was closed by the Army on 28 May 1993 although some portion of the post was retained for Reserve and National Guard tenants.
The old fort buildings and support facilities have been, for the most part, incorporated into the community of Fort Sheridan as private residences or commercial enterprises. Most of the open spaces including the central parade and the old Army Air Field are a part of the Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve.
The old post cemetery at the north end of the post is not a part of the National Cemetery system but is still administered by the U.S. Army out of Fort McCoy, WI. The cemetery is cared for and maintained by the Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve.
The old post golf course was transferred with deed restrictions that limited its uses. The restrictions have been lifted and the golf course is being incorporated into the Fort Sheridan Master Plan as open space for recreational trails, habitat restoration and scenic overlooks.
The U.S. Army Reserves retains about 90 acres at the north end of the post adjacent to the old cemetery.