The Soldiers Home Administration Building resides in the administrative-recreation cluster of buildings, all of which were designed to maintain a visual focus on Old Main. The cluster of buildings includes Ward Memorial Hall, Wadsworth Library, the Social Hall, and the Headquarters building. This building arrangement maintained the Picturesque landscape setting to the east, while also providing close proximity to the hospitals and barracks for the veterans.
Built in 1896 as a part of the “Building Boom” along with other core buildings in the institutional area, the Administration Building's exterior is cream color-painted brick, making its appearance consistent with its neighboring buildings.
The Administration Building contained the offices of the Governor, treasurer, quartermaster, adjutant, clerical staff, commissary officer, chief guard, and the fire marshal. The upper story of this building contained reading and sleeping quarters for clerks who were civilian employees. The basement contained the print shop. It served as the VA center main office until 1942, after which it housed the domiciliary staff office and the campus post office.
The interior of many of its rooms have walls and ceilings covered in embossed metal, and some of the original brass, glass and hardware have been retained. Above the steps of the portico, a sign reads “Milwaukee Wi.”
The Administration Building is part of a rehabilitation project currently underway. Soon, the headquarters building will provide housing for 14 veterans and their families who are homeless or at risk of being homeless.