East Texas State Tuberculosis Sanatorium

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East Texas State Tuberculosis Sanatorium
Established 1947
Opened 1949
Closed 1971 (as a Sanatorium)
Current Status Closed
Building Style Cottage Plan
Location Tyler, TX
Alternate Names
  • East Texas Tuberculosis Hospital
  • East Texas Chest Hospital


The University of Texas Health Center at Tyler is situated on 614 acres eight miles northeast of Tyler at the junction of U.S. Highway 271 and State Highway 155, just south of Interstate 20. The site where the Health Center stands today was activated in 1943 as Camp Fannin, a World War II infantry training base, where more than 100,000 men a year were prepared for combat. During the height of the war, troop capacity was more than 18,000 soldiers with 1,074 hospital beds. It also served as a camp for prisoners of war. In 1946 Camp Fannin was closed. A year later the Fiftieth Texas Legislature authorized the purchase of the site from the federal government and chartered the East Texas Tuberculosis Sanatorium. The transaction involved surface rights to 614 acres and the existing wood barracks, which were used to house the 1,000-bed hospital.

The sanatorium's primary mission was to treat tuberculosis patients in East Texas. Renovation of the sanatorium was begun in 1948, and a year later 122 patients arrived by train from a state tuberculosis facility in Kerrville. The first patients slept on cots until 1952, when the first hospital beds were issued. The sanatorium was renamed the East Texas Tuberculosis Hospital in 1951. In 1957 the hospital underwent major construction. Most of the army barracks were demolished and replaced with a new six-story, 320-bed hospital building.

The Sixty-second Texas Legislature renamed the institution the East Texas Chest Hospital in 1971 and designated it a primary referral facility in Texas for treatment of pulmonary and heart disease. A $17.2 million building and expansion project for a new patient-care annex was begun in 1976 and completed in 1980. In 1980 a new six-story building was erected, and the old building was renovated for use as an administration center.

In 1977 the institution joined the University of Texas System, becoming the University of Texas Health Center at Tyler. The primary mission of this state referral hospital, which is governed by a Board of Regents, involves patient care, research, and education in the treatment of pulmonary and heart disease.