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What’s the story with Upton Hall?

‘What’s the story with…?’ is a phrase commonly heard at Carlisle Barracks. With more than 50 buildings in the National Historic Register, the post has a history unlike many others.   

This is the latest in a series that will take a look at historic buildings, photos and more that tell the story of Carlisle Barracks. Throughout it’s nearly 260 years of history, the post has been the home to many pioneering schools, events and leaders that have helped shape our Nation. Want to learn more? Check out the Carlisle Barracks history page at or visit the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center at

Upton Hall, then called Hoff Hall as seen during the early 1940's.

This week’s entry focuses on Upton Hall.

The site of Upton Hall has seen numerous changes throughout the history of Carlisle Barracks. Originally, this was the site of the “Public Works of Carlisle,” which was established in 1776 by George Washington with funds appropriated from Congress. The “Public Works of Carlisle” became the main supplier of goods, weapons, and ammunition to the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. The forge of the “Public Works of Carlisle” manufactured many weapons and goods, including nails, swords, and muskets on site.

Before and during the Civil War, this site housed Barracks Two, which served many purposes. Prior to it’s burning in 1863, Barracks Two served as soldiers’ housing. Rebuilt in 1867 and utilized by garrison Soldiers and the band in 1870. During the era of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, it became a large boys’ dormitory until the school closed. The building then served as a hospital ward when General Hospital No. 31 operated on post. Finally, during the early years of the medical school's operation on post, it served as enlisted men’s quarters. It was then turned over for academic use and renamed Hoff Hall, in honor of Major John R. Hoff.

On April 29, 1939, Hoff Hall was determined unsafe and needed to be rebuilt. August 1, 1940 marked the start of this project and within three weeks, Hoff Hall was torn down. The new building became an academic facility and better served the Medical Field Service School, which later relocated to Fort Sam Houston in Texas in 1946. Between 1946 and 1951, six schools used Hoff Hall: Army Information, Military Police, Adjutant General, Chaplain Corps, Army Security Agency, and a school for the Government of Occupied Areas. These schools later moved to other Army posts.


Upton Hall as seen today.

Renamed Root Hall after Army War College founder Elihu Root in 1951, the Army War College used the building for classrooms until the College moved to the new Root Hall in 1967. After construction of Root Hall, the building was renamed Upton Hall, after General Emory Upton. The U.S. Army Military History Institute (USAMHI) was located in Upton Hall from 1967 to 2004 when, as part of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC), it moved to Ridgway Hall. Upton Hall now serves as the headquarters for the U.S. Army Garrison, Carlisle Barracks, and the Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI).

What buildings would you like to learn more about? Send an email to with the Subject Line: “What’s the story with?” and we’ll include in an upcoming edition.

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