Glenn Dale Hospital: Breathing New Life into Old Buildings

The needed array of agencies, strong community concern, and now Preservation Maryland, has recently coalesced to move the needle forward on this long-vacant and large historic campus in Prince George’s County toward an adaptive reuse project that will serve and benefit the neighborhood and beyond.


Partners: Glenn Dale Citizens’ Association; Glenwood Park Civic Association; Lincoln-Vista Civic Association; Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation; Redevelopment Authority of Prince George’s County; Revenue Authority of Prince George’s County

The Problem

Situated on a wooded campus of over 200 acres in Prince George’s County, the majority of the two dozen Georgian Revival buildings of the Glenn Dale Tuberculosis Hospital and Sanatorium date from the 1930s. Once the area’s largest employer, Glenn Dale hospital was closed in 1981. Vacant since, and a bit of a white elephant, strong community efforts have pushed this project along to rehabilitation and reuse.

Preservation Maryland first recognized Glenn Dale Hospital as a threatened resource in 2014, and then recommitted in 2015 to assisting the site by including it in our Six-to-Fix program.

The Fix

Utilizing an existing framework of nearly 500 supporters and advocates including our Six-to-Fix partners, Glenn Dale Citizens’ Associationthe Lincoln-Vista Civic Association, Glenwood Park Civic Association, Preservation Maryland assisted community organizations and activists in identifying and engaging key players in State and County government as well as experts in preservation architecture, engineering and design to remove the barriers to use and a feasibility study for re-use and rehab was completed. An RFP was issued for the adaptive reuse of Glen Dale Hospital.

HISTORY

In central Prince George’s County, surrounded by suburban development sits the 200+ acre Glenn Dale Tuberculosis Hospital and Sanatorium. The campus features 23 brick Georgian Revival buildings many of which were built between 1933 and 1959. The Glenn Dale Tuberculosis Hospital and Sanatorium which was owned and operated by the District of Columbia was constructed specifically to house and treat children and adults suffering from tuberculosis. The campus demonstrates the lengths governments went to combat the public health threat caused by tuberculosis during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Glenn Dale’s location just 15 miles outside the District of Columbia provided the remote setting and abundant fresh air that were considered ideal in the treatment of the disease. Today the property is owned by Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

SIGNIFICANCE

The campus included interrelated medical, residential and mechanical buildings along with landscaped areas for patients to enjoy. A majority of the buildings on the property remain intact with a high level of historical integrity. The classical detailing of the buildings together with the interconnected series of pedestrian and vehicular circulation paths contribute to its historical and architectural significance as a distinguishable, unified, representative example of a 20th-century therapeutic campus.

THREAT

The site remained an active hospital through 1982 when the doors were shuttered. The buildings were not properly mothballed or stabilized once they started to deteriorate. Despite the exceedingly substantial commercial quality of the original construction, its neglect has resulted in the loss of the integrity of many of the roofs. Because they were so strongly built, these formerly stunning Georgian Revival structures are not yet beyond saving. However, if steps are not taken in the very near future to secure the buildings and provide for their safe maintenance, the Glenn Dale Citizens’ Association fears that these buildings and their environmental setting will be lost altogether.

GOALS

Local community groups have championed the adaptive reuse of the campus and buildings for over two decades. Associations which represent individuals and the families of individuals who worked at Glenn Dale Hospital want to see the buildings and 60 acres of the property used as a continuing care and retirement community. The other 140+ acres would benefit the community if they were maintained as permanent open space for active and passive parkland uses. Immediate stabilization of the buildings will ensure that no more damage occurs and that this campus can once again meet the needs of the community.

Updates

January 2018

The neighborhoods nearby the historic Glenn Dale Hospital have been a vital force in advocating for its reuse and evolution to again serve the community. In a responsive effort to keep stakeholders informed, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission and the Alexander Company have launched a new project website.

Read more

February 2017

Thanks to Preservation Maryland’s involvement, active efforts to breathe new life in to the long vacant Glenn Dale Hospital have taken a major step forward with the selection of a qualified team to complete a redevelopment feasibility study; The Alexander Company. Previously, the Alexander Company has worked in Maryland on the redevelopment of the National Park Seminary in Silver Spring.

Read more

February 2016

In mid-February, representatives from the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission(M-NCPPC) – the owner of the Glenn Dale Hospital Complex, appeared at a community meeting attended by Preservation Maryland and hosted by the Glenn Dale Citizens’ Association, Lincoln-Vista Civic Association, and Glenwood Park Civic Association to present on the latest studies on the site.

Read more

See More Updates
RFPS & REPORTS

03/18/16

Request for Qualifications
Development Authority of Prince George’s County

08/2015
Market Study for the Redevelopment Authority of Prince George’s County: Glenn Dale Hospital Site
Brecht Associates

06/08/15
Glenn Dale Hospital Historic District: Field Observations Report
Michael Baker International, Cagley & Associates, Beyer Blinder Belle Architects

06/30/14
Approval of Price George’s County Historic District
Minutes of the Price George’s Historic Preservation Commission

02/27/14
Solicitation for Offers for the Purchase of Glenn Dale Hospital Site
Maryland-National Capital Parks and Planning Commission

11/18/11
Glenn Dale Tuberculosis Hospital and Sanatorium
National Register of Historic Places approved nomination form

10/87
Glenn Dale Hospital
Maryland Historic Sites Inventory

COMMUNITY

Glenn Dale Hospital: This Place Matters
Public Facebook group

2013
Master’s Thesis: “The Adaptive Reuse of Glenn Dale Hospital
Jennie Gross, School of Architecture, University of Maryland

2011
Master’s Thesis: “From Vacant to Vibrant: Adaptive Reuse of Abandoned Asylums and Sanatoriums Through the Study of Glenn Dale Hospital
Caitlin Chamberlain, Historic Preservation Program, Savannah College of Art and Design

Save History Today

The Six-to-Fix program allows Preservation Maryland to take direct action to fulfill its mission to protect the best of Maryland. Your donation helps provide technical assistance through Preservation Maryland staff and preservation experts to threatened and underutilized historic places – your donation has a direct impact on saving Maryland architecture and history.

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Be Part of the Fix

You can help. Six-to-Fix rallies the Maryland preservation community around discrete and necessary tasks and projects to advance each project. Folks with all skills and interests are encouraged to sign-up. You will receive periodic announcements with opportunities to participate, and we hope you can join us to save history together.

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