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.
Utilizing an existing framework of nearly 500 supporters and advocates including our Six-to-Fix partners, Glenn Dale Citizens’ Association, the 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Two development teams responded to the RFP for the Adaptive Reuse of the Glenn Dale Hospital and will be considered by the Proposal Analysis Group.
With assistance from Preservation Maryland, the Redevelopment Authority of Prince George’s County has required historic preservation experience in the Request for Professional Qualifications for the adaptive reuse of Glenn Dale Hospital published in mid-March. Teams submitting for the project must include a preservation architect, preservation landscape architect, and preservationist as described in the Secretary of the Interior’s Professional Qualifications Standards (Code of Federal Regulations, 36 CFR Part 61). Preservation Maryland will also guide the appropriate redevelopment of Glenn Dale by participating in the application review and selection process this Summer.
The Anacostia Trails State Heritage Area will expand to include the Glenn Dale Hospital site after an amendment is made to the Prince George’s County master plan. Last November, Preservation Maryland testified in support of this expansion in front of the Maryland Heritage Area Authority. As expansion moves forward, community groups have already submitted grants applications for stategic planning and improved signage for the site; these grants may be considered after the expansion is official. Until that time, attention is now set on applying for a grant directly from the Anacostia Trails State Heritage Area.
Request for Qualifications
Development Authority of Prince George’s County
Market Study for the Redevelopment Authority of Prince George’s County: Glenn Dale Hospital Site
Glenn Dale Hospital Historic District: Field Observations Report
Michael Baker International, Cagley & Associates, Beyer Blinder Belle Architects
Approval of Price George’s County Historic District
Minutes of the Price George’s Historic Preservation Commission
Solicitation for Offers for the Purchase of Glenn Dale Hospital Site
Maryland-National Capital Parks and Planning Commission
“Glenn Dale Tuberculosis Hospital and Sanatorium”
National Register of Historic Places approved nomination form
“Glenn Dale Hospital”
Maryland Historic Sites Inventory
Glenn Dale Hospital: This Place Matters
Public Facebook group
Master’s Thesis: “The Adaptive Reuse of Glenn Dale Hospital”
Jennie Gross, School of Architecture, University of Maryland
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
Prince George’s Co. wants to redevelop a hospital site
Baltimore Business Journal
“New plans for [Glenn Dale] hospital site taking shape”
“Ghost Tales: Inside Glenn Dale Hospital”
“Historic designation provides hope that old Glenn Dale Hospital site could be fixed up”
The Washington Post
“Baker calls for public comment on future of Glenn Dale hospital site”
“Abandoned D.C.: Glenn Dale Hospital and Sanatorium”
“Preservationist Calls for Rehab of Glenn Dale Hospital”
The Patch: Bowie
“6 historical sites endorsed for national registry”
The Washington Post
“Park and Planning rejects bids for Glenn Dale Hospital site”
“Owner of Glenn Dale Hospital goes after historic designation”
The Washington Post
“Glenn Dale Hospital gets two bids”
The Washington Post
“Park and Planning receives bids in sale of Glenn Dale Hospital”
“Park and Planning extends deadline for Glenn Dale Hospital bids”
“Group wants former hospital healed”
“Property Eyed Earlier by District for Employee Health Spa to Remain as Open Space”
The Washington Post
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