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Maryland's National Register Properties



Photo credit: MHT Files, n.d.
Glenn Dale Tuberculosis Hospital and Sanatorium
Inventory No.: PG:70-50
Other Name(s): Glenn Dale Hospital
Date Listed: 11/18/2011
Location: 5201 Glenn Dale Road, Glenn Dale, Prince Georges County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: 1933
Architect/Builder: Architects: Albert L. Harris, Nathan C. Wyeth, Lawrence Johnston, Merrel C. Coe
Description: The Glenn Dale Tuberculosis Hospital and Sanatorium consists of 21 buildings and one structure, 17 of which are Colonial Revival in style and date from 1933 to 1959, when the site functioned as a tuberculosis hospital and sanatorium. The greatest building density occurs in the central portion of the site. The c. 1936 adult hospital, c. 1938 employees' dormitory, and c. 1990 mobile home are located northwest of Glenn Dale Road. Two nurses' dormitories constructed c. 1933 and 1936, and two extant doctors' residences constructed c. 1935 and 1936 (Duplex 1 and Duplex 2) are located southeast of Glenn Dale Road. The c. 1933 children's hospital and two apartment buildings constructed c. 1949 and 1950 are located southeast of Cherry Drive. The maintenance and utility buildings, accessed by an auxiliary road named Utility Drive, occupy the northeastern edge of the building complex. The north and south ends of the campus are comprised of woodland. Chain-link fencing borders the property along Electric Avenue, as well as portions of the northeast, west, and south sides of the property. Seventeen buildings date from the original period of construction of the hospital (1933-1939). The two expansive, multi-story, multi-wing hospitals are the largest buildings on the campus, followed by the nurses' and employees' dormitories. In addition, two duplexes (former doctors' residences) and their associated garages, a warehouse/garage, well house, power plant, maintenance building, and water softener house also date to this period. The Colonial Revival-style buildings are constructed of reinforced concrete, with the exterior walls clad primarily in red brick. Two apartment buildings were constructed c. 1949 and 1950 utilizing a practical, utilitarian, simplified Colonial Revival style. An incinerator, additional garage/shed, and water tower date to c. 1960 and are located near or within the northeastern maintenance and utility building cluster. The buildings on the Glenn Dale Hospital campus have been vacant since its closure in 1982, resulting in deterioration through neglect and vandalism. The buildings have lost many of their original windows and doors. Many of the original window openings are concealed with boards or metal security doors, particularly in the basement levels and first and second stories. The buildings retain their original massing and most original architectural features. The campus as a whole retains evidence of its original vehicular and pedestrian circulation network and possesses overall integrity as an early 20th-century campus designed purposefully for the care and treatment of tuberculosis patients. Significance: The Glenn Dale Tuberculosis Hospital and Sanatorium was constructed specifically to house and treat children and adults suffering from tuberculosis. The campus demonstrates the struggle of the District of Columbia to combat the public health threat caused by tuberculosis during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Glenn Dale Hospital, owned and operated by the District, provided free medical care to the victims of the disease. Glenn Dale's location, approximately 15 miles outside the city, provided the remote setting and abundant fresh air that were considered ideal in the treatment of the disease, as the continued inclusion of the stricken in the District's general population without adequate care was viewed as a serious public health threat. Contemporary accounts credit the hospital with possessing the most up-to-date equipment and practices for treating the disease when its operation was limited to the treatment of tuberculosis. The similarity of massing, design, and classical detailing of the buildings and the interconnected series of pedestrian and vehicular circulation paths all contribute to its architectural significance as a distinguishable, unified, representative example of a 20th century therapeutic campus. The campus included interrelated medical, residential, and mechanical buildings and landscaped areas, the majority of which remain intact and contribute to the overall campus-like feel of the property.

 

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