Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital

  • Located at 9th and Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, the building now known as the Hill Center was built in 1866 as a Naval Hospital.
  • The Navy used it during the Civil War and up until 1906 when the Naval Hospital was moved to Observatory Hill at 23rd and E Streets, NW (in Foggy Bottom).

The large brick building had room for 50 patients, and was used by the Navy until 1962 when the building was transferred to the District of Columbia. For five years, from 1906 – 1911, the building was used by the Navy as a training facility, for the Navy Reserves, and an emergency hospital. From 1922 until 1962 the building served as the Temporary Home for Veterans of All Wars.

The District of Columbia used it for various activities and agencies, but the building has been vacant since 1998. In 2002 a group of neighbors formed Friends of the Old Naval Hospital. They set three goals: to see the place properly restored, to see it turned over to an appropriate long-term occupant, and to research the history of the site and the people who have used it.

Later, in 2002, the Old Naval Hospital Foundation was created and developed a plan for the site’s reuse as an educational center and a gathering place for community residents. The city accepted the plan in August 2007, renovations began, and were completed in 2011.

The DC Preservation League held their annual meeting at the Hill Center on November 3, 2011, which included a presentation on the history and the renovation of the Old Navy Hospital by the architect. The four-story, 16,000-sq-ft building has meeting rooms that can accommodate 10-250 people, a beautiful garden, and a demonstration kitchen.

citations:

The Hill Center: http://www.hillcenterdc.org/

The DC Preservation League: http://www.dcpreservation.org/index.html

The Old Naval Hospital History: http://www.oldnavalhospital.org/history_main.html

U.S. National Library of Medicine: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/medtour/oldnavy.html