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Then and Now: The Old Naval Hospital

District Soldiers & Sailors HomeOld Naval Hospital

The Old Naval Hospital is located on the block bordered by Pennsylvania Avenue, 8th Street, 9th Street, and E Street, SE. The images here are of the building on the Pennsylvania Avenue side, with the older photograph dating to the first quarter of the 20th century.

The bill providing for the building was approved by Congress on March 2, 1865. Construction was finished in July of 1866, and the first patients were admitted on October 1—one Sailor and six Marines.

The Hospital, being antiquated and insufficient to modern hospital requirements, became a Hospital Corp training school between 1907 and 1911.

After that time, various uses were put to the building, though the building was empty for long spans during this period until the Navy declared it surplus in 1960.

There is a generally good history of the property here for those wanting more detail.

Kent Boese posts items of historic interest primarily within the District. He's worked in libraries since 1994, both federal and law, and currently works on K Street. He's been an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner serving the northern Columbia Heights and Park View neighborhoods since 2011 (ANC 1A), and is the force behind the blog Park View, D.C.


I had the opportunity to take a tour of the Old Naval Hospital several weeks ago and took several photos of the interior that I shared online here, It is truly a remarkable building.

by Eli Pousson on Aug 31, 2009 4:50 pm • linkreport

my great great grandpa died in this hospital in the 1870's.

by w on Aug 31, 2009 5:15 pm • linkreport


great pics. the former owners of my nearby house moved close to ONH in the early 80s. They said the basement was a notorious shooting gallery until the early 90s and the building to be avoided at all costs.

I hope they move soon on this. The fence looks like it could collapse any minute, and the current general state of disrepair needs to be addressed. The building still feels at risk, even with a lot of plans in the works.

by B on Sep 1, 2009 11:54 am • linkreport

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