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U.S. NAVAL HOSPITAL, WASHINGTON, D.C.

by E. Caylor Bowen

U.S. NAVAL HOSPITAL, WASHINGTON, D.C. by E. Caylor Bowen

U.S. NAVAL HOSPITAL, WASHINGTON, D.C.

Ninth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, Southeast

[Commissioned: October 1, 1866]

Early History

From 1866 until 1907, the building on Pennsylvania Avenue at Ninth Street, southeast, served as the U.S. Naval Hospital, Washington, D.C. Although historical references record the building’s address as Pennsylvania Avenue, the main fašade actually faces E Street; its correct address, then, being 921 – E Street, southeast. In an account describing the hospital (1893), J.D. Gatewood, Medical Director, USN, noted correctly that “the hospital is back from the street, and fronts the south…” This building, with its spacious elegance of the past, still stands today and remains virtually as it did in 1866. At the 9th Street gate entrance, and in the same architectural style, is an auxiliary building that was once a stable and carriage house. The second story was used in 1906 as an isolation ward for cases of contagious diseases. The entire plat, originally 4 separate lots in square 948, is enclosed by an ornate iron fence, approximately 7 feet high. The grounds comprise three-fourths of an acre: one-half purchased on June 4, 1821, and the remainder on March 20, 1865.

Public Lands

The events that led to the establishment of the first naval hospital in Washington, D.C., began in January 1799, when Secretary of the Navy, Benjamin Stoddert, wrote to the Commissioners of the City of Washington, inquiring whether the public land that had been (continued on page 2)

This site is sponsored by the Friends of the Old Naval Hospital

Last updated November 21, 2008