“what’s that big empty white building at the top of the Old Soldier’s home”

soldiers_home

“Dear PoPville,

Does anyone know the story of the huge, empty, white stone building on the Old Soldier’s Home property at the corner of Rock Creek Church Road and Harewood? It faces the Soldier’s Home Cemetary and Rock Creek Cemetary. There is an old unused gate at the corner, and the building looks like it has been vacant for many years.”

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  • Wiki says it’s the Scott Building – a residence that’s been closed since 2011 due to damage suffered in the earthquake.

  • According to the DC Inventory of Historic Sites, the Scott Building was constructed between 1852-1891. The original portion, Sherman Building South, was designed by Barton S. Alexander and built 1852-1857. The clock tower and third floor was added in 1869 and designed by Edward Clark. The Annex was built in the early 1880s and construction of Sherman Building North was complete in 1891.

  • The old abandoned building at Harewood and Rock Creek Church Road is the Grant Building. It was built in the early 20th century as a dormitory and activity center for the residents of the Soldiers’ Home. It’s uninhabitable now due to asbestos.

    The building on the Soldiers’ Home campus that was severely damaged by the 2011 earthquake (pictured in the photo) is the Sherman Building. It’s been reopened for a couple of years now. Although originally built as a dormitory for veterans it now serves as the main administration building for the Home.

  • I live on Rock Creek Church one block from the aforementioned building. I was told by a neighbor that after the August 2011 earthquake the building was deemed unsafe and vacated by the Soldiers Home. My wife and I often remark on the building wishing it could be developed into something.

  • Just for information, it’s now called the “Armes Forces Retirement Home” and includes residents from all services.

  • The Historic American building Survey documented the Grant building, and the pictures are pretty incredible. Asbestos is not an insurmountable problem in the adaptive reuse of historic buildings, so hopefully this building will persevere. For the bowling alley, if nothing else. http://www.loc.gov/pictures/search/?q=Photograph%3A+dc0447&fi=number&op=PHRASE&va=exact

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