St. Elizabeths West Campus

Brief history of St. Elizabeths

St. Elizabeths was established by Congress in 1855 as the Government Hospital for the Insane. In addition to providing mental health facilities for the Army, Navy, and District of Columbia, the facility also served as a hospital for Civil War soldiers. In 1916, Congress officially changed the name of the facility to St. Elizabeths Hospital.

St. Elizabeths is divided into two campuses. The West Campus is owned by the federal government and is under the custody and control of GSA. It is located in the Anacostia community in southeast Washington on a hill overlooking the Anacostia River with panoramic views of Washington and Virginia. The East Campus, owned by the District of Columbia, is located across Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue from the West Campus and is still in use as a mental health facility.

West Campus facts

  • Located at 2700 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, SE, Washington, D.C.
  • The project site is bounded by Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd to the East, Interstate 295 to the West, Barry Farm Dwellings to the North, and Shepherd Park/Congress Heights to the South.
  • Constructed between the 1850s and the 1960s.
  • Consists of 176 acres and 61 buildings with approximately 1.1 million gross square feet of space.
  • National Historic Landmark.

Master plan

GSA prepared a master plan for the development of the West Campus as a high security campus for federal agencies.

Development objectives

  • Achieve maximum build-out for federal use, while maintaining the historic character of the West Campus.
  • Provide a federal workplace of world-class design created by the nation's leading architects.
  • Use the federal development in ways that consider community development goals and objectives.
  • Satisfy federal security requirements in a manner that is sensitive to neighboring communities.
  • Preserve the natural context of the site to the extent practicable.
  • Promote sustainable development to achieve a “Silver” Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating.

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Last Reviewed: 2023-02-06