Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital

Washington, DC

Project Details


BELL Architects

Old Naval Hospital Foundation

Rendering courtesy BELL Architects

In 1864, President Abraham Lincoln approved the construction of a Naval Hospital on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC to treat the growing
numbers of sailors and marines wounded during the Civil War. By the time the four-story, brick building was completed two years later,
in 1866, the war was already over, but the Old Naval Hospital, as it became known, served as a site for officer medical training, temporary
lodging for veterans, and a home for various nonprofit organizations. Unfortunately, the building eventually grew into disrepair, and when
the last tenant moved out in the late 1990s, the structure was left with significant water damage.

Silman assisted in the adaptive reuse of the building into the Hill Center, an educational center for children and adults and a
gathering place for community residents. The renovations with historic preservation and sustainability measures were completed at the historic
main building and its carriage house, converted to a café, as well as the ornamental iron fence surrounding the property and ironwork gazebo. Work also included a new elevator, chimney and window repairs, repointing of the brickwork, roof repairs, restoration of the main staircase, and ADA accessibility upgrades.

2012 District of Columbia Awards for Excellence in Historic Preservation, HPRB Chairman’s Award
2012 AIA|DC Chapter Awards, Presidential Citation in Sustainable Design
2012 AIA|DC Chapter Awards, Award of Excellence in Historic Resources
2012 NH&RA Timothy Anderson Awards (Timmy) for Excellence in Historic Rehabilitation


Categories: Public Buildings, Adaptive Reuse, Renovation, Historic Preservation, Sustainable Engineering