St. Elizabeths Hospital
St. Elizabeths Hospital, a National Historic Landmark, opened in 1856 as the country's first federal psychiatric asylum. Encompassing over 300 acres, the hospital site includes both significant structures dating from the 1850s through the early 20th century and important cultural landscape components. The federal government is currently redeveloping the Hospital's 170 acre West Campus for use by the Department of Homeland Security.
Principals and staff of Mills + Schnoering Architects (then working as Farewell Mills Gatsch Architects, LLC), together with consultants Heritage Landscapes and Hunter Research, initially carried out a building, landscape, and archaeological assessment of the West Campus. The project included the survey and documentation of over fifty structures, landscape features, and archeological resources, and synthesis of this information into a comprehensive and useful document that would provide the U.S. General Services Administration with information necessary to proceed with the mothballing, ongoing maintenance, and Section 106 review for the complex.
As an outgrowth of the project, the team, together with its consultant, Optira, undertook a recording project using laser scanning to produce a highly accurate virtual 3D model of the site, as well as traditional plan and elevation drawings for 58 buildings. Because of the size and complexity of the St. Elizabeths West Campus, this comprehensive documentation is crucial for the development of the Master Plan. The model allows for testing and presenting master plan concepts in three dimensions, and the drawings provide a basis for accurate assessment of the existing buildings and production of rehabilitation documents for the Department of Homeland Security Headquarters project.
Mills + Schnoering Architects, LLC is now completing Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) documents for the West Campus. This is being completed as a condition of the Memorandum of Agreement between the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and the General Services Administration.