Glenn Dale Hospital: Breathing New Life into Old Buildings

The needed array of agencies, strong community concern, and now Preservation Maryland, has recently coalesced to move the needle forward on this long-vacant and large historic campus in Prince George’s County toward an adaptive reuse project that will serve and benefit the neighborhood and beyond.

Six to Fix


Situated on a wooded campus of over 200 acres in Prince George’s County, the majority of the two dozen Georgian Revival buildings of the Glenn Dale Tuberculosis Hospital and Sanatorium date from the 1930s. Once the area’s largest employer, Glenn Dale hospital was closed in 1981. Vacant since, and a bit of a white elephant, strong community efforts have pushed this project along to rehabilitation and reuse.

Preservation Maryland first recognized Glenn Dale Hospital as a threatened resource in 2014, and then recommitted in 2015 to assisting the site by including it in our Six-to-Fix program.


Utilizing an existing framework of nearly 500 supporters and advocates including our Six-to-Fix partners, Glenn Dale Citizens’ Associationthe Lincoln-Vista Civic Association, Glenwood Park Civic Association, Preservation Maryland assisted community organizations and activists in identifying and engaging key players in State and County government as well as experts in preservation architecture, engineering and design to remove the barriers to use and a feasibility study for re-use and rehab was completed. An RFP was issued for the adaptive reuse of Glen Dale Hospital.


In central Prince George’s County, surrounded by suburban development sits the 200+ acre Glenn Dale Tuberculosis Hospital and Sanatorium. The campus features 23 brick Georgian Revival buildings many of which were built between 1933 and 1959. The Glenn Dale Tuberculosis Hospital and Sanatorium which was owned and operated by the District of Columbia was constructed specifically to house and treat children and adults suffering from tuberculosis. The campus demonstrates the lengths governments went to combat the public health threat caused by tuberculosis during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Glenn Dale’s location just 15 miles outside the District of Columbia provided the remote setting and abundant fresh air that were considered ideal in the treatment of the disease. Today the property is owned by Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.


The site remained an active hospital through 1982 when the doors were shuttered. The buildings were not properly mothballed or stabilized once they started to deteriorate. Despite the exceedingly substantial commercial quality of the original construction, its neglect has resulted in the loss of the integrity of many of the roofs. Because they were so strongly built, these formerly stunning Georgian Revival structures are not yet beyond saving. However, if steps are not taken in the very near future to secure the buildings and provide for their safe maintenance, the Glenn Dale Citizens’ Association fears that these buildings and their environmental setting will be lost altogether.


The campus included interrelated medical, residential and mechanical buildings along with landscaped areas for patients to enjoy. A majority of the buildings on the property remain intact with a high level of historical integrity. The classical detailing of the buildings together with the interconnected series of pedestrian and vehicular circulation paths contribute to its historical and architectural significance as a distinguishable, unified, representative example of a 20th-century therapeutic campus.


Local community groups have championed the adaptive reuse of the campus and buildings for over two decades. Associations which represent individuals and the families of individuals who worked at Glenn Dale Hospital want to see the buildings and 60 acres of the property used as a continuing care and retirement community. The other 140+ acres would benefit the community if they were maintained as permanent open space for active and passive parkland uses. Immediate stabilization of the buildings will ensure that no more damage occurs and that this campus can once again meet the needs of the community.


APRIL 2020

What should the State of Maryland do with large vacant historic complexes like Glenn Dale Hospital? A new report prepared for the Maryland Department of Planning calls for strategic policy changes and increased project funding to advance preservation and reuse. Preservation Maryland Executive Director Nicholas Reddings served on the study’s steering committee, alongside Robert S. McCord, Maryland Secretary of Planning, Senator Katie Fry Hester, Delegate Regina Boyce, and John Renner, Vice President of Development at Cross Street Partners.


On Thursday, October 17, 2019, the Maryland-National Capital Park & Planning Commission and the Alexander Company hosted a community listening session at the Glenn Dale Community Center about the future reuse concepts, construction types, and programming that might take place as part of the Glenn Dale Hospital project. The Alexander Company has tabulated and shared every written and verbal comment on their website. If you missed the meeting, you can still comment online.


Alexander Company has been selected to explore redevelopment opportunities on 60 acres of the former Glenn Dale Hospital property. This is a follow-up to the 2018 market feasibility study that described the difficulty of the redevelopment as a continuing-care facility; that deed restriction has since been lifted. The public is invited to a public listening session on Thursday, October 17, 2019.


RFP: Study of Redevelopment of Historic Government Complexes: Challenges and Opportunities
Maryland Department of Planning

The Historic Glenn Dale Hospital: Feasibility Study for a Continuing Care Retirement Community
Alexander Company

Request for Qualifications
Development Authority of Prince George’s County

Market Study for the Redevelopment Authority of Prince George’s County: Glenn Dale Hospital Site
Brecht Associates

Glenn Dale Hospital Historic District: Field Observations Report
Michael Baker International, Cagley & Associates, Beyer Blinder Belle Architects

Approval of Price George’s County Historic District
Minutes of the Price George’s Historic Preservation Commission

Solicitation for Offers for the Purchase of Glenn Dale Hospital Site
Maryland-National Capital Parks and Planning Commission

Glenn Dale Tuberculosis Hospital and Sanatorium
National Register of Historic Places approved nomination form

Glenn Dale Hospital
Maryland Historic Sites Inventory


Glenn Dale Hospital: This Place Matters
Public Facebook group

Master’s Thesis: “The Adaptive Reuse of Glenn Dale Hospital
Jennie Gross, School of Architecture, University of Maryland

Master’s Thesis: “From Vacant to Vibrant: Adaptive Reuse of Abandoned Asylums and Sanatoriums Through the Study of Glenn Dale Hospital
Caitlin Chamberlain, Historic Preservation Program, Savannah College of Art and Design


Fall Mid-Atlantic Conference Re-Cap
Society for the Preservation of Old Mills

What’s now chic was once ‘pretty abysmal’: a look at Jones Falls Valley’s manufacturing past
Baltimore Sun

Instead of ‘ghosts,’ residents want housing at this former tuberculosis sanatorium
The Washington Post

More Development Studies Needed on Glenn Dale Hospital Site
The Sentinel

Debate begins anew over use of Glenn Dale Hospital site
The Bowie Blade-News

Prince George’s Co. wants to redevelop a hospital site
Baltimore Business Journal

New plans for [Glenn Dale] hospital site taking shape
Capital Gazette

Ghost Tales: Inside Glenn Dale Hospital

Historic designation provides hope that old Glenn Dale Hospital site could be fixed up
The Washington Post

Baker calls for public comment on future of Glenn Dale hospital site
Capital Gazette

Abandoned D.C.: Glenn Dale Hospital and Sanatorium

Preservationist Calls for Rehab of Glenn Dale Hospital
The Patch: Bowie

6 historical sites endorsed for national registry
The Washington Post

Park and Planning rejects bids for Glenn Dale Hospital site
The Gazette

Owner of Glenn Dale Hospital goes after historic designation
The Washington Post

Glenn Dale Hospital gets two bids
The Washington Post

Park and Planning receives bids in sale of Glenn Dale Hospital
The Gazette

Park and Planning extends deadline for Glenn Dale Hospital bids
The Gazette

Group wants former hospital healed
The Gazette

Property Eyed Earlier by District for Employee Health Spa to Remain as Open Space
The Washington Post

Can we count on you?

Preservation Maryland isn’t just preserving the past – we’re investing in our future. In just the past year we’ve invested heavily in our work and refused to accept the mounting challenges as a reason to retreat or hold our position. You are making it all possible.