Owner of Glenn Dale Hospital goes after historic designation
Thursday, October 21st 2010
After more than two years of work, the vacant, aging Glenn Dale Hospital is moving closer to being included on the National Register of Historic Places -- a distinction that would allow for preserving the facility and possibly inject new life into the site.
Located on Glenn Dale Road north of Annapolis Road, the hospital served as tuberculosis sanitarium in the 1930s. It closed in around 1982 and has since been vacant. The facility is now owned by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.
Last month, the commission's Countywide Historic Preservation Staff recommended to the county's Historic Preservation Commission that the site be listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which works to assist in preserving significant properties and includes federal and state tax credits for rehabilitation work, said Fred Stachura, planning coordinator for the Historic Preservation Countywide Planning Division of the M-NCPPC.
The hospital's nomination will be sent to Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D) for approval. If Johnson signs off on the proposal, it will be forwarded to the Maryland Historical Trust for review. Finally, the Keeper of the National Register, the National Park Service, would assess the nomination and, if approved, the hospital would be added to the register.
"The national register listing is an honorific listing that recognizes the historical importance of the property, architecturally, and the activity that went on at the hospital," Stachura said. "What this would do for any perspective purchaser -- it would open them up to rehabilitation tax credits to use on the property, [both] federal and state."
The designation would allow a buyer to recoup 40 percent in tax credits for qualifying renovation costs -- 20 percent each from the state and federal governments.
The Glenn Dale community moved the project forward, said Henry Wixon of Glenn Dale and president of the Glenn Dale Citizens Association.
"We've been working on the National Historic Register listing for over two years now," Wixon said. "This is another tool that we have in order to encourage the adaptive reuse of these buildings. We want to recapture the beauty of this unique facility and to also take advantage of this historical importance."
The nomination includes 23 buildings and about 60 of the more than 200 acres of land at the site.
M-NCPPC hired A.D. Marble & Company, an Owings Mills environmental and cultural resources studies and engineering services consulting firm, to complete the evaluation for the site, which took about nine months and was completed in November, said Stachura, who was unsure how much the evaluation cost.
"They have to develop a statement of significance for the nomination, and that means really investigating each of those buildings and doing historic research -- what went on in the hospital -- architecturally defining characteristics and how important is that," Stachura said.
M-NCPPC, which bought the property in 1994 from the District of Columbia, plans to sell the hospital. The bidding process ended Friday. The M-NCPPC paid $4.1 million for the site, said Chuck Montrie, the park planning supervisor for the M-NCPPC's department of parks and recreation.
Under a bill passed by the Maryland General Assembly in 1994, the 60 acres of the hospital property have been designated to be used as a continuing care or assisted-living facility. The bill, sponsored by Del. James W. Hubbard (D-Dist. 23A) of Bowie, requires an interested developer to contact the M-NCPPC to build the continuing care facility.
Although the listing does not protect the buildings from being demolished, federal and state tax credits associated with historic properties could be attractive to a potential buyer, Stachura said.
Jim Titus, a Glenn Dale resident for nearly 30 years, said he sees community benefit to having the property named a historic site.
"It seems to make it slightly more likely that someone will come in and restore the buildings as part of a project to eventually create what the statute intended -- essentially a home for the elderly at that location," said Titus, 55. "It's a step."
The state likely will have the nomination to review in early November and will then send it to the U.S. Department of the Interior, Stachura said. The hospital could be on the National Register by summer 2011.
This article was written by Liz Skalski and published by Washington Post / The Gazette on Thursday, October 21st 2010 and NOT owned by nor affiliated with opacity.us, but are recorded here solely for educational use. The photographs featured in the article are randomly selected from the Glenn Dale Hospital galleries on opacity.us unless noted otherwise; they may not directly relate to the article subject matter except for the site location - any other relation is purely coincidental.