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Glenn Dale Consumption Hospital





Glenn Dale Consumption Hospital

Dappled sunlight warms the halls, though outside snow lingers along the perpetually shaded wood-lines and under crooked eves, Winter's slipping grip having not yet fully released. At one time these rooms and halls were full of patients suffering from deadly contagious diseases, some on the slow road to recovery, others simply awaiting the end. For the countless unfortunate souls who never regained their health, this was to be their final home. They endure here still, or at least the presence of their history does. A weight which perches squarely upon your chest. Faint but inescapable, not unlike the cold.

Opening in 1934, Glenn Dale Hospital's original purpose was that of a sanatorium, constructed primarily for the treatment of tuberculosis, a disease that was hitting Washington D.C. hard at the time. Located less than 15 miles outside the nation's capital, the new infirmary was well suited to aiding those afflicted by the then-rampant disease - Situated amidst 200 acres of open meadows, bathed in abundant sunlight, and caressed by steady winds.

Beyond the life-or-death struggle which tuberculosis victims had to face, the disease also carried a terrible stigma at the time. Those afflicted were frequently shunned by their communities. To be diagnosed was to die a death before treatment even began. One by removal from society, from loved ones, and often from family, as it was not uncommon for relatives to state that a family member had passed away rather than acknowledge they had developed TB.

Luckily, as the years went on the demand for such large tuberculosis infirmaries waned, and by the 1960s the hospital had come to be a general treatment center for incurable illnesses, as well as an assisted living facility. That all ended in 1981 when the property was shuttered after it was determined that the cost to rehabilitate and modernize the aging structures far surpassed the cost of building entirely new facilities elsewhere. In the decades since its closure Glenn Dale has transformed from an extensive healthcare facility to an overgrown campus of crumbling brick, mediocre graffiti, and shattered glass. Not long ago an overwhelming public need compelled the assembly of this immense campus, now it wastes away along the roadside mostly unnoticed by those who pass by, somehow omitted from our collective cognizance. A blind spot in our memory, perhaps purposely created so that we may not dwell upon the bits of our history which make us uncomfortable. Nonetheless, these walls were built to isolate, so perhaps then it is suiting that these same walls now weather away in solitude.




 
 



As expected of a medical facility, many of the rooms contained copious cabinetry and work spaces.






 
 Fresh air played a major role in tuberculosis treatment, hence a large portion of the hospital was dedicated to open-air breezeways.


 

 

 

The basement morgue.




 In many of the rooms lamps remained mounted to the walls, above where patient beds once were.






Exterior balconies run along much of the uppermost floor.