From World War 2 until the 1990s, Walter Reed owned and used the National Park Seminary girl's school buildings at Forest Glen, MD. They didn't maintain the buildings well; around 1989 or so I rescued a post-Works Project Administration mural of the Seminary by Jack McMillan which showed orange jumpsuited psychiatric patients on the grounds. It was being damaged by water leaking down from 3 floors above. The painting is restored and on display in the Museum; in the meantime, you can take tours of the buildings as explained in this article "At an Old Retreat, Signs of Renewal," by Amy Orndorff, Washington Post Friday, April 25, 2008; Page WE05 (which is not quite factual - the theater burned down). There's two photographs on the site as well.
A few points of interest - the fountain, which was badly damaged the last time I saw it, was a sixteenth century work imported from Italy if I remember correctly. Also the ballroom in the main building was restored and is stunning, although a lot of the busts that lined it are missing.
The place is well worth seeing. It's being turned into condos now.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
Years and years ago, the Army expanded Walter Reed Army Medical Center by purchasing a former girls school known as the National Park Seminary. Parts of the school buildings were whimsical recreations of European architecture. You can buy a couple of books about the site, or you can just buy a home there. I'm not thrilled that these are becoming condos, but the Army didn't maintain them. In the late 1980s, I mounted a rescue operation of a large painting of psychiatric patients during World War 2. The painting hung on the ground floor of that building you see in their ad, but water leaking from three stories up had damaged it. The Borden Institute paid to have it restored to use in their Textbook of Military Medicine on psychiatry, and it hangs in the Museum now.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
My friend Bruce Guthrie stopped up for a tour a few weeks ago. He's an amateur photographer and took a lot of shots of both the exhibit floor and behind the scenes.
Julius Fabry's infected femur after George Otis' reamputation of it at the hip.
In the behind the scenes shots, you can get a brief glimpse of all 5 collections - Archives, then Historical, Anatomical, Neuropathology and Human Developmental Anatomy. The pictures with an asterisk at the top - * - have a caption you can read by clicking on the pencil.
Brain slices stained and mounted on glass for study.
Civil War bones with the bullets that caused the damage still attached.
Pictures of the Forest Glen Seminary are also on Bruce's site. This former girl's school was used by the Army as part of Walter Reed Army Medical Center during World War 2 and up through the 1990s before part of it was sold for development as condos. The rest is still owned by WRAMC and holds the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research which is doing important work on malaria vaccines. We've got some interesting bits in the Archives about the school, including this large WPA-era painting on display, showing psychiatric patients on the grounds.