Dating back to the 1800s, there is an asylum in Washington, D.C.’s Congress Heights neighborhood that stands vacant and abandoned.
St. Elizabeth’s East, otherwise known as the Government Hospital for the Insane, previously housed over 8,000 patients, serving as a federally operated hospital that at one time took care of animals due to a lack of lodging at the not yet built National Zoo. In its heyday, it served as a source of economic stability for neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River. It was also an example of moral treatment of the mentally ill. Now, it’s empty and crumbling from the inside out.
If interested in approaching the hospital and getting a look inside, don’t expect much luck. Due to a rise in break ins and thefts, there are a myriad of doors in the development that have been welded shut. Additionally, a number of security guards man the entrance of the facility.
Inside, burglars have busted walls down in the effort to steal copper and sell the items for money. In each room, portions of the ceiling have fallen, while a majority of the paint on the walls have peeled off. Oddly enough, there are sometimes items strewn about, like paintings, kitchen supplies, memorandums dating back 20 years, and even an empty bottle of Serentil.
For an inside look at St. Elizabeth’s East, check out the photo gallery below. For an outside look, go to this Curbed DC article.
For a video tour of the site, check out the Facebook Live Video below.
Welcome to Washington, D.C.'s vacant former asylum, St. Elizabeth's East.Posted by Curbed DC on Tuesday, October 18, 2016
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