Brief History of 1125 Spring Road — old Hebrew Home for the Aged

The Hebrew Home for the Aged in March 1967 (from Historical Society of Washington, D.C. collection)

The building located at 1125 Spring Road was originally built for the Hebrew Home for the Aged, which occupied the building from 1925 to 1969.  Described as being in a “pure American style,” it was designed by local architect Harry A. Brandt and cost $27,000 to build. Its exterior combined maroon brick with buff limestone trim, including Stars of David that remain today.

The original structure was designed as two separate structures — the home and hospital — joined by enclosed passageways and considered a model of its kind containing 35 rooms for the aged.

The need for such a home predates 1914, when a group of men banded together and established a home for the aged in a rented building at 415 M Street, NW. A year later the home was purchased. The need for additional space was quickly felt, and became so pressing by 1921 that the issue was placed before the Jewish community of Washington, which helped raise funds and acquire the land on Spring Road.

Over the ensuing years, the Spring Road facility gradually became overcrowded, with residents sleeping in hallways and on porches, and in 1953, a new $1 Million addition increased capacity to 165. Yet, this too proved to be inadequate. In 1964, a survey indicated a need for a new facility that could provide complete medical and nursing care.

Challenged by the increasing needs of the growing suburban Jewish community, community leaders planned a new suburban campus for the major Jewish communal organizations. In 1969, the renamed Hebrew Home of Greater Washington and Jewish Social Service Agency, along with the Jewish Community Center, moved to the new complex on Montrose Road in Rockville.

The property at 1125 Spring Road was sold to the District of Columbia in advance of the Home’s move in December 1968 for $13 Million. While it served as a center for medical services for the homeless after it transfer to the District for many years, today the building is empty. It is the desire of many in the surrounding community that the property be renovated and returned to serving the housing and health care needs of the area’s elder community.

Gathering at the dedication of the Hebrew Home for the Aged on November 29, 1925


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5 Comments on “Brief History of 1125 Spring Road — old Hebrew Home for the Aged”

  1. Jeff Says:

    Such a great building… And what a waste to see it empty. Does DC still own it?

  2. […] Retired Jewish residents, of whom there were apparently quite a few in the area a century ago, occupied the building from 1925 to 1969. But the facility became overcrowded, and the Hebrew Home moved to bigger digs in […]

  3. […] Hebrew Home for the Aged, at 1125 Spring Rd. NW, housed Jewish retirees from 1925 to 1969, at a time when Petworth contained a thriving Jewish community. (The building's Jewish heritage is […]

  4. Maifred Says:

    I passed this every day when I walked home from Raymond elementary school back in the late 1960s early 1970s. Such a beautiful and mysterious place.

  5. Alvin Cohen Says:

    My grandmother Fanny Cohen lived with her daughter and son-in-law Anna and Arthur Cohen (my parents) on Randolph Street in Washington, D.C. I remember, as a child, the fondness that my Grandmother Fanny Cohen had for the Hebrew Home for the Aged which was close to where we lived.

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